David Bowie Memory Palace [part 15]

Lime Green Leisure Suit Bowie® ca. 1991

Lime Green Leisure Suit Bowie® ca. 1991

1991 [continued]

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.

Warner Brothers « US | CD5 | 1991 | 9 40575-2

Warner Brothers « US | CD5 | 1991 | 9 40575-2

1991 also brought with it Bowie’s RCA back catalogue up to the mid-late 70s in new Ryko editions. These were purchased enthusiastically.

Rykodisc | US | CD | 1991 | RCD 10140

Rykodisc | US | CD | 1991 | RCD 10140

david bowie - fame90USCDAThat 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!

Rykodisc | US | CD | 1991 | RCD 10141

Rykodisc | US | CD | 1991 | RCD 10141

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

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
This entry was posted in Bowie, Core Collection and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to David Bowie Memory Palace [part 15]

  1. Echorich says:

    Yes Young Americans has its cringe worthy moments, whatever version you own or listen to. But it is an album that had to be made. Bowie was being sucked into a potentially inescapable deep well as Ziggy. There could not have been one more album in that vein or by that persona. That he took the initiative to do something about it mid tour for Diamond Dogs speaks volumes to the claustrophobia which was setting in on him as the Starman. Sure there were concerns about breaking in America in there as well, and I’m sure that’s how RCA and Mainman saw things, but I’ve always enjoyed the change of direction and the restlessness it unleashed moving forward.

    As for Stationtostation, it is the foundation for the 4 albums which would follow. Born out of Bowie’s (and come on his band’s as well) drug induced psychosis and touching more deeply on themes he brushed up against in the past, it’s a stunning statement of the lifestyle and it’s pitfalls as a Rock Star in the mid 70’s. No one said “no” to Bowie until he realized he had to say no to himself. It’s musically adventurous, and shows the beginnings of Bowie exploring the paths that would bring him into the hand of Brian Eno for their collaborations. For me Bowie was now a real artist first and a rock star second and I think that is what he was aiming for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Well stated! I will say in “Young Anerican’s” defense that it makes the most sense if you are actually dancing when it’s playing. Then it gets a lot better. I concur that it was the “Tin Machine” of the 70s for Bowie; the least likely way forward through an artistically stifling potential cul-de-sac.

      Like

  2. Jon Chaisson says:

    Cool World was a pretty bad movie all told (and kind of made me realize that most Bakshi movies are more about cult status than actual quality), and the Bowie track, while decent, is rather throwaway. The soundtrack itself is kind of fascinating, though…it’s got some nifty early 90s electronic tunes (I believe we just called it techno back in the day) from Moby and Thrill Kill Kult, one of Ministry’s few radio-friendly songs, plus a very fine track from the Cult. Worth picking up if you find it kicking around the dollar bins.

    As for Fame ’90, I always felt it was kind of doofy, even then. ;)

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jon Chaisson – I bailed form Ralph Bakshi’s career after “American Pop,” which had a Bowie esque character in it. A ham fisted movie as usual from Ralph. I think the best thing he did for animation was discovering John Kricfalusi and giving him the reigns to his “I-could-care-less” brilliant post-modern remake of “Mighty Mouse” that blew all of my friends minds in the late 80s and primed the pump for “Ren + Stimpy.” [That’s another superior remake for you, chasinvictoria!]

      Like

  3. Taffy says:

    I’ve never seen Cool World (the film) nor heard the full soundtrack, but I own Bowie’s CD single and will quietly admit to liking it. No, I don’t love it (and it’s hardly essential) but I found more enjoyable than anything he’d put out since Absolute Beginners. You can think it boring, I was happy he did something without Tin Machine (again, to diverge from Monk opinion, i was really put off by that entire period of his career), even if it was merely a fluffy piece of dance-pop.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – The interesting thing about “Real Cool World” to me was where it led to, which we’ll see later. I just sampled it for the purposes of that post and… eh. Forgettable to these ears. More of Bowie fitting in, which is his undoing for me.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s