All Saints

March 11, 2011

All Saints.

The lesser of the two official Low outtakes, “All Saints” may not be from the Low sessions at all. There’s no reference to it being cut at Château d’Hérouville or Hansa in 1976, and it easily could be from the “Heroes” sessions in summer 1977. Or even later: some of it may have been recorded around the time of its release in 1991. The title is anachronistic enough, as it’s a tribute to Brian Eno’s record label, founded in ’91.

My guess is that “All Saints” is a few fragments from either/both the Low and “Heroes” sessions that were processed, diced up and smeared together by Eno and/or Bowie some time later. “All Saints” is initially striking and mixed well, the piece centered on a pulserate of a synth line while washes of sound come and go: a distorted guitar riff here, a secondary bassline there (the few suggestions of melody are in the basslines). It’s ominous enough but ultimately static and a bit dull. If “Some Are” is essential, this is a dubious footnote.

Recorded ca. 1976-1977, recorded and mixed in 1991 in Montreux. First released on the Ryko Low reissue, 1991, and later on the Bowie instrumental compilation of the same name.

Top: Tanner, Jonah Who Will Be 25 In the Year 2000, 1976.