Black Tie White Noise: Review

David Bowie album

Now, this one has some significance for me. It was the first Bowie album I bought as a fan the very day it was released. I became a Bowie fan in 1986, and although Never Let Me Down was released in 1987, I was so busy collecting the back catalogue, that I wasn’t in any rush to obtain a copy. My the time BTWN came out though, I was very interested in getting my hands on some new Bowie. I bought one of those limited edition cardboard folder CDs.

So here we go…

I thought I might enjoy a bit more than I should, but surprisingly, a lot of it doesn’t hold up to be played in the 21st century.

I got really bored by The Wedding. It doesn’t make for a good instrumental. But probably an indulgence for a newly married Bowie. Once I’d heard the album a few times I would skip this track as it is essentially The Wedding Song without words.

I don’t like I Feel Free – never have. Sometimes Bowie’s covers can be great. Sorrow, a prime example. But sometimes they are just shit and he shouldn’t be allowed to touch them. This is one (of many) case.

The title track makes me feel ill. It fails to be hard-hitting. It should be! It’s about the L.A. riots FFS! But this song is sssooo weak. I’d never heard this before in all the time I’ve listened to it (It’s been some years since I listened to the album though – must have been at least 5 years) but what struck me last night was how much this song is trying to be Ebony and Ivory – and that’s bad enough!! And that ‘cranking out the white noi-oi-oise’ line just f*cking grates on me!

Can’t stand Looking For Lester either. Too ‘jazzy’. Too much wild trumpet. Just not my bag at all.

The songs I DO like are You’ve Been Around and Nite Flights(have always liked it), I don’t mind Jump They Say (although the bonus remix is a better track because the bloody wild trumpet is suppressed) – it mostly holds up well, apart from the wild trumpet! I like Pallas Athena. It’s a good dance track. And there’s something sort of Aborigine sounding in the vocal – especially later in the track with the backing vocal. Sounds a little like Treaty by Yothu Yindi.

I shouldn’t like Miracle Goodnight, but I do. And Don’t Let Me Down And Down has an uneasy beginning and it makes me cringe, but by the end he’s belting out the tune and I like it.

I was never familiar with Morrissey’s version of I Know It’s Gonna Happen Someday so I wasn’t able to compare. I can’t really do it, but considering how wonderful Steven Patrick is, no doubt Bowie’s version is inferior. But because I can’t compare, at this time – I like it. I like the gospel choir backing too. It’s indulgent, but hey. He’s David F*CKING Bowie!

I enjoy The Wedding Song more than the instrumental opener. He’s newly married and this song is sssooo for Iman. And I have to admit it does stir me because I can hear the love in it. Even though, again, it IS indulgent. But it’s lovely, in its own way.

There’s a bonus track that I love (well, love maybe a bit strong, but enjoy quite a bit) and that’s Lucy Can’t Dance. I know! I really, really shouldn’t! But I do. It’s a guilty pleasure 🙂

So with my 14 track (2 bonus tracks) version, I like 9 of them – ish. Still unsure about Don’t Let Me Down And Down…

I’d probably give it 5 out of 10.