Too Dizzy

Too Dizzy.

Notorious for being a track so bad that it was publicly recalled (Bowie deleted it from all subsequent reissues of Never Let Me Down), “Too Dizzy” was a weak try-out exercise for Bowie’s brief songwriting partnership with Erdal Kizilcay.* Bowie seemed (rightfully) embarrassed by the song from the start, saying that it would’ve been better suited for Huey Lewis. Well, no: Lewis had much better material than this.

Still, when heard in the woeful context of Side 2 of Never Let Me Down, “Too Dizzy” doesn’t stand out for being particularly awful. It sounds more like a bungled salvage job, as though at some point in the recording, the idea of taking “Dizzy” seriously went out the window and everyone decided on camp as the best way out of the mess. Bowie tries to keep a straight face in the verses, with his laughable thug patter (“who’s this guy I’m gonna blow away?“), but by the time he’s squawking “you can’t have no LOV-AH” like a constipated Barry Gibb, the song’s descended into farce.

Its production is a series of messy distractions, apparently in the hopes of keeping the listener from focusing on how ill-conceived the song itself is (even its key changes seem forced and awkward: there’s a move from F-sharp in the verses to A major for the 8-bar pre-chorus, then a sudden collapse back to F# for the chorus itself). Bowie and David Richards larded “Too Dizzy” with a set of backing singers whose presence becomes hateful after a minute, while the guitar and saxophone solos are so uninspired that they seem to have been originally done to test microphone levels.

Recorded ca. September-November 1986 (possibly started during the “When the Wind Blows” sessions earlier in the year) at Mountain Studios, Montreux, and Power Station, NYC. Released only on the initial run of Never Let Me Down.

* Did Bowie include “Dizzy” to give Kizilcay a songwriting credit on Never Let Me Down, as a tip of the hat for services rendered? He’d essentially done that before for Iggy Pop and Geoff MacCormack. If so, it’s lame that Bowie subsequently binned the song.

Top: Paul W. Locke, “Boston Harbor,” 1987.

89 Responses to Too Dizzy

  1. Ian McDuffie says:

    As bad as this song is (and try as I might to pull a “but it’s not thaaat bad” on it, I can’t— it’s bad), I really can never agree with deletion from an album. It’s a cheat. It’s dishonest. If you can do that, then why don’t we collectively ban “Shapes of Things” from Pinups or “Across The Universe” from Young Americans?

    It’s sort of a valid question is this playlist-era of music-listening. Is it okay to remove the filler?

    • Diamond Duke says:

      Hey! I like Bowie’s cover of Shapes Of Things, and I actually dig the archness of his vocal on that track! 😀

    • PH says:

      Exactly. It’s all a bit Orwellian isn’t it? If we don’t like an event let’s just tip-ex it out of history and pretend it never happened.

  2. jopasso says:

    I nominate Erdal Kizilcay the worst influence/music partenaire/session man of Bowie’s entire career.
    By far.

  3. Jeremy says:

    I’d have to agree with you Jopasso – he didn’t help Bowie out of his slump, just to tweak it a bit.

    Just god-awful, no too ways about it. I have no problem with Bowie taking it off the album – it’s was (and still is!) his album and he could do what he wanted with it

    • David L says:

      Yeah sure, George Lucas, whatever you say. 😉

      I agree with deleting it, by the way. So I guess if this is the only song he’s ever deleted, then we’d have to conclude that Bowie himself believes this is his worst song, ever.

  4. Alfred says:

    By far the best song on the dreadful second side: I like its verse-bridge-chorus structure. But the post-“Freeway of Love” sax, the guitar solo after the first chorus, and Bowie’s terrible squawking sink it. I suppose he was aiming for the demotic power of Springsteen, but, erm, I don’t listen to Bowie for demotic power. The way he sings “Who’s this guy I’m gonna blow away?/What kind of love is he givin’ you?” should have embarrassed him.

    • col1234 says:

      yes, the sax is very “Freeway of Love.” good call. so you think it’s verse-bridge-chorus instead of v-“prechorus’-chorus? that makes the key change not so odd. but it’s all rather slurred together anyhow.

      • Alfred says:

        “Is it love or is it what” sounds like the bridge to me (sung in a different key too), but I use pre-chorus and bridge interchangeably.

  5. Diamond Duke says:

    In Erdal’s defense, he did collaborate strongly with Bowie on The Buddha Of Suburbia in ’93. OK, granted, that’s not my all-time favorite Bowie record, but it definitely shows the guy has genuine talent.

    As far as Too Dizzy is concerned, I also fall into the “bad, not awful” school of thought. And as Nicholas Pegg points out in The Complete David Bowie, the violently jealous sentiments of the song’s lyrics (however casually tossed off) are a bit worrisome coming from the man who wrote Repetition! Still, I hardly think that’s cause for deletion, I also think it’s dishonest for an artist to remove a song from one of his albums – however intensely it’s disliked in retrospect. (However, I must say that the deletion actually does help Side 2’s pacing quite a bit. Hey! I’m just saying…)

  6. Jasper says:

    I wont spend time slaughtering this song, I think all the slaughtering I needed to do for this album was done with Day-In Day-Out.
    I prefer albums to have the content they had when they came out, to show what the artist was doing at the time.
    I am intrigued by Bowie removing the song from the album, I can not recall other artists doing that. I know some artists have pulled a hole album from being reissued, Neil Young springs to mind, although he ended up letting On The Beach being reissued after 29 years. There are off course the exception of having different content on CD and vinyl. and then for space reasons a band can kill a bad song on one of the formats. Can you guys think of any other artists pulling a song? I’m sure he is not the only one.

    • col1234 says:

      10,000 Maniacs pulled their cover of “Peace Train” from In My Tribe after the Salman Rushdie fatwa business (C. Stevens allegedly supported the fatwa, though i think he was actually misquoted).

      Didn’t the most recent awful ‘Let It Be Naked’ thing cut out “Maggie Mae” and “Dig It”?

      • Jasper says:

        I was not aware that he tossed two songs from Let It Be, I thought it was such a bad idea for him to go back to that album and rework it, he could only make it worse, so I have never heard it. I like Let It Be, it’s a mess but it’s a good mess, and it has Across The Universe with the over the top strings, I love that song, also in Bowie’s version.

      • giospurs says:

        Yeah, McCartney did cut those songs. I think Let It Be Naked is a different case though. It doesn’t pretend to be the original album, or even a reissue, but a different edited version. I think Let It Be is the Beatles’ worst album by a long way but it’s harsh to blame that on Phil Spector, as John Lennon says, “He was given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it.”.

      • Mr Tagomi says:

        The brilliant I Me Mine would have been such a waste the way George originally recorded it. It was ridiculously brief.

        By doubling its length, Spector certainly earned his salt. The added strings also work, in my opinion.

        I notice that on Let It Be Naked it’s still in its double-length form, but without the strings.

  7. Alfred says:

    I’m more disgusted by the tracks on either side of “Too Dizzy”: “New York’s in Love” and “’87 and Cry.”

  8. giospurs says:

    Yeah, I don’t agree with retroactively cutting things from albums. Pop music, more than many other entertainment/art forms is such a product of its time, I think an album should be left alone, warts and all, and not continually tweaked.
    It’s an interesting debate though, it happens in films a lot more, with George Lucas notorious for never leaving any of his films alone.

    Having said that, in another way, I fully support the cutting of Too Dizzy as it means I won’t have to listen to this God-awful song again when I put on Never Let Me Down to hear the whole album.

  9. MC says:

    Many of Bowie’s worst moments are the godawful covers that dot his recording career. As far as Bowie’s worst ever bit of songwriting (and NLMD does offer some stiff competition) Too Dizzy is probably Bowie’s worst ever. Totally egregious on every level. That said,the completist in me tends to agree that it shouldn’t have been cut, though God help me I can see why it was. (Though some nagging feeling inside me leads me to believe that it could have been a big hit in the U.S. anyway if EMI had put it out as a single.)

  10. david says:

    Worse song he ever committed to vinyl-really nothing redeeming about it. There’s no defense because by this point even Huey Lewis was old hat. For me, this was as bad as it got-or at least until I heard Real Cool World. Painful-roll on “I can’t read.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love this blog so much but I feel like we’re drowning in sludge right now. Can’t we just skip this shit? ; ) Between ’71 and ’77 the genius that was/is David Bowie was genuinely prolific and created masterpiece after masterpiece (collaborations included). Paranoia/Money got the better of him and he’s produced very little work of worth since ‘Scary Monsters’. Discuss. PS: I know about the nice little bits on Suburbia/Heathen/Hours etc. Just saying.

    • Alfred says:

      I don’t agree. Like many artists, Bowie ran out of inspiration; most do. His particular problem, though, is that for a long time he wasn’t enough of a craftsman or singer to redeem execrable material. Hence the mediocrity at best of most of the 1980-1992 albums. He didn’t try enough in the eighties but tried too hard in the nineties.

      The expert craftsman finally appeared in 2002 and 2003.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        What total tosh! The ‘craftsman’ didn’t appear till 2002?!?

        He’d lost inspiration between ’82-’88, sure. Some of the work which followed during the 90’s didn’t always fire on all cylinders, but he had set himself high standards, with his desire and our expectation of not repeating himself.

        Reading much of this blog I find a lot of angry people who are annoyed that db isn’t ‘doing’ and ‘sticking to’ the version of Bowie ‘they demand’.

        Getting an album which is not ‘on message’ in their opinion, these ‘so-called fans’ find any weak moments and use them as a club to beat their alleged hero.

        Most peculiar.

    • Nijinska says:

      Oh, I don’t know about skipping forward. In a perverse way I’ve actually loved reading the last two entries more than many other more positive ones, and I’ve really looked forward to the coverage of this period. They’ve already captured the disappointment of twenty five years ago authentically enough to make me shudder as if it were only yesterday. It was around 1987 that I first properly discovered Bowie, and even with the allowances that 16 year olds (as I then was) are able to make I can still remember the agony of listening to this album and refusing to admit that I’d actually missed the train. The sheer mental effort I expended in trying to convince myself that, no, this WAS good, honestly… while of course knowing all the time that it really wasn’t. I suppose over time that bitterness has sweetened though. This is cathartic stuff.

  12. Alfred says:

    I’ll bet ten bucks that Bowie didn’t delete “’87 and Cry” or “New York’s in Love” because he deigned to play solos on them.

  13. Remco says:

    Last weekend I listened to the entire album for the first and second time ever, I doubt very much if there will ever be a third time.

    As far as the ‘The Nadir Question’ is concerned I’m still undecided: Granted, NLMD doesn’t have anything as horrible as ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Tonight’ or ‘Neighborhood Threat’ on it but ‘Tonight’(the album) at least had ‘Blue Jean’ and ‘Loving The Alien’. To my ears ‘Never Let Me Down’ has no redeeming features whatsoever, which an astonishing feat for someone with Bowie’s musical talent.

    Having said that I still think it’s a bit weak to delete this one song from the album. It’s cheating and it also suggests that the other songs *are* worth reissuing (they aren’t). It does shorten the album however which is a very good thing indeed.

    • Pierce says:

      NLMD’s redeeming features are the title track and Time Will Crawl.

    • Remco says:

      It’s probably no surprise that I disagree with you. While I agree that ‘Time will crawl’ and the title track are the best the album has to offer I still don’t think they’re particularly good.
      They have a lot of potential, sure, but the production is just as shitty as the rest of the album and that pretty much spoils these two songs for me.
      ‘Blue Jean’ and, to a lesser extent ‘Loving the alien’ don’t have that problem, they’re no masterpieces but they don’t really suffer from misproduction either.

  14. Maj says:

    I’ve heard worst songs (even from Bowie). This one’s fun at least. I guess if he tried to be all message on this record or something this song doesn’t quite fit into that. But TBH it doesn’t sound worse to me than some stuff on Tonight or even Let’s Dance.
    It’s a throwaway 80’s pop affair but I think some of the stuff he did with Tin Machine later on was worse.
    Maybe I have lower tolerance for shitty rock songs than I have for shitty pop songs? 🙂

  15. Maj says:

    Oh, and as for deleting the song. Seriously, why not delete the whole album then, eh? 😉
    It’s cheating, IMO. It’s like “OK mate, 70% of the stuff you released post-Scary Monsters was very subpar for someone like you. Deleting one song from one of the albums won’t exactly fix anything, will it.”
    But hey, if it made him feel better, if it made him sleep better at night, why not.

  16. diamond dog says:

    It is truly awful but why bother removing it let’s face it you only need the original cd so hardly wiped out is it. I do not put fault at erdals feet Let’s face buddha of suburbia is a superb piece of work. The blame for the awful music is Bowie , so far removed any artistic inspiration he wrote and released dud after dud chasing hits and becoming blander than magnolia emulsion. How could he have released this ? He should have stayed on the ski slopes it is a fuelled by business. It begs me to ask was he just collborating with the right people previously? Surely not.

  17. Jeremy says:

    The fact of the matter is that no one can keep up genius forever – you run dry on inspiration, get bored or move on, time and place conspire against you. It’s kind of fascinating really. If Bowie had been a great painter he would have stopped for ex amount of years, but in the music game the record label requires another album and another.

    Who has put out album after album of genius for more than 12 years? Not the Beatles, Dylan, Neale Young etc. Maybe Nick Cave comes close but that’s debatable.

    Poor David….

    • Picasso’s career kind of puts the lie to the “if he were a painter he would have retired.” The excellent reason not to retire is that a person can with hard work push through the writer’s block and lack of energy and get back to being good. Bowie did that, I think.

      • humanizingthevacuum says:

        Working hard isn’t enough. A wood carver can become expert at producing a certain table but has no inclination to change the design as he gets older and more sure of his technique.

      • is it always enough? No, of course not- sometimes the talent or will just aren’t there. Hence my use of the word “can” instead of “will.” But if the hard work includes honest self-assessment and awareness then the odds are better than even that you can produce good work even if you have the poor grace to hit middle age.
        That said, the only guaranteed way a creative person WON’t break through a slump is if he sits on his ass out of fear.

    • twinkle-twinkle says:

      At last some intelligent comment. Artists need to refresh themselves and this gets harder over time.

      The Beatles never even got ten years, and their albums are full of mediocre fillers and novelty jingles, and they were a band, 3 song writers, not a solo performer.

      By his own admition Dylan started writing nonsense lyrics in the mid 60’s to, in my opinion, repetitive or non-existent tunes.

      And can we get rid of the ‘Bowie as a business’, he got rich shit? Who deserves the money from his creativity? Bowie, or his mad ex-wife, ex-manager, the record company? Bowie was ripped off big style through the 70’s and beyond.

      Every slightly successful musician is richer than most of us will ever be. Bowie has never flaunted his wealth like Elton John or current black performers.

      Is the implication that having money stops all of life’s problems and that persons interest in the world in general, or whatever? I’d say a young edgy band off their tits on drink and drugs are likely to be more out of touch with the real world than someone like Bowie.

      Time dulls the edges whether you are rich or poor. Bowie got lost in the mid-80’s. He recognised it and by force of will he worked to redress it. He succeeded. If he’d sat back making ‘Let’s Dance II’, III, IV, etc, I’d understand the vitriol, but to disparage him for ‘trying too hard’ seems petty in the extreme.

      If Elton John or Rod Stewart had made ‘Never Let Me Down’, the music business would have heaped all manner of awards on them for it’s range and invention. It’s only because we know db was capable of so much more that we feel disappointed.

  18. PH says:

    I accept that Bowie’s 80s were for the most part pretty bad. But so far recently I’ve read that Phil Collins, Tina Turner and now Huey Lewis all wrote vastly superior material. Seriously, what’s next? Buck’s Fizz had more striking chord progressions? Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train” contained more insightful social commentary?

    • Marion Brent says:

      I’ll take Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train” over “Too Dizzy” any day, at least it had a kind of ingenue charm to it! And Sylvie Vartan did a rather groovy French version entitled “L’amour c’est comme une cigarette” as well!

      • PH says:

        “Morning Train” is as charming as waking up to discover that a rattle snake has slithered into your pyjamas.

  19. Brendan O'Lear says:

    For once I think the youtube commenters get it just about right on this track; there’s a comment that it sounds like the theme tune to some mid-80s, family friendly TV comedy. There could have been a role for mid-80s DB in that comedy as the single uncle with appalling dress sense who thinks the kids love him, but in fact they’re just embarrassed by him.

    • Ashley Pomeroy says:

      Imagine mid-80s fish-out-of-water sitcom Perfect Strangers, but with David Bowie instead of Bronson Pinchot. He would essentially play Thomas Jerome Newton in Manhattan; there would be jokes and pratfalls and also a bleak descent into alcoholism and existential malaise.

      It would work!

    • postpunkmonk says:

      I just listened to this yesterday and – good lord – the intro sounded like library music meant to accompany a 30 second “New Wave” style ad with vignettes of smiling models with too much lipstick, rollerbladers, and lots of overlaid sparklers. For chewing gum, perhaps.

  20. Brendan O'Lear says:

    On a completely unconnected and inappropriate note, has anybody seen the film ‘Hunky Dory’? Is it any good?

  21. diamond dog says:

    the whole of the album is too long it needed some pruning but perhaps when it was released not 20 years later , i think if it contained more ‘rock’ material it would have been remembered as better than it was , its not as dire as tonight but thats hardly the measure is it. Lots of comparisons to Kate Bush which is well stated but i feel more like peter gabriel who like bowie was making very interesting music and pushing the envelope to a large fan base who went for the big bucks (and why not) and ‘sold out’ to be become world dominating.

  22. algeriatouchshriek says:

    I like Too Dizzy. The fizzy pop sheen, its pace and syrupy sax solo give it anenery and drive missing from things like DIDO and NLMD.

    Its deletion is puzzling and has anyone worked out who is speaking during the fade and what they are saying? For a long time I wondered if it was something scabarous and that was why it was pulled.

  23. jopasso says:

    And what about the tour?
    The mullet, the dancers, the slaughtering of “All the madmen”, or “Sons of the silent age”, the Frampton solos, the wings spreaded during “Time”, the chatter between songs.

  24. Gnomemansland says:

    You hear the first couple of drum beats and you just know its gonna be baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad

    • Frankie says:

      Yes, on the entire album its basically the same thwaking drum over and over and over and over…. In the same bloody reverb room, with the same bloody guy on the same cheap Casio he found on Canal Street a long time ago…

  25. Carl H says:

    Still can’t understand why Scary Monsters is the dividing part of his career. Why can’t people understand that Let’s Dance is an excellent album. It’s just that it’s POP! Real popular pop, the Bowie version of it.

    • humanizingthevacuum says:

      David Buckley’s bio quotes several hardcore fans who, like him, didn’t think LD was a “sellout” at all; it was one more guise, one more character. He also noted — which I remember at the time — a sense of vindication from true fans. Our idol, they said, is at last selling a shit ton of records in America and worldwide. And, to my ears, LD isn’t better or worse than quite a few of his seventies records.

      The rot didn’t set in until Tonight.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        All the Bowie kids were making pop music post-punk. ‘Lets Dance’ was Bowie echoing things like Human League’s ‘Dare’, but with guitars rather than synths.

        ‘Tonight’ is a curious potpourri of great and pedestrian versions of new and re-worked older songs. It’s not a true Bowie album proper and should not be treated as such.

    • Pierce says:

      Yes that’s a myth. Let’s Dance is a fine fine album.

      • PH says:

        But in what way is it a fine album? After waiting 3 years at the time for a new release we could’ve been excused for expecting that Bowie had stockpiled a wealth of brilliant songs. Instead we got an album that seemed short of ideas, new material or even inspiration.
        There were only 8 tracks, and of those China Girl and Cat People were re-workings of older songs, Criminal World was a (pretty decent) cover, and Without You and Shake It sounded not only like sheer filler, but knock-offs of Bryan Ferry and Michael Jackson respectively.
        Even the album versions of the three singles were stretched out almost to breaking point to drag the album out to the bare minimum 38 minutes or whatever it was. And where had all the weirdness and the interesting lyrics gone? Only Ricochet possessed any lines that could bear up to scrutiny by Bowiephiles.
        But then, this wasn’t an album for them (or should I say “us”?) was it? It was aimed squarely at a mainstream market (or people who tended to have Phil Collinsalbums in their record collections as Bowie later admitted.) People who thought all that orange-haired spaceman stuff had all been too weird for them to bother with in the past. And to top it all off, Bowie was distancing himself from his past in the press at the time at a great rate of knots. I even recall at the time, him and Duncan going to a 10th anniversary screening of the Ziggy Hammersmith concert, and claiming he couldn’t relate to it and laughed at the whole thing.

      • Remco says:

        Apart from the praise for Richocet there’s not a line in PH’s comment that I disagree with.

    • Maj says:

      I guess it has something to do with the fact people don’t really want Real Popular Pop from Bowie. 🙂
      Also I’m not that fond of Let’s Dance because the best songs on it were singles, and beyond that there isn’t much. Two of the best tracks are covers (yes, he did co-write China Girl but it’s still a cover). But it still worked for the most part.
      Not even Tonight or NLMD are bad albums per se. They’re just filled with mostly forgettable material which is much more mainstream oriented than what hardcore Bowie fans want from him. Stuff on Let’s Dance was actually memorable…so even if it wasn’t non-mainstream pop fans’ cup of tea it tends to get a pass, if not completely.
      And personally for me, when I think of some of the other mainstream pop of that time (’83 – ’87), I don’t think Bowie’s stuff measures up well to that. There were some great female artists & queer artists and bands that were doing MUCH more interesting really poppy stuff around that time. Bowie of that time just doesn’t excite me much.
      What would he have to do to be exciting? I dunno…the good pop artists of that time period were all Bowie fans who he inspired & they then interpreted that inspiration in different ways. I honestly don’t know what I would do at Bowie’s place. Buddhist monastery perhaps? 😉

      • Alfred says:

        Yes. My argument for a couple months now has rested on the premise that in an era when, thanks to the intersection of punk, New Wave, and MTV, the American and English pop scenes brimmed with an energy unprecedented in twenty years, Bowie released a lot of music that wasn’t even decent chart fodder.

      • PH says:

        I always want Bowie to be popular, but on his own terms. The audience should come to him and not the other way round, which I feel is what happened in the 80s. He spent so much time trying to second guess what this new mainstream audience he’d won over with Let’s Dance wanted that he lost his way. And eventually even lost interest in what he was doing.
        Certainly he wasn’t the only artist this happened to at the time. I remember the Psychedelic Furs first few albums were brilliant. Then they tried to conquer America and had all their edge polished off them in the process. The re-write of Pretty in Pink for the movie kind of encapsulates that process. By the time of Midnight to Midnight they were a shadow of their former selves, and Richard Butler has alluded to this in subsequent years.
        I even saw this process happen to a couple of my favorite bands here in Melbourne back in the 80s. Hunters and Collectors and The Models both used to make “difficult” but brilliant and artful pop for a small but loyal audience. But in attempting to broaden their fan base they watered down everything that had made them distinctive and unique in the first place, and just became really bland. It was a sad time for music as far as I was concerned.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        So let’s look at those Bowie kids, their output and where they are now.

        Dead or Alive/Pete Burns anyone? (That face!).

        Steve Strange/Visage

        Ultravox/Midge Ure

        Human League

        Heaven 17

        Culture Club/Boy George

        Frankie Goes To Hollywood/Holly Johnson

        All the above either failed to drag themselves to the end of the 80’s &/or appear occasionally on greatest hits package tours.

        Echo and the Bunnymen do new work, but are essentially their own tribute band.

        Ditto, The Psychedelic Furs.

        The Cure come back periodically with new product a la the Bunnymen.

        The Smiths/Morrissey – The former lasted only 5yrs, the latter has been re-writing the same whinge for 20yrs.

        The Pet Shop Boys – still being the PSB’s, only less so.

        Marc Almond has managed to stay pretty much true to his muse.

    • twinkle-twinkle says:

      Exactly – Pop!

      Unfortunately Scary Monsters landed on the end/start of a decade. It’s easy lazy journalism to dismiss the stuff that came after.

      Too many saddo’s waiting 40yrs for Hunky Dory II or Ziggy II . Why don’t they just take the two or three albums they like and piss off. That’s what I do with other artists who accidentally make one or two records I like.

      Look at Bowie’s individual albums rather like one moment in a very long gig. You get a moody or uptempo start, something to jump about to, a ballad, a couple of tracks you’re not keen on, some hits, and maybe a cover version. More than most artists I think you have to look at his oeuvre as a whole.

  26. Alfred says:

    Hmm. There wasn’t much on US radio that sounded like “Modern Love” in summer ’83. I’m not much of a lyric guy unless they’re particularly inspired or terrible but “Modern Love” has a good set.

    • twinkle-twinkle says:

      Re your comment about Bowie’s mid-80’s music not being decent chart fodder.

      For one, he released very little. A couple of singles off ‘Tonight’ and ‘NLMD’, something off ‘Labyrinth’ and the wonderful ‘This Is Not America’.

      Bowie was never really a singles artist and even his greatest hits from the 70’s failed to reach the chart heights one might imagine. ‘The Sweet’ Blockbuster got to number one over ‘The Jean Genie’, the song it ripped off.

  27. PH says:

    I’m not overly generous in my praise of Ricochet. It’s a song that kind of goes nowhere.That stumbling beat that is repeated ad nauseum throughout doesn’t really sustain it, and the faux-Welsh phrasing of the vocal really detracts from the song as well.
    I just meant that of all the songs on the album this was the only one with a bit of poetry and mystery in the lyric that we long-time Bowie fans had come to expect.

    • Diamond Duke says:

      I actually think Ricochet is a pretty cool track, and it’s one of my favorites from Let’s Dance. But frankly, I’ve always been perplexed by that beat as well! I’ve always heard it in my head as:

      1-2-3-4-1-2-March of flowers-2-March of dimes-2-These are the prisons-2-These are the crimes-2

      But I have a sneaking suspicion it could be:

      1-2-3-4-1-March of flowers-1-March of dimes

      I know I’ve already mentioned this in my post for the main song entry for Ricochet, but nobody seems to have answered it… 😦

  28. PH says:

    Footnote: It also happened to a degree to Talking Heads as well. Little Creatures and True Stories were good pop albums that broke them into the mainstream. But they weren’t a patch on that run of albums up to and including Remain In Light.

  29. jonas says:

    the best coca cola pepsi song he ever did

  30. I have never heard a satisfactory explanation regarding the banning of “Too Dizzy”- “Bowie doesn’t like the song” makes very little sense to me. It’s hardly the worst song of his career or even of this album. It’s lightweight pop but it’s bouncy and not bad as background music when you’re doing the dusting. The explanation that seems closest to being potentially truthful is that someone might have pointed out that a lighthearted lyric about killing your girlfriend for looking at other men was not PC in the eighties (not that that stopped the burgeoning rap scene), and is especially jarring from someone who only a few years earlier had written a song about spousal abuse.
    Personally, I have this added back on my private copy of NLMD- it breaks up some of the heavy handed “statements.”

  31. Rufus Oculus says:

    Lou Reed followed his biggest hit of his career, Sally Can’t Dance, (his Tonight as he just phoned it in like DB) with the unlistenable Metal Machine Music. Perhaps we should treat NLMD the same and refuse to listen to the bloody thing. Reed always said anyone who got to side four of MMM was a moron so perhaps we should take the hint with NLMD. At least MMM has a good cover. When I saw NLMD’s awful cover I could not bring myself to buy it and only listened to it once from a lending library. Bowie has written it out of history with a Stalinist sweep and we should do the same. It never existed.

    • humanizingthevacuum says:

      Sally Can’t Dance is a much more fun listen than Tonight.

    • twinkle-twinkle says:

      ‘Refuse to listen to the bloody thing’?

      Who is forcing you? There seems to be a lot of people who have db round their place, tying them to a chair and putting his least favourite music on repeat.

      But, hey – some people would pay good money for that, lol. Although db probably gets someone to do that for him, being so horribly rich and clean living an’ all, the bastard.

      And why-oh-why does he go into the studio and ‘purposely’ make ‘bad’ albums that diminish his reputation and piss so-called fans off? Is it because bad albums sell more, I mean, everyone loves a bad album don’t they?

      Is anyone on this blog creative? Do you write or paint or make music professionally? (And would we know of you?). Because I find it confusing that people keep asking the same stupid question about ‘how come he wrote a weak song or album.’ Sometimes it happens, dick-sweats.

      • col1234 says:

        You really need to cool it down, stop strawmanning, and stop the name-calling. Otherwise you’re banned.

  32. twinkle-twinkle says:

    I apologise for my impassioned intemperate comments on this page. I cannot blame any intoxicants either, only Bowie.

    There is so much interesting comment on this blog, but I really do feel the good stuff gets lost amid hackneyed negative cliches and rather offensive comments made against Bowie the man. Comments which seem as unnecessary as mine.

    I hate the unthinking ‘Bowie is God’ nonsense as much as the lazy, nothing good after ‘Scary Monsters’ stuff.

    I over-dozed over a short period on some of these comments and let my feelings get the better of me. For that I am truly sorry and I apologise again.

    • col1234 says:

      Thanks. it’s okay and trust me, it’s only because I know first-hand what it’s like to get pissed off and write too many heated comments that I’m vigilant about trying to prevent others from doing so! so much of the internet is people yelling at each other—I try to diminish that here.

  33. There is an interview from last month with Erdal, where he insinuates that Bowie removed the song in some way to punish him. It’s unclear, really, but maybe interesting for those who think about these things… or read-up on the legacy of “Too Dizzy.”

  34. Brian says:

    Had to find this on youtube since my CD doesn’t have it on it. Wasn’t worth the effort of tracking it down, even if it was just three seconds on Google.

    With this, the album’s finally over. NLMD was bad as everyone says it was. In a funny case of synchronicity, the KFC I ate for dinner before has made me want to throw up as badly as this album. What the KFC has going in it’s favor that NLMD doesn’t is that I can actually expel it from my body.

  35. humanizingthevacuum says:

    Still not the worst song on the album, not when “New York’s in Love” and “Shining Star” are still available.

    • Mr Tagomi says:

      For me it is the worst. Those other two give it a run for its money, but I can sort of half-imagine them being done in a better way, whereas Too Dizzy is 100% irredeemable.

  36. col1234 says:

    you go away for a late breakfast and come back to find 4 new comments on “Too Dizzy”

  37. Sounds like it could have been the opening theme to Full House, and I mean that in the most scornful way possible.

  38. Tyrell says:

    It is a actually a very cleverly written song. The bass keeps going up the scale. It begins in the intro wit A then goes up to E (via B-C#-D) and and then begins the verse with F# (in another key). The bass does not stop there, goes up to C# (via G#-A#-C). The bridge which is the extended verson of the intro, after E it is keep going up: F-F#-G#-A. So the key chages are not forced they are just following the move of the bass.
    And then there is the chorus which is actually the same as the end of the chorus of Shades only a half note higher in F#. (And which was taken from the end of Roxy Music’s End Of The Line).
    There are far worse songs on this album.

  39. stowethelion says:

    He just wanted to give a reminder that he was a real human too. Always find it kinda inspiring actually that the same guy made incredible art, also made a real poop.

%d bloggers like this: