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EJSundayModerator
(acolyte)
01/22/04 05:41 AM
Two In One - But Still There Are Differences new [re: Schenk]  

In reply to:

For me this tour is
Heathen part 2


Agreed at first sight. The "Heathen" tour was a rather small event as apparently no-one was sure then if Bowie could attract large crowds on many occasions again. But largely due to a well received new album he could and so the tour was prolonged and put on a world wide scale with another new album whacked in. A little similar to the 70s when the "ZiggyStardust" tour turned into the "Aladdin Sane" tour after the release of that very album.

But still there have been profound changes.

Just a few days ago I watched that TV broadcast of the "Heathen" Berlin gig again. And compared to the

- two "Reality" German shows I saw

- the "Reality" cinema screening and its DVD release

- the "Reality" Berlin bootleg which is on constant reply

there is an overall difference in intensity between the two. īThe "Reality" shows are obviously much more planned and layed out in several aspects. The stage, the visuals, the range of songs and most strikingly Bowie's vocals. On the "Heathen" shows his singing was certainly great but his intonation and variation seemed very randomly. On the "Reality" shows he seems to constantly repeat certain patterns of intonations throughout the tour. Take his fantastic vocals on "Ziggy Stardust" on this tour. He made a few remarkable alterations to the original vocals which appear as spontaneous improvisation. But from all the bootlegs I have heard so far he keeps repeating these alterations on every show. Thus it appears to me that he has put a lot of thought into how to present his music. This was far less immanent on the "Heathen" shows. And this Ziggy thing is only one example.

In that aspect I would argue that the"Reality" tour is different from "Heathen". The success of the "Heathen" album and the mid-scale tour that followed were a surprise rather than the result of a masterplan. With "Reality" it is different: It's Bowie's proud stride back into the world wide limelight and he had big hopes that it would be beforehand. That's why he put far more intensity in planning any aspect of the shows than during the "Heathen" leg. And it shows. And works.

And I want to believe
In the madness that calls 'now'


Dara
(acolyte)
01/22/04 06:27 AM
Re: Is Bowie defying expectations with A Reality Tour? [re: Emil]  

In reply to:

Bowie is into making money all the time nowadays


If that were true, then he'd have done Ziggy 2(002) with attendant massive stadium world tour, a certain cash cow if ever there were one. And he'd have tried to do Let's Dance Again by now too.

The way I see Bowie, while he's good at maximizing his income from his art, his art comes first, and is not compromised by commercial considerations. Once he's finished the artistic work, then he thinks about how best to sell it.

Slan libh,

Dara

"What was the point of that In America movie? That only an inbred cretin would even think about going to live In America??" Fiona O'Kearney, 19/01/2004

diamondogz74
(electric tomato)
01/22/04 08:01 AM
Re: Is Bowie defying expectations with A Reality Tour? [re: Dara]  

Your words are perfect and a joy to read,Well done:-)

London Bye Ta-Ta...

poorsoul
(acolyte)
01/22/04 05:52 PM
Defy My Money [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

The way I see Bowie, while he's good at maximising his income from his art, his art comes first, and is not compromised by commercial considerations.



So we'll just forget about Let's Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down, then?

Visitors From Alternate Universes Are People, Too

Dara
(acolyte)
01/23/04 07:17 AM
Re: Defy My Money [re: poorsoul]  

In reply to:

So we'll just forget about Let's Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down, then?


Why?

Let's Dance = best album he could make at a point in his career and life (approaching mid life crisis) when his inspiration was at its lowest ebb. As Visconti said at the time, he was more interested in movies than music. The scale of its success took everyone, not least Bowie, by surprise.

Tonight = Rushed album virtually guaranteed to kill his global superstar status stone dead. Anyone who thinks Tonight was a calculated attempt to woo the mainstream more obviously doesn't remember much about the mainstream circa 1984. Had Bowie wanted to go on riding the Let's Dance bandwagon he would have
(a) used exactly the same personnel
(b) gone for exactly the same sound
(c) not filled it with Iggy songs

Never Let Me Down = Bowie finally starting to shake off the writer's block that had blighted his previous 7 years, albeit none too convincingly, and again making an album that had not the slightest hope of appeasing his Let's Dance audience, and even less hope of pleasing the few souls who thought Tonight was decent.

Slan libh,

Dara

"What was the point of that In America movie? That only an inbred cretin would even think about going to live In America??" Fiona O'Kearney, 19/01/2004

eraserhead
(stardust savant)
01/23/04 07:52 AM
Painting yourself into a corner [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

Tonight = Rushed album virtually guaranteed to kill his global superstar status stone dead.


You always hear this, how Tonight was so rushed; it was such a fast process - he'd barely finished the Serious Moonlight world tour. I think he managed to take a few weeks off to go on holiday with Iggy and witness his wedding with Sushi (now ex wife). (Proably mispelled her name there; sorry Sushi/Suchi!) This holiday was also a writing session. Then back to the studio fast as hell, and then without further delay the album was out. Now, the question is: Why? Why was it rushed? Why so eager to put it out as soon as the gigantic, hugely successful Serious Moonlight world tour was over (and the last of the hugely successful LD singles had left the charts)? The impression one gets is that he wanted to cash in on his newly won success. LD had made him more money than he could have dreamed of. Why not enjoy that money and take some time off, like 5 years? Why not retire until he had something important to say again, like when he had another Low or Scary Monsters? Give me one good reason as to why we should regard Tonight as anything else but an attempt to cash in on his recently won popularity. And don't say: because it sucks, because it doesn't sound anything like LD, because then why was it rushed?? I don't think he wanted to make LD2, but I think he wanted to cash in on the LD success by making another album, not necessarily an album that sounded exactly like LD.

My personal opinion is that this album is an example of an album where money comes first, not art. Rather, it was compromised by artistic considerations ("Loving The Alien" + the LTA video). Once he had finished the commercial work, he thought about how to make it a little more artistic; how to hide the commercial ambitions. And so came the serious LTA lyrics and its artistic video.



"I speak what yah weak mind lacks" -Missy Elliott

Edited by eraserhead on 01/23/04 07:56 AM (server time).



Dara
(acolyte)
01/23/04 09:46 AM
Re: Painting yourself into a corner [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

Give me one good reason as to why we should regard Tonight as anything else but an attempt to cash in on his recently won popularity.


At the time, the industry had already moved away from the "strike while the iron is hot" mentality of the 70s which saw successful artists release an album every year, sometimes two. If Bowie and his record company had wanted to maximise their return, they would have waited at least another year and maybe two before following up Let's Dance, and milked the album to death in the mean time.

Look at the other big albums round then. Madonna waited 2 years before following up Like A Virgin, then another 3 before following that up. Michael Jackson took five years to follow up Thriller. That was the way the industry liked it back then - at least 2 or 3 years between albums. So I don't buy the idea that Bowie made Tonight simply to cash in quickly. I think he made the album simply because he wanted to make an album. Big world tours often energise Bowie to release a new album shortly after, and this is probably what happened in this case. In retrospect, he'd probably have been wiser to wait a while, on artistic AND commercial grounds, but as always, Bowie did what he wanted to.

Slan libh,

Dara

"What was the point of that In America movie? That only an inbred cretin would even think about going to live In America??" Fiona O'Kearney, 19/01/2004

SoulLoveChild
(stardust savant)
01/23/04 07:48 PM
Re: Painting yourself into a corner [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

Why not enjoy that money and take some time off, like 5 years?


My memory on this is a bit vague, but I recall the record contract he signed with EMI had a time limit for 5 years only or something. He'd signed so much money (for the time) with EMI that there was pressure to pump out another album quickly for contractual reasons. Because he hadn't written much material after such a big year, he included all the covers to get the album on the street to appease EMI.

Bowie in Australia February 2004
the wait is almost over

bowiefanpeter
(acolyte)
01/23/04 07:59 PM
Re: Painting yourself into a corner [re: SoulLoveChild]  

Maybe Bowie wanted his EMI deal over a quickly as possible. NLMD, the last album on the EMI deal, was also not an 'labour of love"

Also remember that Bowie had no idea how to handle commercial fame of that level. The 83 tour probably did 2 or 3 times the attendance of what Bowie had expected.

BFP



dice
(every nation's refugee)
01/23/04 08:00 PM
Re: Painting yourself into a corner [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

Had Bowie wanted to go on riding the Let's Dance bandwagon he would have...

(c) not filled it with Iggy songs


i dunno. i thought he did pretty well commercially with his previous iggy cover

show bush the door in 2004: please contribute to http://www.moveon.org
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