Release Date: Sep 29, 2017
Record label: Parlophone
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Experimental Rock, Hard Rock, Art Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Dance-Rock, Proto-Punk, Glam Rock
No period in David Bowie's career is more curious than the trilogy of albums he recorded in the late Seventies while living in Berlin's artsy Schöneberg district. They're defiantly uncommercial, stacking soundtrack-y, atmospheric soundscapes alongside pop songs, and they're bizarrely endearing – "The hin-ter-land, the hin-ter-land/We're gonna sail to the hinterland," goes one catchy-yet-strange passage in Lodger's "Red Sails. " Stranger yet maybe, this era produced one of his most enduring hits, the anthemic "Heroes," which has been covered by everyone from Oasis to Peter Gabriel and Janelle Monáe.
A typically audacious rebirth following the snowblindhighwire act of Station To Station, Low was Bowie’s punk era-defying masterpiece. A keen contender for the greatest achievement in his career peak-packed decade, inspired by new life in Berlin, but recorded in France, Low masterfully fused emotional and psychic desperation with cranky, Eno-assisted, synth-funk pop savvy. As with the title track of its sequel Heroes, Bowie’s Sound And Visionary pop genius shone through the despair (of which the harrowing anorexic of the Be My Wife video was just one striking example)..
The first thing you hear is the sound of the snare drum: flat, pitch-bent, and distorted, as if all its snap and crackle had been captured and sent down some dark hole. Even now, more than four decades after being recorded, it still catches your ear as one of the most wholly original sounds in pop music. This is the sound of "Speed of Life," the instrumental that opens David Bowie's 1977 album "Low." There's other stuff going on, of course — Bowie's cascading synthesizers, Carlos Alomar's splintering guitar, the rock-solid groove of the rhythm section.
If any period in David Bowie’s remarkable career deserves a detailed and thorough revisit, it’s this one. The title of the third in Rhino’s ongoing lavish Bowie reissue boxed series, grabbed from one of its song titles, alludes to the circumstances behind it. The backstory to this adventurous era in David Bowie’s career informs its creation.