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30-Years On: David Bowie's Lodger Comes In From The Cold
Ben Graham , November 4th, 2009 11:35

Often seen as the poor third in the Berlin Trilogy, Ben Graham argues that it only shines when examined in isolation

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So, what do you think of Lodger, then? Chances are, if you think of it at all, you think of it as the weakest link in Bowie’s so-called ‘Berlin Trilogy’; the third part, after Low and “Heroes”, that isn’t quite so memorable or influential or icy cool; the one that, if you really think about it — which you tend not to — doesn’t actually fit in with its two illustrious forebears at all.

Thirty years on, still no-one is quite sure where to place Lodger. In a way, that’s appropriate: as the title suggests, it’s a record that doesn’t quite belong anywhere. In fact, the only way to really appreciate Lodger is to remove it from the trilogy which, arguably, doesn’t even exist in the first place. The whole ‘Berlin Triptych’ idea was in many ways a deliberately pretentious marketing gimmick that Bowie cooked up after the fact, probably because he had no other notion of how to sell such an offbeat and disjointed collection of songs as Lodger to the public. It’s all part of the bigger picture, he assured them, and you need this one to complete the set; but it was a set he almost certainly didn’t have in mind when he began recording Low back in September 1976 — not in Berlin, but at the Chateau D’ Herouville just outside Paris, where he’d also been working with Iggy Pop on The Idiot throughout the previous summer.

1977’s “Heroes” and Lust for Life were recorded back-to-back in Berlin’s Hansa Studios, it’s true, but Bowie bade Berlin Auf Weidersehn after sleepwalking through his part in David Hemmings’ Weimar decadence-by-numbers flick Just A Gigolo at the beginning of 1978. He spent the rest of that year touring the world, and drew a line under this period of his career with the patchy double live album Stage, released in September 1979. When he finally went home it wasn’t to Germany, but to Switzerland, where he’d been officially resident for tax reasons since 1976. And it was here that he recorded Lodger, during breaks from touring and afterwards in the early part of 1979. To further distance it from its two predecessors in this supposed trilogy, when Lodger was finally released that May it was after the longest gap between Bowie studio albums since Space Oddity.

But, of course, there is one other factor that these three albums have in common, and that’s Brian Eno. Producer Tony Visconti called Eno Bowie’s Zen Master: constantly popping up in the studio with suggestions of how to do things differently for the sake of it, or of how to make life more difficult for the thin white duke in order to arrive at new creative destinations. Accounts suggest, actually, that by the time of Lodger Bowie was wearying of Eno’s deliberately perverse working methods. But ultimately the album represents their fullest collaboration, the record where David most wholeheartedly adopted Brian’s oblique strategies and embraced errors and random events.

Consider this: Bowie had already worked out the concept of Low, written the songs and indeed recorded pretty much all of the first side of the album before Eno even showed up. “Heroes” was deliberately constructed along the same template, albeit with Eno and his EMS synthesiser on board from the start. But Lodger was the first project where the two collaborated to work up an album’s worth of songs from scratch, and as such rates as perhaps the most literally experimental album of Bowie’s career.

Eno is all over Lodger like randomly-hung wallpaper. Guitarist Carlos Alomar (a veteran of the Harlem Apollo’s house band, and Bowie’s no-nonsense musical director since Young Americans), remembered Brian telling the band, in his most proper and reserved middle-class English accent, to lay down a funky groove, and then pointing a stick at a blackboard on which he’d written some of his favourite chords, instructing them to change to the chord indicated after four bars. “I finally had to say, this is bullshit, this sucks,” Alomar recalled. Eno and Bowie even considered recording the entire album around the same chord changes, but in the end only two songs shared this structure: album opener, ‘Fantastic Voyage,’ and the lead-off single, ‘Boys Keep Swinging’.

Eagerly awaited as Bowie’s first new material for two years, ‘Boys’ initially appeared to be a jolly, frivolous glam garage stomp, apparently inspired by the Village People’s recent hit, ‘YMCA’. A similarly camp celebration of the opportunities available to the male gender, the tongue-in-cheek fun initially obscured the subtext, a criticism of sexual inequality. But it took the song’s video to reveal a third, more disturbing layer to the song: a video in which a macho, strutting Bowie intoned the lead, then dragged up to play three rather lethargic female backing singers, including an unsmiling old lady with a cardigan and walking stick, who seemed the ”realest” Bowie of all. The implication was that both male and female gender stereotypes were equally contrived and false; interestingly, after the clip was shown on Top of the Pops, the single plummeted from the charts.

Bowie on the Kenny Everett Video Show

In the climax to the ‘Boys’ video, the three dragged-up Bowies each stalk down a catwalk in slow motion, removing their wigs and smearing their lipstick across their faces with the back of their hands. This was a direct allusion to Roman Polanski’s 1976 movie The Tenant, in which Polanski plays a Polish immigrant who takes on a Paris apartment after the previous occupier has committed suicide. Polanski spends much of the film in drag, tormented by his own neuroses and fears, and eventually jumps out of the window himself. Interestingly, like Lodger, The Tenant was itself supposedly the last, and least acclaimed, part of a trilogy, following up two major critical successes, in Polanski’s case, Repulsion and Rosemary’s Baby.

A surreal psychological thriller dealing with issues of identity, alienation, paranoia, persecution and madness, The Tenant was always going to appeal to Bowie, and Lodger covers many of the same themes. The influence is acknowledged in both the title, and the LP’s bizarre cover. A broken-nosed Bowie, limbs splayed as though he’d recently fallen from a great height and with one hand bandaged (a crucial allusion to the film), was photographed in a grisly Polaroid light and spread across the gatefold sleeve, so that the album cover itself consisted merely of a pair of blurry, black-trousered legs and the title scrawled across a postcard, running vertically along the right-hand side. There was no track listing evident anywhere: the gatefold opened up to reveal an assortment of cryptic photographs, including the corpses of Che Guevara and Jesus Christ, and a couple of wristwatches. David certainly wasn’t going out of his way to sell this one in Woolworths.

Lodger also marked Bowie’s long-delayed political awakening. One important aspect of his time in Berlin was the time spent talking with left-wing street intellectuals, who seem to have finally persuaded him to shake off the fascination with fascist and Nietzchean imagery he’d played with since as far back as ‘The Supermen’ on The Man Who Sold The World. It was a fascination, of course, that would reach its nadir during the cocaine-addled Station to Station era, when Bowie, dressed in severe ‘30s garb and slicked back hair, proclaimed that Britain was ripe for a fascist leader, and that he’d be a great choice because he’d be dictatorial and quite mad — a qualification which shows more self-awareness and humour than he’s been given credit for, but nevertheless when compounded by a supposed Nazi salute from the back of his open-top limo outside Victoria Station, and the general political climate of mid-seventies Britain at the time, you can see why Bowie might want to backtrack.

The album’s opening track, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ explicitly rejects this notion of the one strong leader: the fantastic voyage is life itself, dangerously threatened by the proliferation of nuclear weapons and, specifically, the possibility of the man with his finger on the button being an unstable depressive who may one day decide to end it all, quite literally — not just by doing himself in, but by triggering Armageddon. Bowie draws parallels between the language of Cold War propaganda and the mindset of someone deep in a state of paranoid depression, where other people are dehumanised and everyone is out to get you, and where concepts of dignity and loyalty become more important than the raw fact of living, so losing face and a sense of shame become so overwhelming that suicide seems the only solution. “We’re learning to live with somebody’s depression,” Bowie concludes, adding “I’m still getting educated…”

Elsewhere, Eno’s experimentation is evident on ‘African Night Flight,’ based apparently around the old rock standard ‘Suzie Q,’ not that you’d ever know. A strange, blurred snapshot of a song, it anticipates the likes of ‘Mea Culpa’ on Eno and David Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, released two years later. ‘Move On,’ meanwhile, was written by playing along with a backwards recording of ‘All The Young Dudes,’ then playing that version backwards for Bowie to croon over in his best contemporary Scott Walker fashion, with the banal travelogue lyrics at odds with the strangeness of the musical arrangement.

Eno, of course, had come straight from producing and collaborating on the last two albums by Talking Heads, and the New York band are a huge influence on Lodger. Bowie was a fan anyway: invited, on Lodger’s release, to play two hours of his favourite music on a Radio One Star Special, he chose several Talking Heads numbers. And although the main riff of ‘Yassassin’ recalls Bowie’s own ‘Fame,’ and the snaking Arabic melody is played by former Hawkwind violinist Simon House in very similar style to ‘Hassan-i Sabbah’ from the Hawks’ 1977 set Quark, Strangeness and Charm, the mix of uptight, psychoanalysed New York intellectualism over a world music groove is pure Heads; the song would also find distinct echoes on the Bush of Ghosts track, ‘Regiment.’

Equally, although Bowie has claimed that ‘Red Sails’ is directly influenced by Neu!, and the motorik beat, whooshing synths and crunching guitar are all present and correct, his vocals seem to parody Byrnes, especially on the “fa-fa-far away” section towards the end. And the neurotic funk of ‘DJ’ is simply the best Talking Heads song that Bowie ever wrote: detachment, alienation and some great distorted wah guitar from Adrian Belew, who Bowie had poached from Frank Zappa’s band and who would go on to work with, yes, Talking Heads, making important contributions to Remain In Light and becoming a crucial part of their live line-up during 1980-81.

Some of the credit for Belew’s astonishing guitar parts on Lodger must go to Eno however, as he was effectively sampling his guitar, splicing together different takes that used different tones and effects units, often taking only seconds at a time, and piecing together freaky atonal solos that were physically impossible to reproduce live. Belew contributes a great scraping feedback part to ‘Boys Keep Swinging,’ where he was the only musician to stick to his regular instrument- in an attempt to make the song more punk, Bowie and Eno got guitarist Carlos Alomar to play drums and drummer Dennis Davis to play bass. Alomar’s drumming is endearingly rubbish, but Tony Visconti overdubbed the crucial bass hook. Within weeks, ‘Boys’ had been covered by the Associates, who released their own haunting, strangely empty but gorgeous rendition as their debut single.

‘Repetition’ was also swiftly honoured with a cover version, this time by the Au Pairs, who included it on their debut album, 1981’s Playing with a Different Sex. You can see why: the queasily elastic bass and taut, menacing rhythm immediately find sympathy with the scratchy DIY punk-funk scene, even before you get to the lyrical subject matter of domestic violence against women. Indeed, while many of the punks had been teenage Bowie fans already, Lodger saw the maestro reconnecting with his progeny after his years in exile. Rejecting the straight rock tradition in favour of funk, avant-garde and world music, the album shares the post-punk urge to reinvent rock/pop as a more fluid, ambiguous and open-ended medium.

The lyrical engagement with gender politics is again representative of the cultural zeitgeist, but Bowie isn’t necessarily taking a feminist angle on ‘Repetition’: his disconnected, half-spoken vocal merely describes the scene, actually taking the point of view of Johnny, the male protagonist, which makes his laconic delivery all the more disconcerting. This non-judgemental reportage style owes a debt to Dave’s old mucker Lou Reed, and even fellow New York street poet Alan Vega - Johnny and Suicide’s Frankie Teardrop could almost be brothers.

The album ends with ‘Red Money,’ an odd choice to close the set, being basically ‘Sister Midnight’ a four-year-old Bowie song that he’d since given to Iggy Pop, but with new lyrics and an altered vocal melody that emphasised the song’s rhythmic qualities. Coming after the seminal version on The Idiot, it can’t help but feel like a pointless retread, and yet it somehow works; perhaps because the words seem to have a deep personal significance to Bowie, with allusions to a red box that would turn up frequently as a recurring motif in his paintings in later years, apparently symbolising responsibility.

And responsibility, in the end, is the real theme of Lodger: taking us back to the opening track’s worries over the fate of the entire planet resting in the hands of one flawed, capricious human being, through to ‘Repetition’s’ description of how we pass on our pain to those closest to us, full of self-pitying victimhood yet unaware we’ve become the aggressor. From the crippling banality of ‘DJ’- a man with the ears of millions of believers, yet nothing to say- to the cocooned self-absorption of ‘Boys Keep Swinging,’ and the damp squib of a judgement day portrayed in ‘Look Back in Anger.’ The last words on the album are “Such responsibility- it’s up to you and me.”

It’s this sense of responsibility - both individual and collective - that finally separates Lodger from the so-called Berlin albums. Low was, in Bowie’s own words, “Isn’t it great to be on your own, let’s just pull down the blinds and fuck em all”, a celebration of self-pity. “Heroes” saw the individual begin to fight back, but still from a passive-aggressive, me-against-the-world standpoint. It’s only with Lodger that Bowie realises that to survive in any meaningful sense, he has to engage with society, and with the rest of the human race.

This theme of engagement and responsibility would continue on Scary Monsters, Bowie’s next album, while Eno would develop Lodger’s fusion of New York funk and world music textures on Talking Heads’ Remain In Light (with Belew), and on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. And Bowie and Eno would work together again on 1995’s Outside, a record that curtailed Bowie’s late eighties/early nineties wilderness years, and which in many ways picked up where Lodger left off.

Lodger’s working title was Planned Accidents. It’s not a concept album, and it would be foolish to read too much into what is, in many ways, a series of random experiments. But as Eno’s methods have proved - as well as those of Bowie’s literary hero, William Burroughs - when you trust in chance, you may get more cohesion and insight than you bargained for. Thirty years on, it’s a record that sounds as fresh as ever, perhaps partly because it’s been largely ignored for so long. Maybe it’s finally time for Lodger to come in from the cold.

Fred Zeppelin
Nov 4, 2009 6:47pm

Good point of view but from I sit, the thing about Lodger is that has some really good stuff on it but it doesn't hang well as an album and it's the one album of pre-Let's Dance Bowie that I dip into selectively rather than listen to as whole.

One thing: Red Sails doesn't rip off Neu! as it's a wholesale steal of Harmonia's Monza (Ruaf und Runter).

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mister laurie
Nov 4, 2009 7:45pm

Low is obviously genius. Top. to. Bottom.

Heroes the song is obviously genius.
Heroes the album is mainly fucking dull. I bum Bowie hard. I really do. Mid 60s stuff thru to Heathen. I even like Tonight. Quite a bit. But Heroes is his worst album (Never Let Me Down aside). Innovative? Not really. It is dull and very badly produced. And drab. Sounds like quite a party when they mixed it. Presumably they were drunk and wearing low slung silly hats. And ear plugs.

Lodger however is ace. Eno still has his head up his arse a bit, mixwise, but it is packed with ace songs. It doesnt flow as well as Low. It doesnt flow as well as Heroes which is consistently boring but boringly consistent. Lodger is a sort of Abbey Road of a Bowie album. All kinds of everything. I loves it me.

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John Doran
Nov 4, 2009 7:49pm

In reply to mister laurie:

I'm not sure that I could call an album that contains 'Beauty and the Beast' (one of his best ever songs), 'Joe The Lion', 'Heroes' and 'V2 Schneider' as dull . . .

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mister laurie
Nov 4, 2009 8:24pm

In reply to mister laurie:

oh and by the way, excellent bit of writig/dissection there Ben.

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Nov 4, 2009 8:31pm

In reply to John Doran:

hmmmm Mr Doran.
V2 Schneider IS dull and that grouhnd was covered side 2 of Low

I Like Beauty and The Beast too but really that song should be on Lodger. I think. Sparky little minx that it is.

Joe The Lion is...OK..good. Not great.

Do bear in mind that a shit 70s Bowie song is better than one any other humans ever made .

And I'd sooner listen to Heroes three times than...say...any three Neil Young albums. And I likw Neil's 70s records.

I cant align the Bowie canon with anything else.
It exists above.
That place Buzz Lightyear speaks of but never saw.

Still in order
Bowies 70s records are a run of genius that sadly I suspect will never be surpassed and Heroes is at the bottom of my list.

So there

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Lee Arizuno
Nov 4, 2009 8:45pm

I think Lodger's a really smart jumble of very specific references and ideas that sounds as if it's feeling around to find the 80s; it almost gets there, but not quite.

(Scott Walker's brilliant opening tracks on) The Walker Brothers' Nite Flights had quite an influence on Bowie and Eno while they were working on Lodger, I think. There seemed to be a mutual, long-distance appreciation going on there - the Nite Flights songs sound as if they took their cue from Low and Heroes. Only, being by Scott Walker, they're as unshakably terrifying as they are catchy and compelling:

Bowie's covered Night Flights since, and Eno was on the SW doc marvelling at how unsurpassed these tracks are in pop music.

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Matt Lindsay
Nov 5, 2009 2:11am

Great article. Always thought Lodger being undervalued was very much due to its' slightly muddy mix (reality's fine songs suffer in comparison to heathen's for this reason). it was recorded in a small Montreux studio because the larger studio had been booked I believe. Romy Haag was a definitie influnece on the lipstick-smearing 'Boys" video.
Alway thought Lodger was a better companion piece to Scary Monsters as opposed to 'low' and "Heroes'. 'Want an axe to break the ice, want to come down right now'.

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Fantastyk Voyager
Nov 5, 2009 3:36pm

In reply to Matt Lindsay:

I adore Lodger! It's like taking a trip around the world without ever having to leave your living room. Although I think it is his worst album cover ever!!

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Nov 5, 2009 5:23pm

The enigmatic "Lodger" is simply Bowie's most challenging album, ever. Berlin trilogy? Maybe not. But definitely the final blow in a three punch combination to both those who would dare to define Bowie, or pose as "big fans" based on the more digestible pop, rock and soul of previous albums.

As for "Low", one entire side of that record is unlistenable unless you are Eno's Mom. Who plays the last half of that record at a cocktail party... or anywhere really?

Whereas "Low" and "Heroes" seem more controlled, "Lodger" is fearless in its willingness to experiment musically, politically and socially. Much more musically diverse than the grinding synthocracy of "Heroes" or paranoid pop of "Low", it has a freedom missing from the previous two albums. "Lodger" is a celebration of escape from a bleak mental and musical moonscape and a return to planet Earth with all its inherent problems.

Want an axe to break the ice, wanna come down right now.

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Nov 6, 2009 1:37am

In reply to Kingbee:

The thread of the Berlin trilogy are the musicians/producers and, by a mile, Eno. But Lodger is left of its predecessors and points to the more muscular, moving-to-center Scary Monsters. To my mind, what makes it marginally less interesting/durable than its forebears or Monsters is the songcraft. Bowie's magic -- let's put The Voice in a separate category altogether -- is his imagination coupled with really strong songwriting chops and unbelieavably sympathetic (patient?) musicians. Move On, Yassassin, Red Sails...great b'side stuff. And I have to plug Heroes. Boring? I'd say for track for track, it's the best singing/acting Bowie ever did on a record...veering from the completely unhinged to the transcendental (c'mon, hard to knock the title track even after the 10,000th time)...Joe the Lion, doesn't the guitar part crack you up?

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Nov 6, 2009 5:29am

In reply to fjordmann:

Move on is a masterpiece - the way the vocals backwards have that enveloping effect similar to a string section is a sublime touch oddly akin to what Lindsey buckingham was doing on the tusk album. It's a travelogue that one hand deconstructs/parodies the romanticism of tourism & yet cannot help but succumb to its' allure. The vocal seems at times genuinely anguished and 'lost- very wistful in parts. Such a duality seems to be in some ways the essence of Bowie.

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Jan 9, 2010 10:29pm

'Look Back In Anger" certainly has a Walker Brothers 'Nite Flights" influence on it. I do agree that 'Red Sails' is a Neu! inspired tune... anything better than what Stereolab did in their early days.

All in all, I think this is the best of the "Berlin" trilogy, although none of it was recorded there.

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Anthony Hansen
Apr 28, 2011 10:05pm

Looks like someone's been reading Bowie: An Illustrated Record...

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Aug 22, 2011 9:14am

for sure, it's one of his best and more influential works ....move on and fantastic voyage...oh my God...!!!!!!!!!!

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Mar 24, 2012 4:58pm

Great article- loved it.
With Lodger, it suffers from:

- The muddy production, considering the clarity and sparseness of Low's production and the slickness of "Heroes"
- It's a slighter collection of songs than the others- not as soulful or intense.

Lodger is weirder and more mysterious than the previous two instalments of the trilogy, hence it provokes less enthusiasm and passion than bemusement. I'd say the only tracks that are more accessible than on the previous two albums on it are DJ, Boys Keep Swinging, and Look Back In Anger. My personal favourite from the album is 'Red Money', because it's not the standard album closer and leaves matters on a question mark, which, more or less, Lodger is.

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Jun 29, 2012 3:21am

Dunno what angle yr taking at all. Has always been my favorite Bowie album. It sold unexpectedly well stateside upon release. Bowie fans have always considered it a complex gem and a favorite. Are you buying into some recent, internet rewrite of history?

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Dom los tejon
Jan 8, 2013 9:19am

Lodger - best road trip Bowie ever, cranked up full at least once a week, good tribute to a much loved old buddy

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Mar 13, 2013 4:36am

In reply to :

Heroes is a genius atmospheric record! One can only undetstand the record if one visits Berlin. The city wears its scars on its sleeve and you can feelits effect just walking through preserved districts. You will undestabd then, what "Sense of Doubt" and "V-2" are splendid and were relevant!

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King Punk Patel
Mar 14, 2013 5:51pm

Boys keep swinging was the first Bowie single I bought , I was 11 & I had to wait to grow up & get a job before I could buy the luxury of albums , so I bought Lodger Sept 1985 on cd (At £10 it was expensive) & I took it home hoping it would be good album......I LOVED IT , I played it to death & bought Low/Scary Monsters that Xmas 1985. Throughout 1986 , one by one I purchased all of Bowies back cat log on cd If I were to be totally honest with you the album I was most disappointed with when I bought it was.....ZIGGY STARDUST...It sounded a bit hippy to me . Back to Lodger I never understood people's cold reception to this amazing album, it has the right elements of punk & disco ,weirdness but catchy tunes all the same, brilliant stuff....If so happen to have read the review before hearing Lodger for yourself that's a shame cos it's a stonking album

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May 17, 2013 12:48am

In reply to :

Move on, so true! Lodger is my fave Bowie record

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May 17, 2013 12:50am

In reply to Kingbee:

I play the second side of low. We like when the duck dies. We love it all

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May 23, 2013 8:40pm

This review handles very well the oft unaddressed issue of the countless ways Bowie's work lends itself to scrutiny for layers of meaning - without refuting bowie's oft restated denunciation of exactly that. Its Carl Jung as an applied science. And should be shouted from the rooftops. PS: the cover photo could also be a still from the death scene in the film : the day of the jackal. A film where an assassin takes on many personas but who's true identity remains a mystery til the end.

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May 25, 2013 5:05pm

Obviously, Lodger is the first par of a couple with Scary Monsters, and in fact, 70's bowie albums could be matched like this:

- Space Oddity-The Man Who Sold The World: The beginning, or "I'm not really sure if I want to be a folk singer or a heavy hero", jeje.
- Hunky Dory-Ziggy Stardust: The real classic ones, though very diferent, one melodic, the other more rocker.
- Aladdin Sane-Diamond Dogs: The "Rolling Stones" oriented Bowie (or my hair looks wonderful, doesn't it?).
- Young Americans-Station To Station: The soul-funk Bowie.
- Low-Heroes: The "post-punk" Bowie.
- Lodger-Scary Monsters: The "world-music/wall-of-sound Bowie".
- Let's Dance-Tonight: The f***ing commercial Bowie, but f***ing great!!!

I know, I know, is more complicated, but isn't it funny?
Make your own classifications.

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Jon Eastman
Sep 13, 2013 5:01pm

Move my favorite Bowie's a 3 minute journey to the other side...the backwards all the young dudes vocalese is absolutely haunting

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Sep 6, 2014 12:26pm

Finally its beginning to get some praise..has really always been one of my top 5 Bowiealbums...and hardcore fans dont buy the trilogy-thing anyway..Bowie could never stay interested in the same thing for long anyway, which off course is hes biggest strenght and why he often confuses people :-)

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Sep 6, 2014 5:36pm

In reply to :

Love Lodger for all reasons previously cited. A real (other) worldly album.

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nikolai rainbow
Jan 13, 2015 4:22pm

Brilliant article..Lodger is sorely underwater and sounds utterly contemporary today...African Night Flights is redolentof Hot Chip...
The reason it wasn't fully appreciated on its release was its context alongside the previous two Berlin albums and the fact that it was clearly thirty years ahead of its time...

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nikolai rainbow
Jan 13, 2015 4:27pm

Brilliant article..Lodger is sorely underrated and sounds utterly contemporary today...African Night Flights is redolentof Hot Chip... 
The reason it wasn't fully appreciated on its release was its context alongside the previous two Berlin albums and the fact that it was clearly thirty years ahead of its time...

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Jul 3, 2015 2:48am

I just love Dennis Davis' drums on this track (Look Back In Anger) - Bowie also had the savvy to surround himself with top notch talent (most notably Mick Ronson was perhaps not appreciated for his huge writing and arranging ability, evident on Ziggy Stardust album, Aladdan Sane, and Lou Reed's Transformer album - I mean, listen to the Demo of Perfect Day compared to the single - that was ALL mick).

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