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