- 26 Nov 21
Fifth Retrospective from Musical Polyglot includes Previously Unreleased LP.
Clocking in at a whopping 131 tracks, the fifth Bowie box-set isn’t for the faint-hearted, covering the period after the commercially successful-but-critically-mauled chic of the 1980s, and before his complete rebirth as the godfather of experimental rock in the new millennium.
There are remastered versions of the studio albums, including his soundtrack work for the BBC’s The Buddha Of Suburbia, whose wonderful title track tips a cap to the classic guitar riff from ‘Ziggy Stardust’.
Bowie’s restless, experimental side is to the fore, nowhere more so than on 1995’s dystopian concept album, Outside, complete with weird character-driven monologues, or the drum ‘n’ bass-borrowing Earthling. Even amid the strangeness, however, there are some brilliant songs, from ‘No Control’ to ‘Tuesday’s Child’ and ‘Seven’. The latter duo are taken from 1999’s Hours, which received a mixed reception on its release but, in hindsight, more than stands up against his best work from the period.
There are two discs of live material, recorded at the BBC in June 2000, some of which was released as Bowie At The Beeb, and three ReCall CDs of remixes and alternate versions. The real treasure for completists, however, is Toy; originally slated for release in 2001 and eventually leaked online in 2011, it’s primarily made up of re-recordings of some of Bowie’s earliest, lesser-known work. Highlights include the wonderful ‘The London Boys’, a b-side from 1966, and the previously unreleased ‘Shadow Man’, originally recorded for the Ziggy Sessions in ‘71.
Listen: ‘The London Boys’
Out now via parlophone/iso.