That year, David Bowie was beginning to make waves with the model Iman, who didn’t even register with me at all. I barely payed attention to such things. As far as I knew of it, it was yet another rock star dating model scenario. Move along. I never followed any of Bowie’s dallances earlier and I was not about to begin doing so now. I was far more interested in the exploitation of Bowie’s RCA catalogue on Rykodisc. Every few months brought forth either a small group or a single reissue. As 1991 rolled through, the two Bowie albums that I was most eager to get finally hit the bins. That Summer came “Low” which was immediately purchased.
This album still sounded futuristic, even 14 years later. The fragmented, deconstructed technopop side still reflected a shattered state of mind and the “difficult” instrumental side became very common in the post-Eno era whereby ambient became a widespread genre of sorts. The bonus material here was capped at the high point by “Some Are;” an excellent vocal piece that would have almost sat on side two, had there been anything but expression vocals, and the instrumental “All Saints.” The low point was duly represented by the 1991 post-modern remix of “Sound + Vision” by David Richards. Hackwork filler of a low grade.
Speaking of which, this thing was also issued that year. I had never paid attention to 808 State in spite of hearing the praises sung in the UK press of that era that I still read [Q, i-D]. So, I ignored this as well, seeing that the awful remix from Richards was here too. Once, which I was visiting chasinvictoria, I saw that he had a copy. I asked him to put it on. Having heard it once, I never bothered to do that again.
Now this was more like it! This was my go-to Bowie album and now I could finally listen to it on the sound carrier unit of my choice. I played this one as if it was a new album all over again. The bonus material here was non-essential. The undeveloped instrumental “Abdulmajid” [named after Bowie’s inamorata, who only used her first name] was not much to write home about, but beat the David Richards 1991 remix of “Joe The Lion” which had been drug, kicking and screaming, into the 1980s. It was atonishing how “updating” something could make it sound far more dated, but it’s possible. No matter. My favorite Bowie album was now finally ensconced in the Record Cell, though I would have preferred the US promo extended 12″ version of “Beauty + The Beast” as bonus material. No one asked me, sigh.
Next: …Bowie on the Bleeding Edge