Well in 1983 it was a very contempory sounding record, with very accessible singles released from it, still wth enough Bowie to tempt the older fans too. Top that with three really engaging videos (ok Modern love was just live footage, but it had a certain something) followed by a phenomenal tour.
It was to Scary monsters, what Young Americans was to Diamond dogs. A radical change of direction, one aimed at breaking the American market. Bowie was in a similar position again, he needed a major hit album, so he soaked up what was going on around him and gave the public exactly what they wanted. Not the most artistic of intentions but neccessary nonetheless.
I fly to the nearest bar