INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Classic Pop AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 - by Paul Lester
DAVID BOWIE: 1. Outside / EARTHLING / 'HOURS...'
Bowie's three albums between 1995 and 1999 went some way towards rehabilitating him critically after Let's Dance, and now Parlophone is reissuing them, with no added frills. 1. Outside is arguably the pick of the three. Although Bowie has long been beset by the "Best since..." syndrome, it could be argued that this was his best album since 1980's Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), even Lodger; certainly it was his first collaboration with Brian Enoo since the 'Berlin' trilogy. Subtitled "The Ritual Art-Murder of Baby Grace Blue: A non-linear Gothic Drama Hyper-Cycle", it had a hifalutin' conceptual unity, but it also had some great pop singles: The Hearts Filthy Lesson, Strangers When We Meet, and Hallo Spaceboy. Earthling was the album that saw Bowie embrace drum'n'bass, notably on the single Little Wonder, while I'm Afraid Of Americans, remixed by Trent Reznor, confirmed Bowie's influence on the US industrial rock contingent. '...Hours', Bowie's last album of the decade, is these days regarded less favourably than its two successors, 2002's Heathen and 2003's Reality, and it saw a shift away from perhaps slightly-trying-too-hard electronica back towards pop-rock songcraft.