David Bowie Box Set Series Continues with Loving the Alien (1983 – 1988)

Continuing where the three previous box sets left off, David Bowie’s Loving the Alien box set encapsulates Bowie’s ‘80s commercial era. The 11 CD and 15 LP sets will be released October 12, 2018 and include the newly remastered studio albums Let’s DanceTonight and Never Let Me Down, plus the previously unreleased Serious Moonlight double live album (recorded in Vancouver in 1983), as well as a remastered two-disc version of Glass Spider 1987 (Live in Montreal).

Among the box set’s exclusive materials is a new production of the 1987 album Never Let Me Down, by Mario McNulty, which features new instrumentation by Reeves Gabrels, David Torn, Sterling Campbell and Tim Lefebvre. Other exclusives include RE: CALL 4, featuring remastered single versions, non-album singles, album edits and B-sides, as well as soundtrack songs from Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners and When the Wind BlowsDance will feature a dozen various remixes, some of which are appearing on CD and vinyl for the very first time.

Unfortunately, the long deleted track “Too Dizzy” from Never Let Me Down will not be included on this set, nor will the box include the 1988 home video audio version of the Glass Spider Tour. The previously available Glass Spider concert from Vancouver recorded in 1987 will be included instead of the audio from the Glass Spider show in Sydney, Australia, which was released on VHS and Laser Disc in the late 1980s before its eventual DVD release in 2007.

The Loving the Alien CD box includes a 128-page book, and the LP box includes an 84-page book, both will feature rare and previously unpublished photos by Herb Ritts, Greg Gorman and Denis O’Regan. The books will also contain technical album specifics by Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, Mario McNulty and Justin Shirley-Smith. Additionally, various historical press reviews will be included as a retrospective time capsule of the era.

Here’s a complete rundown of the tracks contents that will be included in the CD and vinyl box sets:

CD Box Set:

128 Page hardback book

Let’s Dance (remastered) (1CD)

Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) (previously unreleased) (2CD)

Tonight (remastered) (1CD)

Never Let Me Down (remastered) (1CD)

Never Let Me Down 2018 (previously unreleased) (1CD) *

Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) (2CD)

Dance (1CD) *

Re:Call 4 (non-album singles, edits, single versions, B-sides and soundtrack music) (remastered) (2CD) *

* Exclusive to Loving the Alien (1983-1988)

LP Box Set:

88 Page hardback book

Let’s Dance (remastered) (1LP)

Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) (previously unreleased) (2LP) *

Tonight (remastered) (1LP)

Never Let Me Down (remastered) (1LP)

Never Let Me Down (2018) (previously unreleased) (2LP–side 4 is etched) *

Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) (previously unreleased on vinyl) (3LP) *

Dance (2LP) *

Re:Call 4 (non-album singles, edits, single versions, B-sides and soundtrack music) (remastered) (3LP) *

* Exclusive to Loving the Alien (1983-1988) LP box

TRACKLISTING:

Let’s DanceModern Love/China Girl/Let’s Dance/Without You/Ricochet/Criminal World/Cat People (Putting Out Fire)/Shake It

Serious Moonlight (Live ’83)Look Back in Anger/Heroes/What in The World/Golden Years/Fashion/Let’s Dance/Breaking Glass/Life on Mars?/Sorrow/Cat People (Putting Out Fire)/China Girl/Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)/Rebel Rebel/White Light, White Heat/Station to Station/Cracked Actor/Ashes to Ashes/Space Oddity/Band Introduction/Young Americans/Fame/Modern Love

TonightLoving the Alien/Don’t Look Down/God Only Knows/Tonight/Neighborhood Threat/Blue Jean/Tumble and Twirl/I Keep Forgettin’/Dancing with The Big Boys

Never Let Me Down: Day-In Day-Out/Time Will Crawl/Beat of Your Drum/Never Let Me Down/Zeroes/Glass Spider/Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)/New York’s In Love/’87 And Cry/Bang Bang

Never Let Me Down (2018): Day-In Day-Out/Time Will Crawl/Beat of Your Drum/Never Let Me Down/Zeroes/Glass Spider/Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (featuring Laurie Anderson)/New York’s In Love/’87 And Cry/Bang Bang

Glass Spider (Live in Montreal 1987): Intro/Up the Hill Backwards/Glass Spider/Day-In Day-Out/Bang Bang/Absolute Beginners/Loving the Alien/China Girl/Rebel Rebel/Fashion/Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)/All the Madmen/Never Let Me Down/Big Brother/‘87 And Cry/Heroes/Sons of The Silent Age/Time Will Crawl/Band Introduction/Young Americans/Beat of Your Drum/The Jean Genie/Let’s Dance/Fame/Time/Blue Jean/Modern Love

Dance: Shake It (Re-mix aka Long Version)/Blue Jean (Extended Dance Mix)/Dancing with The Big Boys (Extended Dance Mix)/Tonight (Vocal Dance Mix)/Don’t Look Down (Extended Dance Mix)/Loving the Alien (Extended Dub Mix)/Tumble and Twirl (Extended Dance Mix)/Underground (Extended Dance Mix)/Day-In Day-Out (Groucho Mix)/Time Will Crawl (Dance Crew Mix)/Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (12” mix)/Never Let Me Down (Dub/Acapella)

RE:CALL 4: Let’s Dance (single version)/China Girl (single version)/Modern Love (single version)/This Is Not America (The theme from ‘The Falcon and The Snowman’)–[David Bowie with Pat Metheny Group]/Loving the Alien (re-mixed version)/Don’t Look Down (re-mixed version)/Dancing in The Street (Clearmountain mix)–[David Bowie and Mick Jagger]/Absolute Beginners (from Absolute Beginners)/That’s Motivation (from Absolute Beginners)/Volare (from Absolute Beginners)/Labyrinth Opening Titles-Underground (from Labyrinth)/Magic Dance (from Labyrinth)/As the World Falls Down (from Labyrinth)/Within You (from Labyrinth)/Underground (from Labyrinth)/When the Wind Blows (single version) (from When the Wind Blows)/Day-In Day-Out (single version)/Julie (B-side from “Day-In Day-Out”)/Beat of Your Drum (vinyl album edit)/Glass Spider (vinyl album edit)/Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (vinyl album edit)/New York’s In Love (vinyl album edit)/‘87 And Cry (vinyl album edit)/Bang Bang (vinyl album edit)/Time Will Crawl (single version)/Girls (extended edit of B-side from “Time Will Crawl”)/Never Let Me Down (7” remix edit)/Bang Bang (live – promotional mix)/Tonight (live) [David Bowie with Tina Turner]/Let’s Dance (live) [David Bowie with Tina Turner]

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The Pop Perfection of Captain & Tennille: How the Square Sonny & Cher Captured the Hearts of Millions with Their Irresistible Songs of Joy

 : © A&M Records and UMe

The first time I heard “Love Will Keep Us Together” on the radio was one of those unforgettable moments that caused me to promptly investigate who was capable of making such a marvelous sound. Toni and Daryl had proficiently captured pure pop perfection within a three-minute aural fantasy. I spent many youthful hours counting down to their weekly variety show, T.V. specials, and rare appearances on American Bandstand and The Midnight Special. I still recall sitting enthralled with my eyes glued to the television screen as Toni and Daryl whisked me away to Hawaii and New Orleans, as well as introducing my young ears to great artists like B.B. King and Ella Fitzgerald.

Captain & Tennille often released albums (or new singles) near the end of the school year, just as the weather was warming and bringing forth signs of new life by Mother Nature’s design, which made the ideal backdrop for C&T’s uniquely unforgettable sound. The Grammy-winning duo are best known for their biggest hits such as “Muskrat Love,” “The Way I Want to Touch You” and “Do That to Me One More Time,” but it’s their lesser known songs like “Ladybug,” “Love Is Spreading Over the World,” “Back to the Island” and “Come in From the Rain” that still harken to me every spring and summer. To this day, the Captain & Tennille’s albums are like comfort food to my soul or catching up with old friends, especially Dream, Come in From the Rain, and Song of Joy. [Read Full Feature]

For the Love of Star Wars: A Lifelong Fanboy’s Perspective

(Logo ™ and Images © Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC – Design © 2018 Popmartzoo)

In celebration of May The Fourth and in anticipation of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I present my fanboy tribute to the greatest space opera of all time…

I was a wee young lad when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope for the very first time. At that point, my only encounter with science fiction had been watching Star Trek: The Original Series on television with my aunt while visiting my grandmother’s house. Suddenly, an entirely new world revealed itself to me as I became enraptured by the aptly titled A New Hope, as that initial experience of being transported into George Lucas’ transformative space adventure gave me an unwavering feeling that has remained with me throughout my entire life.

I will always be grateful to George Lucas for creating the Star Wars universe, but also thankful he’s no longer directing nor responsible for writing the current films’ dialogue, as it was always glaringly obvious his primary focus was in the visualization of his stories, certainly not in demanding the very best performances from his actors. However, Lucas’ commitment to excellence is unquestionable, as the advancements of sound and visual effects would not be what they are in film today were it not for Lucas and his 45-billion-dollar film franchise. George Lucas is unquestionably responsible for setting the film industry’s bar extremely high with his advancements in optimal sound quality via his THX quality assurance system, as well as his visual effects powerhouse, Industrial Light and Magic. [Read Full Feature]

Kylie Minogue Gets Her Country On with ‘Golden’

Did you think Dolly Parton would be the last artist to attempt country disco? Well, think again. Dance-pop diva from down under, Kylie Minogue, returns with her first full-length of all new material since 2014’s R&B leaning Kiss Me Once.

The Aussie chanteuse channels her inner “Cotton-Eyed Joe” on her fourteenth studio album, Golden, but it unfortunately ends up sounding like nothing more than a reductive attempt to create her own version of Lady Gaga’s Joanne. While undeniably endearing and tenacious, Kylie Minogue has always followed trends rather than create them, which has ultimately pigeon-holed the artist as a second-rate Madonna.

On Golden, Minogue dives headfirst into new musical terrain inspired by her recent visit to Nashville. A large part of Golden was recorded during Minogue’s Nashville romp last year and it’s the first time since her endearing 1997 release, Impossible Princess, that the popstress has co-written every one of the album’s tracks. Awkwardly, her stay in Music City seems to have derailed Minogue’s ambitions, resulting in what can only be tactfully described as a major musical misstep. Perhaps Kylie lost focus while imbibing in too much line dancing and honky tonkin’? [Read Full Review Here]

Garbage ‘Version 2.0’: Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Alternative rock band Garbage avoided the dreaded sophomore slump with the triumphant second full-length release Version 2.0 in 1998. Considered by many – including Shirley Manson herself – as the group’s best and most powerful album to date, the dynamic set contains many of the band’s best-known songs including: “Special,” “When I Grow Up” and “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing.”

Now, in honor of its twenty-year anniversary, Version 2.0 is currently being prepared as a remastered deluxe edition. Not only will the deluxe anniversary release include the original album, but it will also include 10 B-sides from the Version 2.0 recording sessions.

Version 2.0 is in my opinion the quintessential garbage record. We are all very grateful to the millions of people who took it to their hearts at the time it was released and to those who continue to love on it still.” – Shirley Manson

Comprehensive details can be found below in the deluxe album’s press release:

Garbage are delighted to announce the release of the 20th anniversary edition of their legendary second album Version 2.0. Released on Stunvolume/PIAS on June 22nd, the package features the whole original album, as well as a second, ten song disc of bonus tracks, including B-sides from the era. The typically visceral “Lick the Pavement” is the first offering from the reissue and is available now.

Upon its initial release in May 1998, Version 2.0 charted at Number 1 and was certified double platinum in the UK with over 500,000 sales. The record went on to sell over 4 million copies worldwide. Version 2.0 was also nominated for four Grammy Awards including Album of The Year. It produced 5 hit singles, including “Push It” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.”

Speaking about the enduring legacy of the record, the band’s drummer and co-producer Butch Vig explains:

Version 2.0 is the sound of a band growing up, evolving, and more than anything, gaining confidence. When we started recording, we made a conscious decision to not re-invent ourselves, but rather take everything we learned from our debut album and filter it through the new digital technology we were grappling with. Sonically, the album has moments of razor sharp clarity and soft beauty. Indeed, it’s possibly our best album.”

Album Track list:

  1. Temptation Waits
  2. I Think I’m Paranoid
  3. When I Grow Up
  4. Medication
  5. Special
  6. Hammering in My Head
  7. Push It
  8. The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
  9. Dumb
  10. Sleep Together
  11. Wicked Ways
  12. You Look So Fine

 

Deluxe Edition B-sides:

  1. Can’t Seem to Make You Mine
  2. 13x Forever
  3. Deadwood
  4. Get Busy with The Fizzy
  5. Soldier Through This
  6. Thirteen
  7. Lick the Pavement
  8. Medication (Acoustic)
  9. Tornado
  10. Afterglow

 

’21st Century Breakdown’: Breaking Down Green Day’s Second Concept Album

Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown, the band’s follow-up to the epochal American Idiot, was one of 2009’s most eagerly awaited albums and it more than lived up to all of the anticipation. On Green Day’s eighth studio album, the band returned in peak form with the hits “Know Your Enemy,” “21 Guns,” “East Jesus Nowhere,” “Last of the American Girls” plus the tempo-changing title track.  Many had speculated whether or not the band could recapture the success of their previous Grammy Award-winning opus, but all of those fears were quickly put to rest with their second three-part punk rock opera. 21st Century Breakdown delivered an abundance of material for listeners to sink their teeth into, as the disc clocked in at just under 70 minutes. In hindsight, 21st Century Breakdown was every bit as good as American Idiot, if not better.

Unlike American Idiot, 21st Century Breakdown was divided up into three separate acts (Act I: Heroes and Cons, Act II: Charlatans and Saints and Act III: Horseshoes and Handgrenades), which gave the album a very distinct beginning, middle and end. This made for a more diversified album that provided the listener with the feeling of immersion within a complete story, as well as trekking alongside the narrative’s characters. Familiar musical themes were repeated throughout, which had been designated to each of the characters, much in the same way John Williams did with his score in Star Wars. The album’s lyrics provided vivid images that allowed the listener to visualize the action as it unfolded within each of the set’s 18 songs… [Read Full Retrospective]

Remembering David Bowie 1947 – 2016

This week inconceivably marks two years since David Bowie’e untimely passing, but it’s still hard to believe he’s gone. This week, on what would have been his 71st birthday, I am once again exploring his extensive catalog, as I fondly reflect upon my personal journey of discovery into the bewildering artistry of Bowie. [Click here to read my celebratory recollection]