Wednesday, 1 August 2018

David Bowie - A New Career In A New Town Box Set


Included in the box set are:-

Low (1977)
"Heroes" (1978)
"Heroes" in German & French single releases
Lodger (1979)
Lodger New Tony Visconti Remix
Stage Live Album Original
Stage new expanded remaster
Scary Monsters (1980)
Re:Call 3 single versions and 'b' sides

Click on the albums highlighted for individual, in depth reviews.

There has been so much hoo-hah about this release, largely due to the original sound "drop out" on the song "Heroes", which was undeniably unforgivable. However, it happened, and certainly the correct track is available to download. I am not sure about other formats.

Many people were up in arms about the Tony Visconti remasters, which they felt were not too their taste. I did not agree at the time, and time has not made me change my opinion. Without wishing to disrespect their opinions, I will simply say that, for me, these Visconti remasters are superb, across the board. "Low" is big, booming and bassy and I love it that way. I have waited forty years for it to sound like that. If that is how Tony Visconti wants it to sound then, as a long time fan of his, that is totally fine by me. I my view, "Speed of Life" sounds bloomin' marvellous, as does "sound And Vision" and indeed all the old "side one". All powerful and full of bass, finally rid of that tinniness that blighted early releases of the album. The instrumentals are beautifully resounding, even more atmospheric than before.

"Heroes" is clear, sharp and industrially sonorous, as it should be, a once stark and tinny album is now a genuine pleasure to listen to. I am loving getting to listen to tracks like "Sons Of The Silent Age", "Blackout" and "Joe The Lion" through new ears, so to speak. The instrumentals are again truly outstanding. Check out that bass on "V2 Schneider".

Visconti's remix of "Lodger" is, quite simply, a revelation, giving it a completely new life. If it loses a few seconds here and there on a couple of tracks, it really doesn't bother me. The actual remaster of "Lodger" is superb too, taking previously muffled, lifeless tracks and once again breathing new life into them. Just listen to "African Night Flight", "Move On" and "Red Sails". Great stuff. Like listening to new tracks. I have waited nearly forty years for this album to be remastered. At last.

"Scary Monsters" shows the least obvious improvement, as the last remaster was perfectly acceptable. This one is still good though.

"Stage" is vastly improved upon, particularly in its expanded "full set" version. I have reviewed it in full detail under its individual listing. The original, oddly arranged track listing version of "Stage" is included here, but it is rendered pretty superfluous by the inclusion of the proper set list running order. As for the "single versions", I have no interest in them. Invariably I prefer the full album versions in every case. The French and German versions of "Heroes" are interesting but no more.


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