Right now I am on Spotify, listening to Nothing Has Changed, the new David Bowie ‘Best Of’ album.
I shan’t be buying it for several reasons. Firstly, I don’t buy CDs any more at all, but even if I did I already have a 2 CD David Bowie hits collection and used to have quite a few of his original albums on vinyl. I have a few thoughts about this latest collection though:
It is available as a 2 CD album or a 2 CD ‘deluxe’ edition. Both are quite good value, with the double being about £9 and the triple about £13 so the price is comparable to last year’s Rolling Stones best of set. I don’t know if this is just Dave being not greedy, or the record company being realistic and realising that most people who are interested will have at least half the tracks already and so won’t pay top dollar for a new set.
The interesting thing is that the ‘normal’ version has the tracks in conventional chronological order but the ‘deluxe’ one has its tracks in reverse chronological order. (Presumably. It looks that way but I can’t be anorakky enough to know for sure or look it all up). I don’t think I have seen it done that way before.
With a lot of acts who have a long career it is the earlier stuff that is best known and usually the biggest hits – not the earliest stuff but maybe the 2nd album onwards – so you play a greatest hits, hear all your favourites and then start to lose interest with the newer tracks that may even be the only ones you don’t already have. On here you listen first to the tracks that you would never have chosen to listen to first and find that actually, quite a lot of it isn’t at all bad.
If I had several hours to name Bowie tracks on Pointless I would not have ended up naming I’m Afraid of Americans or Little Wonder but both really grabbed my attention when they came along here, as did Hello Spaceboy. I found myself wondering if I should have paid more attention to Bowie’s post-Let’s Dance albums. Having said that, I did nearly give up with the first track which is a ghastly jazz thing.
The triple album version includes a lot more tracks, so a few that were less well-known, including a few pre-Space Oddity tracks by Davy Jones, but both include all the singles you would expect, even the Jagger collaboration Dancing In The Street.
The only significant thing that is missing is anything from the Baal EP, which admittedly is very much an acquired taste, but even without that this is an impressive collection of songs and styles. If I was still a consumer and had room for any more CDs I would be treating myself to this for xmas and would go for the 3-disc set.