“Waiting so long, I’ve been waiting so, waiting so…”
After months of waiting, David Bowie’s latest box set, Loving the Alien has finally arrived. This expansive look at Bowie’s most commercially successful period of output not only boasts remastered versions of his 1980s albums, but also includes the never-before-released audio recording of the iconic Serious Moonlight Tour. This 2-disc offering features some of Bowie’s best live recordings from “Look Back in Anger” and “Heroes” to “Modern Love” and “Let’s Dance.”
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 includes the newly remastered studio albums Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Down, plus the previously unreleased Serious Moonlight double live album (recorded in Montreal 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. This is not merely a new remaster or remix, but NLMD 2018 features newly recorded 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 Blows. DANCE features 12 remixes, some of which are appearing on CD and vinyl for the very first time.
The remastering is not only superb, but also adds new luster to each of the studio and live recordings. Let’s Dance and Tonight have never sounded better. The newly produced 2018 version of Never Let Me Down also sheds new upon this overlooked and underrated classic album. The only oversight here (albeit intentional) is the unfortunate omission of “Too Dizzy” which was originally included on the initial pressings of the Never Let Me Down album and compact disc. Although the track was reportedly despised by Bowie, its inclusion would have allowed diehards the opportunity to revisit this often-maligned album in its entirety. With that said, at least the B-sides “Girls” and “Julie” have been included which help to make up for the aforementioned track’s absence.
The 128-page book is packed with photographs and contains interesting insight into Bowie’s most loved and loathed era, which is heightened by historic photos shot by fashion photographer and music video director Herb Ritts, as well as a treasure of technical notes about the albums from Nile Rodgers and Hugh Padgham.
While Loving the Alien may not capture Bowie’s most creative decade, it is another outstanding presentation of one of music’s most imaginative artists, which contains more than enough rewarding moments to satisfy any true Bowie fan’s expectations.