The Dreamers

99paris

The Dreamers.
The Dreamers (instrumental).

Of all the closing tracks of all the Bowie albums, “The Dreamers” is the most cynical: it’s a finale as if scripted by a committee of fans. So you have Bowie in his imperious croon for essentially the entire track, dropping references to old obscurities (“Shadow Man“) and old classics (“Sweet Thing,” in the “these are the days, booooys” line) in a lyric—a sky is both “flame-filled” and “vermillion”—that comes off as a gross approximation of his old apocalyptica.

It’s an attempt to twine the two strands of ‘Hours’—video-game dark theatrics and middle-aged life laments. So “The Dreamers” is the name of Bowie’s band of musical insurrectionists in Omikron: The Nomad Soul and could be the title of some photo retrospective of the lost counterculture (although the Bertolucci movie of the same title came out after it). The song refines each strain until achieving a shining mass of dullness. Scott Walker’s in there as well, of course: the way Bowie sings “as the darken falls” is straight Climate of Hunter-era Scott. But this is the thinnest of the Bowie/Walker connections, with Walker here a parody figure, a man embodying his worst affectations (was the whole song a spoof on Walker? Bowie trying, and failing, to exorcise an old ghost?)

If you were to mount a defense of “The Dreamers,” you could offer the song’s acerbic harmonic structure, fashioned almost entirely from flat and sharp chords, and its few subtle musical cues, like the nod to T. Rex’s “Jeepster” in the bridges (and its not-so-subtle ones, like the keyboard/guitar line filched from Genesis’ “Follow You Follow Me.”) And despite generally singing as a carbon of himself, Bowie still manages some striking moments—the final runs of “dreamers” have some blood in them. I tried, but I can’t see this as anything other than a sad failure. It’s the sort of music that one would expect from an art rock singer post-fifty: a piece that relies on its audience’s sunnier memories and indulgences to make up for that fact that, to quote James Brown, Bowie’s talking loud and saying nothing.

Recorded ca. April-May 1999, Seaview Studio, Bermuda; overdubs at Chung King Studio and/or Looking Glass Studio, NYC. There was a slightly different and slightly longer (just an extended outro) mix used on the Omikron game and later included on the 2004 ‘Hours‘ reissue.

Top: Igor Mukhin, “Paris, 1999.”

74 Responses to The Dreamers

  1. James says:

    One of the weakest tracks he ever put out with the Next day extra tracks.

  2. Sinj says:

    interested to see if the opinions pick up when we hit Heathen. Agree on this, a bit of nothing, but generally the attitude to Hours… has been more sniffy than i think it deserves as an overall piece.

    As an album it adds up to more than the sum of its (limited) parts.

    Never liked the haircut though.

  3. stuartgardner says:

    Maintaining objectivity and resisting the impulse to come to the conclusion one wishes to find is brutally difficult in academic criticism, as it is in all areas of life. Very few reach the bar, and even fewer reach it when dealing with the artist they most admire.
    Robin Wood was one of those few, and you are another. Bowie would, and I am certain that he will or already does, appreciate this fact.

  4. Palacio Rojo says:

    Absolute Beginners is also very long. It clocks up to 8 minutes and it’s a “game changer”. Why almost everybody forget that song? I usually do too. Maybe it is because remind us of the 80’s Bowie.

  5. s.t. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this one. It’s got a Frankenstein’s monster quality to it: a patchwork creation that’s unnatural and repulsive, yet with a touch of redeeming humanity.

    I agree that the song starts off in uninspired Walker mode (“Black eyed ravens they spiral down”), and then there’s that godawful shift to a jerky rock groove with “Shadowman” (or shallow man?), perhaps another attempt at Numanesque new wave edginess like New Angels of Promise. That part is so jarring, it almost ruins the song.

    Yet perversely, once it finally dies out (at the 3:00 mark) the rest of the song sounds downright beautiful in comparison. The melody in this coda does recall Follow You Follow me, but it also sounds like a cousin to his own Dead Against It. Whatever its sources, it’s the only moment of pure joy that I get from the Hours album, perhaps enhanced by the messy minutes that preceded it, but very welcome nonetheless.

    I always regarded this as an unfinished demo to a much better song, and hoped that an improved version of it would surface. In a sense, though, he did something like that in 2002, with Sunday and Heathen (The Rays).

    • col1234 says:

      DB’s singing “shallow man” but it’s got to be a callback to the earlier song (which he’d soon re-cut for Toy)

  6. crayontocrayon says:

    I’m sure its not how it is intended but I seem to read this song as a kind of tribute to Freddie Mercury. The track starts with the soft tinkling which is of course the cliche sound of dreaming but also matches the intro to ‘heaven for everyone’. to me it sounds like it could even be the same sample slowed down slightly(but likely isn’t)

    Rather than sweet thing I see the ‘these are the days boys’ line as a reference to ‘These are the days of our lives’.

    Then lyrics like ‘And he’s always in decline, No one hears anymore,
    So he shrinks as they ride’ feel like the fading powers of someone who’s time is coming to an unfortunate end.

    The non video-game version of ‘the dreamers’ band is Freddie and the dreamers, a faddish but much loved pop band of the british invasion.(yes I know I’m over-thinking)…

    I actually like the song, Bowie is in fine voice when it isnt being distorted and he has many other songs far more guilty of being ‘by the numbers’. It may be cynical but as an album closer it does its job. As with most of hours the production has a cheapness to it, my main gripe is that as the last track on hours it is Gabrel’s last stand and having been generously given 20 seconds to close the track with a solo his last squeals are buried in the mix. Perhaps that was the true cynicism is this song.

  7. s.t. says:

    For what it’s worth, I saw this the other day, and found it to be mildly interesting:

  8. david says:

    Given that Bowie thought the song strong and important enough, to possibly name the album after-(curtailed by Reeves when he noted “as in Freddy and…”), I wonder if you are missing the point of this song? I sense perhaps, that in its reference to past, and indeed the approximation of Bowie’s classic “histrionics”, its a retroactive lament, an epigram on a character that was inherently acclaimed in the 70’s, but can only ever be reproached in contemporary critiques such as this one, as a caricature. There has been a habitual feeling since that decade for the listener to approach each subsequent release with the yardstick and desire that Bowie’s music inhabit the same resonance that it did in during that era. Of course it never can, Bowie is aware of this, so his younger persona is a cypher lost, someone he can no longer ever be in any capacity. The searcher reduced to being ‘just’, the last of the dreamers. The ‘so it goes’ refrain could be him drolly accepting his lot.
    I also think it has a killer intro, which is possibly as close as he has come to producing something that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie. But this is all ‘just’ my opinion.

    • col1234 says:

      this is well said. I was hoping for a good argument in its favor

      • Maj says:

        Better than I could muster.

        I’m not an analytical type, so it’s great to see this song somewhat analysed by someone who doesn’t hate it.πŸ˜‰

        So that’s 4 now. Starting to feel less lonely than when I initially read Chris’s post……

    • s.t. says:

      A very reasonable interpretation of the lyrics. I was thinking of them as a somewhat sardonic comment on gamers as sad, shallow dreamers, but the personal lament is more convincing.

      Also, Maj, if you count me, you get 4.5! πŸ˜‰

      • Maj says:

        Okay then, s.t., a hearty half-welcome to The Dreamers fan club then.πŸ˜‰

      • Mr Tagomi says:

        In as much as I ever really gave any thought to what the song might be about, I rather lazily thought it had something to do with the game.

        For me the words have worked impressionistically, suggesting some sort of Omikron-like dreamscape.

        But I can see now, having read the post and comments, that the words are rather more coherent than that.

        It’s not hard to imagine “no one heals anymore” being “no one hears anymore” in some early version of the song, which would bolster the personal lament interpretation of the lyrics.

      • david says:

        Each to his own I say, but if my opinion-for what little its worth- merits a reassessment then all the better. One of the core joy’s of being a Bowie fan, is that his work is always open to a multitude of interpretation, and and even something that might be considered ‘throwaway’, can be contextualized within his own personal dialogue and the framework and time it presents itself in. Ultimately, if at times the end result may be left wanting-I never take his intelligence of forethought for granted.

      • danglewood says:

        You can make it a 5.5. Songs like this, I really love songs like this, New Angels of Promise, and Look Back in Anger. I think David’s analysis is pretty fair, and I think most of Bowie’s songs have a meta component, but I tend to enjoy them more when I take them at face value (as much as one can).

    • Ididtheziggy says:

      Count me in the agreeing with you about this one. It’s not perfect and I think Chris may have been a little hard on it, but you defended it better than I could. Thanks.

  9. Mr Tagomi says:

    I have to go against the general grain on this one. I really love this song. I love the jarring transitions and the jerkiness, and also the imagery and his vocals. Like New Angels of Promise, I find it a satisfying, multi-faceted listen.

    • Maj says:

      oh hey. there’s 3 of us now. the last 3 of the dreamers. heh. the rest are too awake, it seems…πŸ˜‰

      • Sykirobme says:

        I, too, enjoy this tune quite a bit. I think ‘hours…’ is a very underrated album on the whole, and I’ve found myself listening to it quite a bit over the years. It’s not DB’s strongest or most innovative work (some tracks do feel, as others have pointed out, unfinished), but it’s certainly not horrible, and has a couple absolute gems imo.

        I do wonder if the antiseptic production has colored folks’ first impressions of the album.

  10. Maj says:

    Right. Y’all need your hearing re-adjusted (except for crayontocrayon). I just got tested and my hearing’s fine, so it’s all on you.πŸ˜‰

    Another of my favourites on the album. Mind you, I pay little attention to what he’s actually singing (about) but hey, it’s got those loooong noootes in the chorus and the chord changes and that’s all that really matters to me. It works for me on a visceral level, this one.

    This song would be abt 50% better if Visconti produced it – that for me is the track’s one flaw, the production just doesn’t compliment the song in the least. Had it appeared on any of the following three albums it would have probably made my Bowie top 30 (I don’t actually have one FYI).

    • Ididtheziggy says:

      I feel like I’m repeating myself, but we have almost twenty years worth of albums (excluding a few that do just fine in their own) that would be 50% better with Visconti. Guess I’m almost out of time to beat this drum (and I love the beat of this drum). And hey, you could argue that the next few albums are 50% better. #TeamTony

      • CosmicJive says:

        I can’t agree with this. I thought moving back to Visconti was a bad move, making his musical production too vintage Bowie and predictable.
        Having said that I do think Hours would have benefitted from a proper producer instead of Bowie/Reeves doing it all themselves..

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        You could be right about the producer situation.

        My other thought was, rather as with ‘Lodger’, where Eno and db were pulling in two separate directions and each possibly tiring of the other, perhaps Reeves and db wanting different things from the music resulted in an album which was less than it might have been.

      • s.t. says:

        You know, I agree with both sentiments. Tony’s clearly talented as a producer and session player, with a long and prosperous collaborative history with Bowie, and so I’m really happy that he’s back on the team. Still, as great as the recent Visconti albums are, they all could use a little extra…something…in terms of arrangement and production. Some of the je ne sais quois of yesteryears.

        I can’t say for sure, but it seems that Tony doesn’t push or guide Bowie as much as he did for their earlier albums. It’s like the two know each other so well now that they’ve become rather comfortable together, and not as critical. Why not invite a more up-and-coming guest producer to come in and share ideas with the team? Tony could still be a creative and encouraging force, but mixing things up with new blood would very likely make the finished products even stronger.

        I admit that this is nitpicking, of course; I love most of the recent material. I guess it’s just my way of saying that some of it is damn close to ranking near the classic stuff, and this is one element that could take it even closer to that legendary glory.

  11. Ramzi says:

    here’s a question: why does the song have close to a million views on youtube? It has over 930,000 views, which I find bizarre.

    For what it’s worth I like this song. The vocals are very strong indeed (particularly at the end) and, as David above me points out, the intro is great.

  12. twinkle-twinkle says:

    ‘Cynical…gross approximation… Shining mass of dullness…’ Just when I thought you’d gone soft, col, lol.

    Praise is nice, but we all know we learn more from constructive criticism, although I’m not sure any artist really appreciates cold, unadorned criticism, especially when delivered in colourful terms – and even more especially if true. Not that I’m saying it is in this case.

    I remember the fury of Nick Cave when BBC R1 DJ Zane Lowe casually – and with unquestioning assurance – suggested, face to face, that the first Grinderman album was less carefully crafted than the Bad Seeds work.

    I agree with many things said about this track, yet still enjoy it. I like it more now; I see the ‘black-eyed raven’ image as less cliche, more operatic, a la Wagner. I’d guess Bowie knows a cliche when he sees it, so I’m assuming this is an allusion to something else, not just an attempt at a poetic image. Imagine this song played by an orchestra – those stabbing guitar riffs would sound less faux-rawk. The sudden musical turns would flow differently with sweeping strings and horns. This song does seem to be trying to sum up the album’s moods as a whole, rather as an overture encapsulates what is to come.

    Wasn’t this going to be the title track to the album before Reeves asked, (sarcastically?), ‘Like Freddie & the Dreamers?’ I think the ‘uncooked’ quality of some of this album is due to Bowie trying for the kind of economy of expression he successfully achieved on ‘The Next Day’. To my mind, these two albums share many qualities.

    I think the ending is very appropriate to the song. The early jerky changes, the dark emotions, settle into what might have seemed mere romanticism. The abrupt ending suggests a more realistic truth.

    It was interesting hearing Rick Wakeman talk recently of the most important thing he learned from Bowie. ‘Make the music YOU want to make, don’t be distracted by others’.

    One might add, not the music other musicians want to make at YOUR financial expense. David Byrne said Eno wasn’t invited to produce, ‘Speaking in Tongues’, because there was a growing feeling that Eno was using them – The Heads – for his ideas’.

    Reeves said that the mistake he made was, ‘Forgetting he was Bowie’s guitarist and treating db as though he was his – Reeves – singer.’

    Peter Frampton/Glass Spider aside, from my recollection of critics’ comments in the 90’s, Reeves was Bowie’s most detested lead guitarist, perhaps because of his perceived self-indulgent tendency for musically going off-piste at every opportunity.

    Despite that, when promoting ‘hours…’ Bowie seemed genuinely sad that Reeves wasn’t with him and voiced the hope he would be with him on a future tour proper.

    • s.t. says:

      I can definitely see the operatic angle, and really wish he had opted for sweeping strings rather than guitar stabs (there are hints of that in the original Omikron version). Though even in orchestral drag, it could easily tread into Walker territory–think Farmer in the City.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        Yes, I can see what you mean, s.t.

        I imagine some of our gripes come down to Bowie keeping all the tracks sounding like they belong on the same album. I find ‘Pretty Things…’ rather ‘squished’ – is that a proper musical term? Lol. If it was as wild as I feel it should/could be, it would jar with the other tracks.

        But perhaps what we hear as ‘not quite right’, is the music doing what Bowie envisioned. At the time of release, I saw ‘hours…’ as tails to ‘Hunky Dory’s’ heads. Maybe those moments of uncomfortable awkwardness and dissatisfaction musically, is us being made to feel what the narrator is feeling?

        The album has many pleasures for me, but it’s lyrical content is not overly sweetened musically, which may account for many people finding it an unrelenting difficult listen.

        Bowie seemed genuinely keen to play the songs live. I think col commented that none of these songs made it on to the Reality Tour set list, but many classic Bowie songs also met the same fate, while most of the ‘Reality’ tracks were included. I don’t think we can read much into that.

      • fluxkit says:

        I feel the same way as what twinkle-twinkle says here about ‘hours…’, having been re-listening to the album regularly now, once again. It does feel difficult and uncomfortable and often doesn’t go where I wish it would, but that all seems in step with the themes he’s portraying in the album. I find it to work more now than I’d considered before. When the album came out, though, I was 19 years old. I listened to it a lot around my dad’s funeral when I was 21, but I hadn’t listened to it since then in full. Not until about 2 months ago. Linking it to Hunky Dory is interesting to me because that connection hadn’t occurred to me, but that might help me in listening to Hunky Dory again, as an album, which I’ve honestly never done attentively.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        It’s interesting that for you this album has a bereavement linked to it – it does for me too, although I was twice your age, so perhaps closer to the albums presumed audience. I loved the first half and struggled with the second, so I understand people’s difficulty with it and accept it’s a peculiar stand alone album in the Bowie canon.

        At the time of release my partner and I moved into our new home with much optimism for the future, while my younger brother, after many difficult years, became extremely ill. He passed away on the seventh day of the new millennium, which made the lyrical resonances all the more poignant; the ‘ragged teddy-bear’ is for me both a strong comic memory from our childhood and a reminder of the ravages illness can inflict. Many of the lyrics strike home, ‘Seven’ especially. For me, ‘hours…’ is rather like an album version of, ‘After All’, although I see links to the blurring of real life and cinema we find in, ‘Life on Mars’, (the song, not the TV series).

        When I mentioned ‘Hunky Dory’, I was thinking of Bowie’s professed optimism at that time, when he felt he knew what he had to do and knuckled down and got on with it. ‘hours…’ is the flip side – dreams gone wrong. Or dreams gone right, but at a cost.

        In the first half of the album Bowie seems to be going over the pain of losing his first great love Hermione, acknowledging that the pain may have been the making of him. If they had stayed together he may never have become ‘Bowie’ as we know him. The experimentation and extreme hedonism he plunges himself into after loosing her took him to some dark places, perhaps with some regrets. That seems to be the mood of the second half of the album. It certainly seems very personal, as though he made it for himself.

        I keep thinking of Bowie saying his singing on, ‘Thurs Child’, was purposely restrained, like an ‘everyman’, not sung like someone who can really sing. Later, when singing, ‘Dreaming my life… dreaming my life…’ it does seem like someone absentmindedly singing to themselves, walking alone in a street, or in the cinema, after the film has ended and audience have gone, (Echoes of ‘Life on Mars?). If this album were a film it would be lo-tech, DIY, handheld camera’s, and in black and white.

        Despite the high quality of the musicians on the album, Bowie seems to be aiming for the same feeling musically as his ‘everyman’ vocals. It’s like a band you might find in any pub; limited means, mixed ability, they are aiming for some kind of grandeur imagined in there heads, but in reality it’s never going to get them to arena gigs. I understand the person who said the live version of, ‘Dreaming My Life’, on ‘Story Tellers’ was disappointing for him. I like the original, but thought the live version would pump it up a bit, give it more life and drama. It doesn’t, it’s the same, by which we may conclude – that is how it is meant to sound.

    • Sky-Possessing Spider says:

      Good to hear from you again twinkle, you little star! Just when I thought the negativity of some posters towards Bowie’s later work had driven you away for good, you come back with the Gettysburg address….

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        What can I say, s.t.? I ran out of medication and it’s the holiday season. The NHS is not what it was, despite what Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony might have you believe.

        Anyway, I thought I was being succinct?!?! You should read the bits I edited out, lol.

        As regards Moz – I think his anti-Bowie comments were too strong and too often over too long a period. Moz should just accept he’s probably burnt that friendship bridge good and proper.

        I’m sure Moz’s comments have got nothing to do with the return of the thin white duke; honestly, me and Dave were like ‘that’… Of course you were Moz… No, really, I can prove it… I’ve got pics and tour programmes and lawyers letters and everything…

        I wasn’t keen on the idea initially, messing with such musical perfection, but then the lyrics started floating back to me and I could imagine a wonderfully camp video – the thought has had me laughing quite a bit.

        Maybe I’ve just got holiday cabin fever?

  13. twinkle-twinkle says:

    P.S. I was doing a bit of poor multi-tasking while writing my comment. It took a while. What a pleasant surprise to find so many defenders of this track when I finally up-scrolled after posting, lol. Interesting the James Bond theme quality suggested by ‘david’ @ 12.33pm.

    My vegetarian lady-friend was not impressed when the takeaway delivered 2 ‘meaty plates of death’, and even less amused when this blog was my main excuse for my mistake when ordering – d’oh! Happy New Year folks!

  14. michael says:

    I’m really fond of The Dreamers too, for the long melody lines as much as anything, despite (or because of) their parodic elements. A few observations: I agree there’s a link to Heathen (The Rays) which might be a better song in some ways but I listen to The Dreamers more, especially the Omikron version with the clearer vocal. The repeated ‘So it goes’ echoes Vonnegut and emphasises the theme of contrasting and diminishing selves across time (Thursday’s Child video). And we have one of the Searchers as well as Freddie and the Dreamers. Next stop – full scale return to the 60s. The clues were there…

  15. Mike F says:

    This one isn’t bad especially in the context of Hours. Clunky but with flashes of the old Bowie here and there. It almost takes flight at 3:25.

  16. gcreptile says:

    This song has lost some of its stature for me since 1999. I liked it back then, I thought it was somewhat epic. However, much like, “If I’m dreaming my life” it is not the epic it wants to be. Well, I think that Bowie wanted this song to be an epic, or at least something approaching art like “This is not America”. But the rhythm changes end up hurting the song.
    Well, at least Bowie taught me the words “vermillion” and “cerulean” (from Heart’s Filthy Lesson).

  17. twinkle-twinkle says:

    The Nightmares?

    All the nightmares came today, lol. Not quite sure where to post this revelation.

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/showbiz-news/former-smiths-frontman-morrissey-midway-6465407

    • s.t. says:

      Hmmm…interesting. My guess is that the result would have been something like Moz & Siouxsie Sioux’s cover of “Interlude:” not earth-shaking, but cute.

      It does sound like Moz has simmered down a bit with regard to Bowie: ” I loved this idea, but David wouldn’t budge. I know I’ve criticized David in the past, but it’s all been snotnosed junior high ribbing on my part. I think he knows that.”

      The question is, does David actually agree?

    • Mr Tagomi says:

      That’s got to be a joke on Morrissey’s part.

      • twinkle-twinkle says:

        A tentative olive-branch in joke form?

      • Mr Tagomi says:

        He mentioned DB quite a lot in his book anyway.

        His references to when they were friends/quasi-friends seem to be affectionate in tone. Although with the book I find that his meaning is sometimes not quite clear.

  18. feeldothink says:

    This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper
    http://aduni.org/~heather/occs/honors/Poem.htm

  19. Brendan O'Lear says:

    One of the most thought-provoking posts of last year came from Momus, when he argued that one of most interesting aspects of Bowie’s work is how someone capable of genuine greatness can also be so bad at times. I think this song contradicts that argument: when he’s good he’s really good, but when he’s bad he’s just annoyingly mediocre.
    There’s no shame in being closer to “Follow You Follow Me” than “Jeepster” – pretty much the pinnacle for pop music, if you ask me. But the shame is on Bowie’s side, as here he seems to aspiring to the Genesis model.
    On second thoughts, maybe Momus was right.

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      Okay, it took me a while to warm up to this one but, Maj, you can count me in the like columnπŸ™‚ although… I do consider it among the weakest of hours tracks.
      I adore the driving eerie intro but (and this is hard for me to admit) Bowie’s vocal stylings nearly destroy the mood. The electronically twisted voice really irritates me. I get it, he wanted to add another level of isolation for the listener but it doesn’t work here. it just alienates. (I believe #TeamTony would have vetoed it. lol)
      That being said, I find the lyrical content beautifully intriguing. I think we’ve got a double whammy here: a commentary on dying spirituality in the post modern world and the return of the mentally ill “poor soul” of A Small Plot of Land as the Shallow Man who is “speaking to shadows with trembling hands”. Does this lack of spiritual depth make him crazy or does his illness provide him with a special connection to the remaining spiritual world? What does it take to be a dreamer in this increasingly electronically connected world, does it take insanity and isolation?
      The last of The Dreamers… powerful stuff.

  20. humanizingthevacuum says:

    By the time we reached the new year I expected to like hours a little…

  21. Giaches de Wert says:

    Everything begins and ends with Gesualdo da Venosa !
    Does our Dave knows about it????

    • twinkle-twinkle says:

      Fascinating, strangely beautiful… and hugely pertinent, I think. I’m sure db has beaten us all to many things. Lots to stroke ones chin to here, thank you, GdW.

  22. Snow-free-Klossowski says:

    Everything begins and ends with Robert Wyatt !
    Does our Dave (Bowie not Mc Rae) knows about it???

  23. timspeaker says:

    Just listened to your radio interview – congrats Chris!

    Bravo.

  24. Sky-Possessing Spider says:

    Completely off topic, but can anybody please explain to me, in “The Man Who Fell To Earth”, who the mysterious figure watching Newton is as he first stumbles down the mountainside after landing on earth? When Newton is being interrogated by the Govt. agency and states that he came alone, nobody saw him, there’s a flashback to the stranger in the suit.
    It’s the only one of the films mysteries that remains unexplained to me, and it’s always bugged me. I don’t know if it was ever cleared up in a Director’s cut or anything, but I would appreciate it if anybody could clear this up. And please, in advance, no sarcastic responses or jokes please.
    Cheers,
    Spider

    • Roman says:

      You see the men in black watching Bowie on the day of his arrival. Later, Newton explains that his race have been visiting earth for a long time. He explains this when a TV ad is on showing a Newton doppelganger selling a camera. Therefore Newton seems to be implying that when other Aliens visit, they only have one costume to wear – that of a red-haired eccentric loner! It also implies that he, as head of the multinational, employs some of his home-boys while they are on earth.

      Therefore, with regards the man in black watching Bowie arrive, it also seems to be the case that the American government are aware of these Visitors – but don’t care – UNTIL one of them (Newton) starts messing with their economies by using their advanced technology to invent cool new gadgets and tap into space exploration.

      • col1234 says:

        I think that’s right. I had wondered earlier if it was from a plotline that Roeg had cut out in editing, but there seems to be no evidence of that from the various interviews i’ve read w/him.

      • Sky-Possessing Spider says:

        Interesting take. I always assumed that Newton was being glib with Bryce when he asks him why the guy in the WE commercial looks like him. Thanks Roman.

  25. Bruised Passivity says:

    Enjoyed hearing your spoken voice today Chris, hopefully we’ll be treated to more interviews with you over the next year or so.πŸ™‚

    • stuartgardner says:

      Yes, I enjoyed it very much. And thanks for the link, Chris.
      While I watch this blog carefully, for whatever odd reason I tend to forget or overlook your tumblr, which I believe is why I was late to learn about the show. I must start keeping up. That tumblr of yours is a treasure trove.

  26. I’m fond of this song. Thought it should be mentioned: The relentless repetition of ‘So It Goes’ seems like a heavy reference to Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5, which repeats the catchphrase about mortality etc. – David is definitely a Vonnegut fan.
    You could extend this through the song to refer to Billy Pilgrim or Kilgore Trout.

  27. Giaches de Wert says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISTER DAVID ROBERT JONES!!!

  28. D says:

    If he didn’t do that horrible editing to his voice, this song could have been much better. It’s not necessarily a bad song, but it’s had horrible things done to it.

  29. Ramzi says:

    Is it just me or is there a similarity between the guitar that comes in at around 3:23 and the riff of the stone cold classic Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)?

  30. ragingglory says:

    I actually like this track, so there you go LOL

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