David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed (Parlophone)

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David Bowie: Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)
David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed (Parlophone)

The surprising resurrection of David Bowie with his extremely good The Next Day last year doubtless prompted this retrospective double CD chronological collection (which also comes as an impressively thorough four CD version).

There's never been much shortage of Bowie compilations and doubtless the hopeful tipping point for this one is the new single Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) at the end which is one of those seven minute-plus things by Bowie (with an orchestra of horns) which swirls and gets woozy in a very jazz-like way. It is full of pathos too and in its imagistic lyrics it sounds not dissimilar to the territory Scott Walker explored in the Seventies.

But this collection is equally interesting for picking up material from albums that many probably didn't bother with at the time.

So in addition to hits on the second disc -- Under Pressure with Queen, the single versions of Let's Dance, China Girl and Modern Love, Dancing in the Street with Jagger -- you get those slightly lost songs like Absolute Beginners and This is Not America with the Pat Methey Group as well as material from albums like Black Tie White Noise, Outside (the Pet Shop Boys remix of Hallo Spaceboy), Earthling, Heathen and Reality.

The first disc from Space Oddity to Ashes to Ashes will be largely familiar territory for most. Disappointingly there is just one track apiece from Low, Heroes and Lodger, but he was spinning out so many hits in his first decade something had to give in this compiling.

The title of this collection from the man who went through numerous ch-ch-changes might seem ironic, but open up the booklet and there is the similarly sized kicker: Everything Has Changed.

Indeed it has.

There is a considerable amount of material on David Bowie -- including interviews -- at Elsewhere starting here.

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