Bowie's been justly accused of revisionism in the past, and I think the same can be said of many posters here. People had all sorts of wild expectations for this tour, very few of which actually materialised, yet it seems to me to try to cling to the aura of cool some people are accusing Bowie of not defying expectations. By which I guess they must mean the expectations of others, not their own, since a look back at what they were predicting before the tour started shows that he has defied expectations.
The answer to your question is that Bowie is defying expectations. He's not doing this by satisfying the expectations of one group in defying the diametrically opposed expectations of another. Some people want Greatest Hits, some people want obscurities that were rarely if ever played before. Bowie's ploughing a middle ground between these two. Those expecting Greatest Hits (and anyone who thinks this is just a Greatest Hits tour either hasn't been paying attention to the setlists or has a very hazy knowledge of what his Greatest Hits are) are having their expectations defied by Sister Midnight, Fantastic Voyage, Battle For Britain, Loving The Alien, The Motel and the preponderance of Heathen material. Those hoping that Bowie would conform to their preconceptions of cool are having their expectations defied by his insistence on sticking with hits like Rebel and China Girl, and his inclusion of two Tonight and three Let's Dance songs.
So overall, Bowie is defying expectations, both of the general punter expecting the 20 biggest hits with 3 or 4 token newer ones, and of the more recent vintage of hardcore fan who thinks Outside and Earthling are the most exciting things he's done in decades.
"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