I got into his 70's work first, being a newbie in '83 and not really by his then current output (I thought Let's dance was boring when I first heard the single). I think most people would have thought of Bowie at this time as the guy who was famous in the early 70's. Due to increased Radio and TV usage in the 80's (especially in the music industry), Live aid, high profile collaborations (Jagger, Tina Turner) and a few movies, it was quite difficult to miss David Bowie in the 80's, Whereas for parts of the 70's he kept himself very much to himself (between the 74 and 76 tour, 77 and 79 there were times when he disappeared to the casual music fan), more so in the UK, there were few TV appearances to promote records.
Both Dylan and the Stones had great live followings in the 80's but on the whole their albums were also considered not their best. Bowie's albums of this time were generally well received, Tin Machine had some great write ups at the time and yet two years later the same writers were making fun of it.
There is some good music to be found between 80-89, don't let others opinions cloud your judgement (and don't listen to Bowie's opinions either, he just made the music, he looks at it from a totally different perspective).
This remark might have a hint of irony in it, or it may not.
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