1991 also brought two more singles from Bowie. I vaguely recall knowing he did the title track to the execrable Ralph Bakshi movie “Real Cool World.” It was a low-grade “Roger Rabbit” ripoff pandering to the lowest common denominator. Bowie’s presence on the soundtrack was probably a low point at a time he should have been distancing himself from such decisions. That he reunited with Nile Rodgers on the boring house-influenced track really galled his Tin Machine bandmates, who thought that it undermined their efforts at rehabilitation, because…well… it did. I have never worried about having a copy of this in the Record Cell and that probably won’t change unless I see it at a yard sale… for a quarter.
1991 also brought with it Bowie’s RCA back catalogue up to the mid-late 70s in new Ryko editions. These were purchased enthusiastically.
That year marked the second time I bought a copy of “Young Americans;” steeling myself to drink it down like medicine that should be “good for me.” I never cared much for the LP but the DLX RM had the two tracks cut from the running order in order to fit the dire “Across The Universe” and the smokin’ “Fame” so it was interesting to finally hear these. They deserved a better fate than that! The disco version of “John I’m Only Dancing” was something I once had on a 1979 UK 12″ that I had almost forgotten about… until now. After 35 years of listening to this album, I can now enjoy over half of it. Sadly, this marked the time that the “Fame ’90” CD5 also entered my home since Ryko bundled it with “Young Americans” as a freebie to goose sales. This has since left the Record Cell as the ill-starred act of non-canonical heresy that it obviously was!
Now “Stationtostation” was an album that I was more than ready for hearing! Better yet, it sported the color cover as depicted from a prepress proof in the “David Bowie Illustrated Record” book for a much more impressive effect. The material here was transitional as the early 70s began mutating into the late 70s. It was an album of six long songs and no filler. As a career best, it is an unimpeachable pick. The bonus material added were two live tracks from a legendary radio concert. I have to admit, the live “Stay” absolutely smoked. I especially loved how Bowie had a frog in his throat at one point and repeated his vocal error three times in a row as if to say “I meant to do that.”
Next: …still more classics