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David Bowie / New box set: ‘Loving The Alien’ / 15LP or 11CD

80s albums remastered • 2018 version of ‘Never Let Me Down’ • Selection of key remixes • Two live albums • ‘Recall 4’ features singles/B-sides 


For the fourth year in succession, Parlophone Records will release a major box set that summarises an era in the musical life of David Bowie. This October, Loving The Alien (1983-1988) will feature Bowie’s three solo albums from the period in question, and offer fans plenty of extra content, including a ‘new production’ of 1987’s Never Let Me Down, the first audio release of the Serious Moonlight Tour and a remix album.

The new Loving The Alien box set comes as a weighty 15LP vinyl package or an 11CD set. It features newly remastered versions of Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984) and Never Let Me Down (1987). The vinyl version of Never Let Me Down sees the original CD versions of the tracks used on the format for the first time, just don’t go looking for Too Dizzy – originally on the album, but removed shortly after release, at Bowie’s request – because it does not appear anywhere in this new box set.


The 15LP vinyl version of Loving The Alien (click image to enlarge)


Having successfully reworked the single Time Will Crawl from 1987’s Never Let Me Down for 2008’s iSelect compilation album, Bowie wrote in the sleeve notes for the latter, “Oh, to redo the rest of the album”. Sadly that never happened in his lifetime, but it was Mario McNulty who had recorded and mixed that new version of the song for David (it wasn’t called the ‘MM’ remix for nothing) and the same man has now created a brand new production of the whole album, with new instrumentation by Bowie collaborators Reeves Gabrels (guitar), David Torn (guitar), Sterling Campbell (drums), Tim Lefebvre (bass – he played on Blackstar) as well as string quartet with arrangements by Nico Muhly. This new version includes a guest cameo by Laurie Anderson (who takes the Mickey Rourke ‘role’ on Shining Star (Makin My Love)).  You can get a taster of what this new version sounds like, by previewing a ‘radio edit’ of Zeroes (2018) below.



Loving The Alien delivers this 2018 version of Never Let Me Down across 2LPs on the 15LP vinyl edition of the box and on one CD on the 11CD version.

Never Let Me Down 2018 is a 2LP set with newly ‘remixed’ artwork 


The new box set also includes the 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour live album, recorded in Vancouver in that same year. This was originally mixed at the time by Bob Clearmountain, but a live album was never released (although the video of the concert was issued on VHS, Laserdisc, and much later, on DVD). This is a double CD set in the 11CD version of Loving The Alien and a 3LP vinyl offering in the 15LP vinyl box set. The artwork features shots taken by photographer Denis O Regan (read about his Riochet book, here).

Talking of concert audio, the Glass Spider live album (recorded in Montreal in ’87) is also included in Loving The Alien. Unlike Serious Moonlight, this has been issued before, but not on vinyl, so it makes it’s debut as a 3LP set in the 15LP box (it’s 2CD in the 11CD box set).

‘Dance’ in the box set features a selection of original remixes – but not all of them.


Because the 1980s was the era of the remix – extended, dub, vocal, bonus beats, etc. – Bowie fans have probably been wondering whether all, some, or (gulp) none of the remixes from the time would be included in any box set that might be released.

Parlophone have decided to include remixes (thank goodness for that), although it’s a selection of a dozen remixes, covering most of the singles. Fans will be aware that there were no official remixes of any of the Let’s Dance 45s, but Parlophone have included the remix/long version of album track Shake It, which was hidden away on the B-side of the China Girl 12-inch single.

This remix set in the box is called Dance (a name pinched from an unreleased Bowie remix album that almost saw the light of day in late ’85) and the Estate and record label appear to have selected what they presumably consider to be the ‘best’ remix of each song. All other variants are regarded as surplus to requirements (see ya later Underground Dub Mix and Girls Japanese Version!). So, as an illustration, with Day-In Day-Out and Time Will Crawl, ‘they’ have opted in both cases to go with the second UK 12-inch remixes (‘Groucho’ and ‘Dance Crew’ mixes, respectively) and not the more common 12-inch versions. Not bad choices actually, although I’m not sure I’d have put the dub/acapella version of Never Let Me Down ahead of the standard 12-inch.

Re:Call 4 features single mixes, songs from soundtracks and more


So with studio albums, re-workings, live albums and remixes all dealt with, the new Loving The Alien (1983-1988) box ends with the now familiar Re:Call compilation – the ‘odds and sods’ gathering up exercise. Re:Call 4 is three vinyl records or two CDs and mainly focuses on delivering the original single versions of most of the 45s from this era. There are also a few B-sides (Julie, Girls), songs from soundtracks (Labyrinth, Absolute Beginners, When The Wind Blows etc.) and even the original vinyl edits of album tracks from Never Let Me Down.

One thing to consider is that this box set has more exclusive content than any of the previous three. Never Let Me Down 2018, remix album Dance and Re:Call 4 are all exclusive to Loving The Alien and won’t be released separately (Parlophone have honoured their commitment with the exclusives from previous sets). Additionally, the 2LP Serious Moonlight concert and the 3LP Glass Spider concert are exclusive to the vinyl box. So 12 out of the 15 vinyl records are exclusive to the vinyl box. With the CD box you get four CDs of exclusive content.

The 11CD vinyl version of Loving The Alien (click image to enlarge)


As before, both boxes come with an accompanying book (128 pages in the CD box and 84 in the vinyl set) which will feature rarely seen and previously unpublished photos by photographers including Denis O Regan, Greg Gorman, Herb Ritts and many others along with historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from producers/engineers Nile Rodgers, Hugh Padgham, Mario McNulty and Justin Shirley-Smith.

The 11CD box set offers the always excellent Japanese-style ‘mini-LP CD’ vinyl replica versions of the original albums (the CDs will be gold coloured again). The 15LP set is pressed on 180g ‘audiophile quality’ vinyl.

Both editions of this Loving The Alien box set are released on 12 October 2018.

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David Bowie

Loving The Alien - 15LP vinyl box

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Australian residents! We’ll be adding Aussie prices to the widget very soon, but in the meantime here are some manual links for Amazon Australia:


Loving The Alien 15LP Box Set

Summary:


  • 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’

Detail:

LET’S DANCE

Side 1


  1. Modern Love
  2. China Girl
  3. Let’s Dance
  4. Without You

Side 2


  1. Ricochet
  2. Criminal World
  3. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  4. Shake It

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT (LIVE ’83)

Side 1


  1. Look Back In Anger
  2. “Heroes”
  3. What In The World
  4. Golden Years
  5. Fashion
  6. Let’s Dance

Side 2


  1. Breaking Glass
  2. Life On Mars?
  3. Sorrow
  4. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  5. China Girl
  6. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
  7. Rebel Rebel

Side 3


  1. White Light / White Heat
  2. Station To Station
  3. Cracked Actor
  4. Ashes To Ashes

Side 4


  1. Space Oddity/Band Introduction
  2. Young Americans
  3. Fame
  4. Modern Love

TONIGHT

Side 1


  1. Loving The Alien
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. God Only Knows
  4. Tonight

Side 2


  1. Neighborhood Threat
  2. Blue Jean
  3. Tumble And Twirl
  4. I Keep Forgettin’
  5. Dancing With The Big Boys

NEVER LET ME DOWN

Side 1


  1. Day-In Day-Out
  2. Time Will Crawl
  3. Beat Of Your Drum
  4. Never Let Me Down
  5. Zeroes

Side 2


  1. Glass Spider
  2. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)
  3. New York’s In Love
  4. ’87 And Cry
  5. Bang

NEVER LET ME DOWN (2018) 

Side 1


  1. Day-In Day-Out
  2. Time Will Crawl
  3. Beat Of Your Drum

Side 2


  1. Never Let Me Down
  2. Zeroes
  3. Glass Spider

Side 3


  1. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (ft Laurie Anderson)
  2. New York’s In Love
  3. 87 & Cry
  4. Bang Bang

Side 4


  • David Bowie 1987 logo etching

GLASS SPIDER (LIVE MONTREAL ’87)

Side 1


  1. Up The Hill Backwards
  2. Glass Spider
  3. Day-In Day-Out
  4. Bang Bang

Side 2


  1. Absolute Beginners
  2. Loving The Alien
  3. China Girl
  4. Rebel Rebel

Side 3


  1. Fashion
  2. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
  3. All The Mad Men
  4. Never Let Me Down

Side 4


  1. Big Brother
  2. ‘87 And Cry
  3. “Heroes”
  4. Sons Of The Silent Age
  5. Time Will Crawl / Band Introduction

Side 5


  1. Young Americans
  2. Beat Of Your Drum
  3. The Jean Genie
  4. Let’s Dance

Side 6


  1. Fame
  2. Time
  3. Blue Jean
  4. Modern Love

DANCE

Side 1 


1 Shake It (Re-mix aka Long Version)
(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘China Girl’ 12” single on EMI America 12EA 157 (U.K.) and V-7809 (U.S.) in May, 1983.)

2 Blue Jean (Extended Dance Mix)
(Originally released on 12” single on EMI America 12EA 181 (U.K.) and V-7838 (U.S.) in September, 1984.)

3 Dancing With The Big Boys (Extended Dance Mix)
(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘Blue Jean’ 12” single alongside an Extended Dub Mix of the same, release details as above.)

Side 2 


1 Tonight (Vocal Dance Mix)

(Originally released on 12” single on EMI America 12EA 187 (U.K.) and V-7846 (U.S.) in November, 1984.)


2 Don’t Look Down (Extended Dance Mix)

(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘Loving The Alien’ (Extended Dance Mix) 12” single alongside the ‘Loving The Alien’ (Extended Dub Mix) on EMI America 12EA 195 (U.K.) and VG-7858 (U.S.) in May, 1985.)


3 Loving The Alien (Extended Dub Mix)

(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘Loving The Alien’ (Extended Dance Mix) 12” single, release details as above.)

Side 3 


1 Tumble And Twirl (Extended Dance Mix)
(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘Tonight’ 12” single alongside a ‘Tonight’ (Dub Mix), release details as above.)

2 Underground (Extended Dance Mix)
(Originally released on 12” single on EMI America 12EA 216 (U.K.) and V-19210 (U.S.) in June, 1986.)

3 Day-In Day-Out (Groucho Mix)
(Originally released on 12” single on EMI America 12EAX 230 (U.K.) and V-19239 (U.S.) in March, 1987.)

Side 4 


1 Time Will Crawl (Dance Crew Mix)
(Originally released on 12” single on EMI America 12EAX 237 (U.K.) in June, 1987.)

2 Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (12” mix)
(Originally released on the ‘Never Let Me Down’ digital E.P. on EMI 0094639278954 in May, 2007.)

3. Never Let Me Down (Dub/Acapella)
(Originally released on the B-side of the ‘Never Let Me Down’ (Extended Dance Mix) 12” single on EMI America 12EA 239 (U.K.) and V-19255 (U.S.) in August, 1987.)

RE:CALL 4

Side 1


  1. Let’s Dance (single version)
  2. China Girl (single version)
  3. Modern Love (single version)
  4. This Is Not America (The theme from ‘The Falcon And The Snowman’) – David Bowie / Pat Metheny Group
  5. Loving The Alien (re-mixed version)

Side 2


  1. Don’t Look Down (re-mixed version)
  2. Dancing In The Street (Clearmountain mix) – David Bowie and Mick Jagger
  3. Absolute Beginners (from Absolute Beginners)
  4. That’s Motivation (from Absolute Beginners)
  5. Volare (from Absolute Beginners)

Side 3 


  1. Labyrinth Opening Titles/Underground (from Labyrinth)
  2. Magic Dance (from Labyrinth)
  3. As The World Falls Down (from Labyrinth)
  4. Within You (from Labyrinth)
  5. Underground (from Labyrinth)

Side 4


  1. When The Wind Blows (single version) (from When The Wind Blows)
  2. Day-In Day-Out (single version)
  3. Julie
  4. Beat Of Your Drum (vinyl album edit)
  5. Glass Spider (vinyl album edit)

Side 5


  1. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (vinyl album edit)
  2. New York’s In Love (vinyl album edit)
  3. ‘87 And Cry (vinyl album edit)
  4. Bang Bang (vinyl album edit)
  5. Time Will Crawl (single version)

Side 6


  1. Girls (extended edit)
  2. Never Let Me Down (7” remix edit)
  3. Bang Bang (live – promotional mix)
  4. Tonight (live) Tina Turner with David Bowie
  5. Let’s Dance (live) Tina Turner with David Bowie

Loving The Alien 11CD box set

Summary


  • 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)’


Detail:

CD TRACKLISTING

LET’S DANCE


  1. Modern Love
  2. China Girl
  3. Let’s Dance
  4. Without You
  5. Ricochet
  6. Criminal World
  7. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  8. Shake It

SERIOUS MOONLIGHT (LIVE ’83)

CD1


  1. Look Back In Anger
  2. “Heroes”
  3. What In The World
  4. Golden Years
  5. Fashion
  6. Let’s Dance
  7. Breaking Glass
  8. Life On Mars?
  9. Sorrow
  10. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
  11. China Girl
  12. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
  13. Rebel Rebel

CD2


  1. White Light / White Heat
  2. Station To Station
  3. Cracked Actor
  4. Ashes To Ashes
  5. Space Oddity/Band Introduction
  6. Young Americans
  7. Fame
  8. Modern Love

TONIGHT


  1. Loving The Alien
  2. Don’t Look Down
  3. God Only Knows
  4. Tonight
  5. Neighborhood Threat
  6. Blue Jean
  7. Tumble And Twirl
  8. I Keep Forgettin’
  9. Dancing With The Big Boys

NEVER LET ME DOWN


  1. Day-In Day-Out
  2. Time Will Crawl
  3. Beat Of Your Drum
  4. Never Let Me Down
  5. Zeroes
  6. Glass Spider
  7. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)
  8. New York’s In Love
  9. ’87 And Cry
  10. Bang Bang

NEVER LET ME DOWN (2018)


  1. Day-In Day-Out
  2. Time Will Crawl
  3. Beat Of Your Drum
  4. Never Let Me Down
  5. Zeroes
  6. Glass Spider
  7. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (ft Laurie Anderson)
  8. New York’s In Love
  9. ’87 And Cry
  10. Bang Bang

GLASS SPIDER (LIVE MONTREAL ’87)

CD 1


  1. Up The Hill Backwards
  2. Glass Spider
  3. Day-In Day-Out
  4. Bang Bang
  5. Absolute Beginners
  6. Loving The Alien
  7. China Girl
  8. Rebel Rebel
  9. Fashion
  10. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
  11. All The Mad Men
  12. Never Let Me Down

CD 2


  1. Big Brother
  2. ‘87 And Cry
  3. “Heroes”
  4. Sons Of The Silent Age
  5. Time Will Crawl / Band Introduction
  6. Young Americans
  7. Beat Of Your Drum
  8. The Jean Genie
  9. Let’s Dance
  10. Fame
  11. Time
  12. Blue Jean
  13. Modern Love

DANCE


  1. Shake It (Re-mix aka Long Version)
  2. Blue Jean (Extended Dance Mix)
  3. Dancing With The Big Boys (Extended Dance Mix)
  4. Tonight (Vocal Dance Mix)
  5. Don’t Look Down (Extended Dance Mix)
  6. Loving The Alien (Extended Dub Mix)
  7. Tumble And Twirl (Extended Dance Mix)
  8. Underground (Extended Dance Mix)
  9. Day-In Day-Out (Groucho Mix)
  10. Time Will Crawl (Dance Crew Mix)
  11. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (12” mix)
  12. Never Let Me Down (Dub/Acapella)

RE:CALL 4

CD 1


  1. Let’s Dance (single version)
  2. China Girl (single version)
  3. Modern Love (single version)
  4. This Is Not America (The theme from ‘The Falcon And The Snowman’) – David Bowie / Pat Metheny Group
  5. Loving The Alien (re-mixed version)
  6. Don’t Look Down (re-mixed version)
  7. Dancing In The Street (Clearmountain mix) – David Bowie and Mick Jagger
  8. Absolute Beginners (from Absolute Beginners)
  9. That’s Motivation (from Absolute Beginners)
  10. Volare (from Absolute Beginners)
  11. Labyrinth Opening Titles/Underground (from Labyrinth)
  12. Magic Dance (from Labyrinth)
  13. As The World Falls Down (from Labyrinth)
  14. Within You (from Labyrinth)
  15. Underground (from Labyrinth)

CD 2


  1. When The Wind Blows (single version) (from When The Wind Blows)
  2. Day-In Day-Out (single version)
  3. Julie
  4. Beat Of Your Drum (vinyl album edit)
  5. Glass Spider (vinyl album edit)
  6. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) (vinyl album edit)
  7. New York’s In Love (vinyl album edit)
  8. ‘87 And Cry (vinyl album edit)
  9. Bang Bang (vinyl album edit)
  10. Time Will Crawl (single version)
  11. Girls (extended edit)
  12. Never Let Me Down (7” remix edit)
  13. Bang Bang (live – promotional mix)
  14. Tonight (live) Tina Turner with David Bowie
  15. Let’s Dance (live) Tina Turner with David Bowie

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