June 7, 2007

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David Bowie, The Best Of David Bowie 1980-1987 (CD/DVD Jewel Box)
Virgin Records, 2007

Virgin’s rolling the easy-money dice on Bowie for June, this CD/DVD heirloom landing on the same day as the re-re-re-release of his 1975 Young Americans LP (the DVD half of that one — entirely comprosed of Dick Cavett cocking his head quizzically while the Zigster does weird stuff, from what I glean — would have been reviewed here if the stinking thing worked in my PC). Containing all the relevant songs and videos of Bowie’s ’80s output, this package is a good excuse for grumpy old fans to dust off their grumpy old arguments about his best and worst creative periods. Although Bowie himself claims his ’80s oeuvre was a giant mistake (he could always pay back the millions he made back then if he was truly repentant), people who were young enough back then to believe rock n roll mattered will have plenty of Oh My God moments to thrill to, for instance the creepy, Eyes Wide Shut-like video for “Fashion,” the canary-bird haircut he sported in “Modern Love,” and a live shoot of “Cat People” filmed during the Serious Moonlight tour. No, his ’80s work didn’t make a Spiders From Mars-sized splash, but he was still messing with the system, at that time from within. BEric W. Saeger