Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #82 - "Neighborhood Threat"

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #82 - "Neighborhood Threat" - TONIGHT - 1984

I can't seem to meet a daily schedule with the not so daily Bowie post. I had a post yesterday but had two days without before that one.

But that's okay. I was hoping to log about a month's worth of Bowie posts in recognition of his birthday and the one year anniversary of his death. And then I would like to make it strictly weekly and actually meet the weekly schedule. We'll see.

Chris O'Leary's remarks in PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME -- which is a great blog --
seem a bit harsh. Granted, Tonight is a pretty terrible album but then Never Let Me Down, which is the next album, is even worse. I am a huge Bowie fan, so I like that work but I can't LOVE it. It's not very good.

But I kind of liked "Neighborhood Threat." I liked Bowie's croon. It's really not so terrible. Not really at all.





From tragedy to farce. Bowie’s version of “Tonight” is dismal, but there was at least a commercial logic to remaking it: Bowie’s cover could have been a hit, in theory. Bowie’s remake of “Neighborhood Threat,” however, is just baffling. Even by Iggy Pop’s standards, the original “Neighborhood Threat” is a bit of ridiculous street posturing—it’s basically a Blue Oyster Cult song with much dumber lyrics and worse playing. It’s salvaged in part by the dagger-thrusts of the verses’ vocal melody, though it goes a bit dull in the choruses, which end with a shrug.

Bowie’s remake likely was an act of charity. Tonight‘s producer Hugh Padham recalled that during the album sessions Bowie would reminisce about how he had “rescued” Iggy, and the excess of Pop co-compositions on Tonight (five in all) suggest that Bowie was all but sending money to Pop via Western Union. Tonight, dire as it was, was a platinum #1 record, and Paul Trynka estimated it made $100,000 or more in royalties right off the bat, a good chunk of which would be owed to Pop.

Still, Bowie could’ve covered something more appropriate than “Neighborhood Threat,” which he inflated into a wretched spectacle. Gated drums pushed so high in the mix they sound like cannon fire, backing singers who seem to have been recruited from Les Miserables auditions, cliched guitar work by the beleaguered Carlos Alomar, a synthesizer arrangement (likely by Arif Martin) that Laura Branigan would have considered too over the top. Bowie seems torn between singing it straight (and failing) and camping it up (and failing). Arguably one of the worst recordings that he made in his life.

Recorded 4-20 June 1977, Hansa, Berlin; on Lust For Life. Bowie’s remake was recorded ca. May-June 1984, Le Studio, Morin Heights, Canada


Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1701.29 - 10:43

NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).
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