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Never Let Me Down

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Never Let Me Down
Never-Let-Me-Down.jpg
Studio album by
Released20 April 1987 (1987-04-20)[1]
RecordedMid 1986 to early 1987[2]
Studio
Genre
Length
  • 53:07 (CD)
  • 48:06 (LP)
LabelEMI America
Producer
David Bowie chronology
Labyrinth
(1986)
Never Let Me Down
(1987)
Black Tie White Noise
(1993)
Singles from Never Let Me Down
  1. "Day-In Day-Out" b/w "Julie"
    Released: 23 March 1987
  2. "Time Will Crawl" b/w "Girls"
    Released: 15 June 1987
  3. "Never Let Me Down" b/w "'87 and Cry"
    Released: 17 August 1987

Never Let Me Down is the 17th studio album by David Bowie, released on 20 April 1987 on the label EMI America. Bowie conceived the album as the foundation for a theatrical world tour, writing and recording most of the songs in Switzerland. He considered the record a return to rock and roll music. Three singles were released from the album, "Day-In Day-Out", "Time Will Crawl" and "Never Let Me Down", which all reached the UK Top 40.

One of Bowie's better-selling albums, Never Let Me Down was certified Gold by the RIAA in early July 1987, less than three months after its release date, and charted in the top 10 in several European countries, although it only reached No. 34 on the US charts. Despite its commercial success, this album was poorly received by fans and critics, many of whom regard the mid-to-late 1980s as a low point of creativity and musical integrity for Bowie. Bowie later distanced himself from the arrangement and production of the finished album but also admitted a fondness for many of the songs, eventually remixing the track "Time Will Crawl" (one of his favourites) for inclusion on his career retrospective release, iSelect (2008).

In support of this album, Bowie embarked on the Glass Spider Tour, a world tour that was at that point the biggest, most theatrical and most elaborate tour he had undertaken in his career. The tour, like the album it supported, was commercially successful but critically panned. The critical failure of the album and tour were factors that led Bowie to look for a new way to motivate himself creatively, leading him to create the band Tin Machine in 1989 and to retire his back catalogue from live performances following his 1990 Sound+Vision Tour. Bowie did not release another solo album until Black Tie White Noise in 1993.

In July 2018 it was revealed that the album would be re-released as Never Let Me Down 2018 in October 2018 with "a brand new production" and new instrumentation, overseen by producer/engineer Mario J. McNulty.[7]

Album development[edit]

Looking past a city towards a lake, with mountains behind
A view of Montreux, Switzerland, where Bowie recorded the album

Following the rise in fame and success from his 1983 album Let's Dance and its subsequent Serious Moonlight Tour, Bowie felt disconnected from his new found large fan base, and after the poor reception of Tonight (1984), he was looking to make the next album differently. As a result, Bowie said he wanted to return to recording with a small rock group like he had early in his career, and that he made the album as a "move back to rock 'n' roll music. Very directly."[8] Bowie felt that the sound and style of his new album was reminiscent of his album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980) and was less like its immediate predecessors.[9]

Bowie spent the middle of 1986 in his home in Switzerland writing the songs with his friend Iggy Pop.[10] Bowie wrote Never Let Me Down with the intention of performing the songs in a theatrical show.[11] He then recorded a few demos with Erdal Kızılçay before working on the album with the full band.[12] For the first time since his Scary Monsters album, Bowie played instruments on the record in addition to singing.[13][14] For some tracks on the album, Bowie played keyboards, synthesizer, rhythm guitar and on two of the album's tracks ("New York's in Love" and "'87 and Cry"), he played lead guitar.[10]

The album took three months to write and record.[12] According to album musician Erdal Kizilcay, they "used to start at about 10 in the morning an finish in the evening about 8 o'clock" while recording the album, adding that Bowie "was very disciplined" while recording the album and "was always trying something new."[15] Bowie acknowledged that the songs on the album lacked a cohesive musical style, which he claimed reflected his eclectic musical tastes at the time, and stated that the album was "a reflection of all the styles of writing I've used over the last few years."[10]

Song development[edit]

Bowie wrote the album's lead track "Day-In Day-Out" because of his concern about the treatment of the homeless in the US, and he wanted to make a statement about it.[16] Some networks banned the song's video, which Bowie found ludicrous.[8] This track was also the lead single for the album. A version of the song sung in Spanish was recorded to promote Bowie's first-ever concerts in Spain during his Glass Spider Tour[2] was released for the first time in 2007 when the "Day-In Day-Out" EP was released digitally.[17]

"Time Will Crawl", which Bowie named as his favourite track from the album, was inspired by events from the Chernobyl disaster and the idea that someone from one's own neighborhood could be responsible for the end of the world.[18] During the production of the album, the track was titled "How We War", but was changed before the album was released.[19] Bowie said his vocals on this song "owed a lot to Neil Young", and noted that the variety of voices he used on the album were a nod to the musicians who had influenced him in the past.[10] Bowie pre-recorded a performance of the song for the BBC show Top of the Pops, although it was not aired at the time, as the single subsequently fell down the charts.[2][20] This track was the second single released from the album.

The title track, "Never Let Me Down", is about Bowie's long-time personal assistant, Coco Schwab. Bowie wrote the song as a direct reference to his relationship with Coco as a counterpoint to the rest of the songs on the album, which he felt were mostly allegorical.[9] The song, whose name was originally "Isolation",[19] was the last one written for the album, written and recorded in one day during the last week of mixing the album at New York's Power Station studios.[4][5] Bowie attributed his vocal performance on this track to John Lennon.[10] Bowie's performance of this song for Top of the Pops was shown on the first airing of the US version of the show.[20] This track was re-recorded and released as the third single from the album. One reviewer later called it one of Bowie's "most underrated songs."[6]

"It's a pompous little title, isn't it? Seen out of context it's quite abrasive, but in the context of the song and songs on the album I think it's rather tongue-in-cheek to use it as the title. Also there's a vaudevillian thing about the cover. The two combined are kind of comical."

David Bowie, on the album's title and cover[4][5]

Bowie called the song "Beat of Your Drum" a Lolita song, a "reflection on young girls... 'Christ, she’s only 14 years old, but jail’s worth it!'"[4][5] Bowie biographer Nicholas Pegg, who called the song one of the better tracks on the album, noted that "Beat of Your Drum" could be called a "direct ancestor", both lyrically and musically, to Tin Machine's 1991 song, "You Belong in Rock n' Roll".[2]

The song "Zeroes", which Rolling Stone magazine called the most heartening and successful track on the album,[21] is, according to Bowie, a nostalgia trip: "I wanted to put in every 60s cliche I could think of! 'Stopping and preaching and letting love in,' all those things. I hope there's a humorous undertone to it. But the subtext is definitely that the trappings of rock are not what they're made out to be."[10]

The track "Glass Spider" is a kind of mythological story based on a documentary Bowie had seen[10] about black widow spiders that said that the spiders lay the skeletons of their prey out on their webs. Bowie also thought that the Glass Spider's web would make a good enclosure for the tour, thus giving the supporting tour its name and stage dressing.[22]

Actor Mickey Rourke asked Bowie to be involved in one of the songs, the two having met in London where Rourke was based while filming the movie A Prayer for the Dying. Bowie had him perform the mid-song rap to the song "Shining Star (Makin' My Love)." Bowie jokingly referred to Rourke's performance as "method rapping".[8] Bowie described the song as one that "reflects back-to-street situations, and how people are trying to get together in the face of so many disasters and catastrophes, socially around them, never knowing if they're going to survive it themselves. The one thing they have got to cling on to is each other; although it might resolve into something terrible, it's the only thing that they've got. It’s just a little love song coming out of that environment."[4][5] He rejected the notion that his "high, little" voice (which he attributed to Smokey Robinson) in the song was a new character (to follow behind Ziggy Stardust or the Thin White Duke), instead saying it was just what the song needed, as he had tried the song in his regular voice and did not like the outcome: "That never bothered me, changing voices to suit a song. You can fool about with it."[10] "Shining Star" was one of Bowie's early choices to be a single for the album, but EMI had the final say and did not release the song as a single.[23][24] A 12" remix of the song was made available on iTunes when the "Never Let Me Down" EP was released digitally in 2007.[25]

Bowie called "New York's in Love" a sarcastic song about the vanity of big cities.[4][5] Pegg would later call this song "a strong contender for the ... wooden spoon" of the album.[2]

Bowie originally wrote the song "'87 & Cry" as a statement about Margaret Thatcher, who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time. The song referred to the distinction between the authoritarian government and the citizens (the "dogs"),[26] and Bowie admitted that the lyrics verged on the surreal, describing people "eating the energies of others to get to what they wanted."[4][5] The track was released as the B-side to the album's third single, "Never Let Me Down".

"Too Dizzy" was the first song Bowie and new collaborator Kizilcay wrote together for the album, and was written in homage to the 50s. Bowie said "a real Fifties subject matter was either love or jealousy, so I thought I’d stick with jealousy because it’s a lot more interesting". Bowie at the time called the song a "throwaway" and seemed surprised that he included it on the album.[4][5] The song has been deleted from subsequent reissues of Never Let Me Down.[27] Despite Bowie's dislike for the song, EMI briefly considered it for release as a fourth single from the album, and in fact it did appear as a promo release in the US.[2]

When asked about his choice of including Iggy Pop's song "Bang Bang" on the album (instead of perhaps co-writing a new song), Bowie stated "Iggy's done so many good songs that people never get to hear ... I think it's one of his best songs, 'Bang Bang,' and it hasn't been heard, and now it might be."[8] "Bang Bang" was released as a promotional CD single in 1987.

Overall, Bowie summed up the album after it was released in 1987 as an effort to "reestablish what I used to do, which was a guitar-oriented album. I think the next album will be even more so."[22] His follow-up effort was to be the guitar-oriented rock-band album Tin Machine (1989).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2/5 stars[6]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music1/5 stars[28]
MusicHoundwoof![29]
Pitchfork5.8/10[30]
Robert ChristgauC+[31]
Rolling Stoneunfavourable[21]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide1/5 stars[32]

Initial sales of the album were strong[33] but dropped off disappointingly[34] as contemporary reviews of the album were mixed. Critic Ira Robbins wrote "although this casual loud-rock outing... seems on first blush to be slapdash and slight, the first side is actually quite good, offering provocative pop-culture lyrics delivered with first-take enthusiasm and carefree backing."[35] In 1987, Spin magazine called the album "an inspired and brilliantly crafted work. It's charged with a positive spirit that makes art soul food; imbued with the contagious energy that gives ideas a leg to dance on",[36] but in 1989 a different reviewer for the magazine called the album "disappointing".[37] Rolling Stone magazine called the work an "odd, freewheeling pastiche of elements from all the previous Bowies," "unfocused," and possibly "the noisiest, sloppiest Bowie album ever. ... Being noisy and sloppy isn't necessarily a bad thing, but sad to say, Never Let Me Down is also something of a mess."[21] Another critic held a general optimism for the potential of the songs on the album, complaining only that the "oppressive production" ruined the songs.[38] Billboard magazine's 1987 retrospective issue called Never Let Me Down "arguably the year's most underrated release" and considered the album a "Critic's Choice" for the year.[39]

Bowie was not concerned with the album's relative poor performance in the charts, saying "I've made about 20 albums during my career, and so far this is my third biggest seller. So I can't be that disappointed, yet, it is a letdown that it hasn't been as buoyant as it should be. ... But I don’t really feel that negative about it. As far as I'm concerned it's one of the better albums I've made. As I've said. Never Let Down has been a pretty big seller for me. So I'm quite happy."[23][24] Despite growing criticism in the press, Bowie said that Never Let Me Down was one of the most enjoyable and energetic albums he had made in a long time.[16][40]

Public image[edit]

Bowie, having just turned 40 the year the album was released, was a common sight on magazine covers during the year. He appeared alongside Tina Turner on the cover of In Fashion magazine (to the tagline 'Forever cool'),[41] Musician magazine[10] and on the cover of Rolling Stone's US 20th Anniversary "Style" issue,[42] part of a series of contemporary photographs of Bowie taken by photographer Herb Ritts.[9] Articles about Bowie's album and tour appeared inside such teen-oriented publications such as Mademoiselle[43] and Teen[44] magazines, the former calling Bowie "a leading candidate for the coolest character in rock." Bowie was chosen as one of the top male pop stars of the year (1987) in Billboards end-of-year retrospective issue.[39]

Live performances[edit]

An image of a stage with a giant luminescent spider overhead, its body glowing green, its head glowing red and its legs glowing blue. Below the spider, tiny human forms can be see on stage
Bowie (bottom center) on stage in Berlin in support of Never Let Me Down

Bowie knew he'd be taking this album on tour, and in early interviews said "I'm going to do a stage thing this year, which I'm incredibly excited about, 'cause I'm gonna take a chance again", but when pressed for details, he refused to give up any, saying "I'll just be doing what I always did, which is keeping things interesting."[9]

Bowie performed several of the album's songs during a press tour that preceded his highly theatrical Glass Spider Tour, which played to a combined audience of as many as six million fans.[45] Bowie wanted to produce a live show that picked up where his aborted 1974 Diamond Dogs Tour left off.[41] Although considered financially successful and well attended,[46] the tour itself was critically dismissed.[12] Bowie designed his next few tours specifically to avoid the problems that the Glass Spider Tour was criticized for by avoiding overly theatrical stage presentations and focusing on his music.[47][48][49] Despite the criticism, Bowie maintained that performing on this tour was the most fun he had had on tour up to that point in his career.[22]

Legacy[edit]

Initially after the album's release, Bowie was excited to return to the studio to record more material, having written more songs than were recorded for the album.[8] He said he wanted to record more "experimental" music, referring to his work in the 1970s with Brian Eno.[50] He discussed re-recording some of Never Let Me Down's tracks on his next album with future collaborator Reeves Gabrels, but Gabrels talked him out of it.[51] Ultimately, due to the poor critical reception of the album and subsequent tour, Bowie put those plans on hold and instead formed his rock band Tin Machine, which he used to rejuvenate himself creatively and artistically.[52][53]

"Now I listen to Never Let Me Down and I wish I had [been less indifferent to its production], because there were some good songs on it, but I let go and it became very soft musically; which wasn't the way I would have done it if I had been more involved."

David Bowie, 1993[54]

His view on the album soured as the years passed. In 1990, during interviews for his Sound+Vision Tour, Bowie commented that he felt like he was in a "mire" while making this album, and expressed disappointment at having lost good songs by allowing the album's production to give the songs too much of a session man feel.[55]

A year later, while working with Tin Machine on their second album, he mused on his previous few albums: "You can tell I was terribly unhappy in the late '80s. ... I was in that netherworld of commercial acceptance. It was an awful trip. 1983, '84, '85, '86, '87 - those five years were simply dreadful. ... Never Let Me Down had good songs that I mistreated. I didn't really apply myself. I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be doing. I wish there had been someone around who could have told me."[56]

In 1993, while doing press tours for his album Black Tie White Noise, Bowie acknowledged that, while the album sold more than any of his previous albums (except Let's Dance), he felt that while making it he had almost lost his interest in making music altogether.[57] He elaborated, "In the end I didn't lose the songs, but I lost the sound. ... I literally threw them away by giving them to very good people to arrange but not being involved myself, almost to the point of indifference."[53]

In 1995, Bowie spoke more at length about how he felt his creativity and music had suffered after the success of Let's Dance:

[The great public esteem at that time] meant absolutely nothing to me. It didn't make me feel good. I felt dissatisfied with everything I was doing, and eventually it started showing in my work. Let's Dance was an excellent album in a certain genre, but the next two albums after that [Tonight and Never Let Me Down] showed that my lack of interest in my own work was really becoming transparent. My nadir was Never Let Me Down. It was such an awful album. I've gotten to a place now where I'm not very judgmental about myself. I put out what I do, whether it's in visual arts or in music, because I know that everything I do is really heartfelt. Even if it's a failure artistically, it doesn't bother me in the same way that Never Let Me Down bothers me. I really shouldn't have even bothered going into the studio to record it. [laughs] In fact, when I play it, I wonder if I did sometimes.[58]

No song from this album was performed on any of Bowie's tours after 1987. Bowie revisited the idea of re-recording tracks from the album in the late 1980s,[51] 1990s[59] and 2000s,[60] a project which came to fruition in 2018 with the release of Never Let Me Down 2018, two years after Bowie's death.

Track listing[edit]

This was the first Bowie album to have different length songs on the vinyl release than on the cassette and CD, with almost all the songs appearing on the latter having a longer running time than on the former.[61]

LP: EMI AMLS 3117 (UK)[edit]

All tracks written by David Bowie except where noted.

Side One
No.TitleLength
1."Day-In Day-Out"4:38
2."Time Will Crawl"4:18
3."Beat of Your Drum"4:32
4."Never Let Me Down" (David Bowie, Carlos Alomar)4:03
5."Zeroes"5:46
Side Two
No.TitleLength
1."Glass Spider"4:56
2."Shining Star (Makin' My Love)"4:05
3."New York's in Love"3:55
4."'87 and Cry"3:53
5."Too Dizzy" (David Bowie, Erdal Kızılçay)3:58
6."Bang Bang" (Iggy Pop, Ivan Kral)4:02
Total length:48:06

The shortened LP version of the album was released digitally for the first time in 2007 on iTunes (minus "Too Dizzy").

CD: EMI CDP 7 46677 2 (UK)[edit]

All tracks written by David Bowie except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Day-In Day-Out" 5:35
2."Time Will Crawl" 4:18
3."Beat of Your Drum" 5:03
4."Never Let Me Down"Lyrics by Bowie; Music by Bowie and Carlos Alomar4:03
5."Zeroes" 5:46
6."Glass Spider" 5:30
7."Shining Star (Makin' My Love)" 5:04
8."New York's in Love" 4:32
9."'87 and Cry" 4:18
10."Too Dizzy"Lyrics by Bowie; Music by Bowie and Erdal Kızılçay3:58
11."Bang Bang"Iggy Pop, Ivan Kral4:28
Total length:53:07

LP/CD: EMI EYS-91221/CP32-5398 (Japan)[edit]

The original Japanese release of the album included an exclusive re-recording of the song "Girls" sung in Japanese. On the LP the song was slotted at the end of side one.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Girls"Music & lyrics by Bowie and Kızılçay, Japanese translation by Hiro Hozumi, coaching by Kiri Teshigahara4:00

Original album track order[edit]

In December 1986, the album's proposed track order was different than what was released; it did not include the track "Never Let Me Down" (as it had not yet been recorded) and had the b-side "Girls" in its place.[19]

All tracks written by David Bowie except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Beat of Your Drum" 4:33
2."Day-In Day-Out" 4:40
3."Time Will Crawl" 4:18
4."New York's in Love" 3:57
5."Bang Bang"Iggy Pop, Ivan Kral4:27
6."Shining Star (Makin' My Love)" 5:06
7."Glass Spider" 5:31
8."Too Dizzy"Lyrics by Bowie; Music by Bowie and Erdal Kızılçay3:58
9."'87 and Cry" 4:20
10."Girls (Extended Edit)"Bowie and Erdal Kızılçay5:35
11."Zeroes" 5:42

Reissues[edit]

The track "Too Dizzy" has been deleted from subsequent reissues of the album at Bowie's request,[19] reportedly because it was his least favourite track on the album.[27]

1995 reissue [Virgin CDVUS 98 (UK)][edit]

Virgin Records rereleased the album on CD with three bonus tracks.

No.TitleWriter(s)NotesLength
11."Julie" B-side to the single "Day-In Day-Out" (1987)3:45
12."Girls" (Extended Edit)Bowie, KızılçayB-side to the single "Time Will Crawl" (1987)5:38
13."When the Wind Blows"Lyrics by Bowie; Music by Bowie & KızılçayFrom the When the Wind Blows soundtrack (1986)3:36

1999 reissue (EMI)[edit]

EMI released the second reissue in 1999 featuring 24-bit digitally remastered sound but no bonus tracks, and also without "Too Dizzy".

2007 reissue[edit]

A 2007 Japanese re-release of the album, based on the EMI 1999 re-issue, included "Too Dizzy" on the track listing although the song itself doesn't appear on the CD.[62]

2009 reissue[edit]

In 2009, the album was re-issued in SHM-CD format. The reissue had the same track listing as the 2007 reissue.[63]

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the Never Let Me Down liner notes.[64]

Production

Chart performance[edit]

Singles[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[90] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[91] Gold 159,500[92]
United Kingdom (BPI)[93] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[94] Gold 500,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Never Let Me Down 2018[edit]

Never Let Me Down 2018
Never Let Me Down 2018 cover art.jpg
Studio album by
Released12 October 2018 (2018-10-12)
RecordedJanuary[7] - March[95] 2018
StudioElectric Lady Studios
Genre
Length50:56
LabelParlophone
Producer
David Bowie chronology
Welcome to the Blackout (Live London '78)
(2018)
Never Let Me Down 2018
(2018)
Singles from Never Let Me Down 2018
  1. "Zeroes (2018 version)"
    Released: 19 July 2018

According to Reeves Gabrels, Bowie wanted to remake some of the songs almost immediately after the two met in late 1987, and considered putting some of them on his next album, but Gabrels talked him out of it, suggesting it was too soon to do so.[51] Bowie discussed recording some of the tracks from Never Let Me Down with Gabrels again in 1996, prior to going into the studio to make his album Earthling (1997), but no tracks were recorded.[59] Bowie had Mario J. McNulty remix the track "Time Will Crawl"[60] in 2008 for his compilation of self-selected favourite songs, iSelect,[96] and later included the same mix on his career-spanning 50th anniversary compilation, Nothing Has Changed.[97] At the time Bowie had said, "Oh, to redo the rest of that album", and according to the Parlophone label in 2018, that was the beginning of the desire to "reimagine" the album. In early 2018, musicians including Reeves Gabrels, David Torn, Sterling Campbell, Tim Lefebvre, Nico Muhly and Laurie Anderson[7] started recording in New York's Electric Lady Studios to help fulfill that wish. Of these musicians, Torn, Campbell, Lefebvre and Gabrels were all selected by Bowie before he died in 2016 to take a part in the project.[98] In July 2018, it was announced that a new version of the album, titled Never Let Me Down 2018, would be released in October of that year. The album includes "newly 'remixed' artwork", unseen images from the original album's photo-shoot by photographer Greg Gorman, and was released as part of the 2018 box set Loving the Alien (1983–1988).[99]

McNulty used the experience of making the MM Remix of "Time Will Crawl" with Bowie to influence his approach for producing this version of the album. He received the master tapes from the label[100] and "kept all of Bowie's vocals", some of the original acoustic guitars, and "anything distinctive" about the song,[95] such as Alomar's rhythm guitar on "Never Let Me Down" and Frampton's sitar on "Zeroes."[100] He sent rough mixes, called "stems", to each musician as a baseline along with ideas of what they should record. Each musician recorded their parts separately, and were not typically in the studio together,[100] although Torn and Gabrels did record together for one day at one point.[98] For "Day-In Day-Out", McNulty discovered that Bowie had recorded the Borneo Horns (Stanley Harrison, Lenny Pickett, Steve Elson and Arif Mardin) playing live, but had at some point replaced them with synthesized horns. McNulty restored the live horns in the new version. The new version of the song has "one foot in the past and another in the present", saying "it was difficult. Most of the lyrics are quite dark, but everything else about it is almost uplifting. ... I just thought, 'It makes sense to do something bright.'"[100] For "New York's in Love", Gabrels wanted the new recording to reflect the change in New York, saying "New York isn't really about the blues anymore. It's more multicultural. … I wanted to reflect that change with what I did [played]. … I told Mario, 'Put up that song and let me see what happens.' … I soloed through the whole song and tried different things, and I reacted to what was going on. When the song ended, Mario looked at me and said, 'Well, that one's done then.' [laughs]".[98] McNulty replaced a lot of synthesizer parts throughout the album with strings, saying "There were a lot of random synthesizers from the Labyrinth department lurking in the background. I was pretty confident I could do a lot of that work with strings."[100] "Shining Star" was particularly hard for McNulty: "The [original] programming is a mess and the rap comes out of nowhere. I was just trying to find the right elements to fit the song. Luckily I know David and Laurie Anderson were good friends and she said yes to this [recording new vocals for the song] and it was really great of her."[100]

Original musicians Alomar and Kizilcay were not part of the reproduction. Alomar approved of the changes to the album, but Kizilcay was unhappy with the new arrangements, and threatened a lawsuit as a result.[100]

After the album was released in 2018, McNulty suggested that he might try and remix some of the other songs from the era, including b-sides "Julie" and "Girls", but added, "'Too Dizzy,' that's not gonna happen."[59]

The release of the box set was preceded by the digital release of the single "Zeroes (2018) (Radio Edit)" in July 2018,[101] and a physical 7" single in September 2018, backed with a radio edit of the 2018 version of "Beat of your Drum".[102]

Track Listing[edit]

Side 1
No.TitleLength
1."Day-In Day-Out"5:26
2."Time Will Crawl"4:26
3."Beat of your Drum"5:27
Total length:15:19
Side 2
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
4."Never Let Me Down"Bowie, Alomar4:26
5."Zeroes" 5:06
6."Glass Spider" 6:53
Total length:16:25
Side 3
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
7."Shining Star (Makin' My Love)" (featuring Laurie Anderson) 5:32
8."New York's in Love" 4:33
9."'87 and Cry" 4:25
10."Bang Bang"Pop, Kral4:42
Total length:19:12 (50:56)

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the Loving the Alien (1983-1988) liner notes:[19]

Production

Additional musicians

  • Reeves Gabrels - guitar
  • David Torn - guitar
  • Tim Lefebvre – bass guitar
  • Sterling Campbell – drums
  • Steven Wolf - drums, bass
  • Laurie Anderson - spoken word on "Shining Star (Makin' My Love)"
  • Mario J. McNulty - percussion
  • Nico Muhly - string arrangements on "Beat of Your Drum", "Never Let Me Down" and "Bang Bang"
  • Rob Moose - violin on "Beat of Your Drum", "Never Let Me Down" and "Bang Bang"
  • Laura Lutzke - violin on "Beat of Your Drum", "Never Let Me Down" and "Bang Bang"
  • Nadia Sirota - violin on "Beat of Your Drum", "Never Let Me Down" and "Bang Bang"
  • Gabriel Cabezas - violin on "Beat of Your Drum", "Never Let Me Down" and "Bang Bang"
  • Gregor Kitzis - string arrangements on "Time Will Crawl"
  • Krista Bennion Feeney - violin on "Time Will Crawl"
  • Robert Chausow - violin on "Time Will Crawl"
  • Martha Mooke - violin on "Time Will Crawl"
  • Matthew Goeke - cello on "Time Will Crawl"

References[edit]

  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie New Edition: Expanded and Updated, Titan Books, 2016, ISBN 9781785653650

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Facebook Timeline: Never Let Me Down Album is 25 Today, 27 April 2012, retrieved 26 April 2013
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External links[edit]