Friday, December 11, 2009

David Bowie 18: Changestwobowie

Bowie may have been taking an extended vacation, but a few things appeared in those lost years. There was “Under Pressure”, a surprising collaboration with Queen, which still sounds great today despite what Vanilla Ice did to it. He recorded a few tracks for a Bertolt Brecht project, and also did the theme song for the movie Cat People. Meanwhile, his label filled the gap with Changestwobowie, which included a handful of hits from the albums since the first Changes album, as well as a few odd choices from those early days.
But when you consider what constitutes this album, maybe those choices weren’t so odd after all. The album opens with the title track from Aladdin Sane, complete with that inimitable piano solo. “Oh! You Pretty Things” takes us way back to the near-beginning, followed up by the still stellar “Starman”. “1984” was only a few years away, and we get brought right up to date with “Ashes To Ashes”.
Side two is slightly more adventurous, beginning with “Sound And Vision” and “Fashion”. “Wild Is The Wind” is brought back from Station To Station, and it was even promoted with a new lip-synched performance video. But before you can enjoy “D.J.” you have the choice of skipping or enduring all seven minutes of “John I’m Only Dancing (Again) 1975”, the pointless “disco” remake that had stayed buried for six years.
As a bona fide greatest hits album, Changestwobowie doesn’t quite cut it. But as a sampler that would suck newbies into the depths of the catalog, it succeeds. The album still holds together well today, despite that one exception, and the cover’s a winner too. After the man himself took over the catalog in the late ‘80s, it went out of print, and would not return until 2018, when seemingly everything got reissued on vinyl, colored vinyl, etched vinyl, and CD. Still, even today some of us hold out hope for Changesthreebowie.

David Bowie Changestwobowie (1981)—4

1 comment:

  1. Kinda strange this album.cover has Bowie smoking on the cover. Old-school!