Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Without You" by David Bowie

Song#:  1827
Date:  03/10/1984
Debut:  80
Peak:  73
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After three successful singles, including the #1 title track, Bowie's Let's Dance album seemed to have run its course and was ready for the history books. Alas, the label decided to try and eke out one more tune in hopes of a hit that would continue sales of the album. This fourth single was issued in just a few countries including the US. The tune couldn't get any traction at all and slipped off the chart quickly. It's b-side, "Criminal World," got some minor attention at Rock radio and made it to #31. Let's Dance would end up being Bowie's best-selling album with worldwide sales near 11 million copies.

ReduxReview:  This really was an unnecessary single. The top three songs from the album were released and the remaining tracks had little commercial potential at all. So forcing this tune out to a few countries was a bit ridiculous. I like the tune, but as an album track. It has a nice groove that almost sounds like a bluesy take on "Ashes to Ashes." However, there is no commercial potential to this song at all. This just smells like an attempt by the label to get as much gas out of the Let's Dance tank as they could. It didn't work. That tank was already drained.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  Although Bowie was already considered a superstar and had sold tons of albums and had a few hit singles over the years, his success wasn't so huge that he couldn't experiment with different music styles and characters for his albums. That change when Let's Dance became a massive success. It was his first effort for his new label EMI and as Bowie described in an interview, it backed him into a corner. Suddenly he had a huge new young fan base who were interested in this new commercial turn and may have never even heard of Ziggy Stardust or even "Changes." Bowie planned on Let's Dance being a one-off project and he would return to something more experimental for his next LP. But that wasn't going to fly with his new label or fans. They wanted more hits. So Bowie acquiesced and tried to write and record as requested. He said the demands of being a commercial music star put him at an all-time creative low. He wouldn't recover from this creative slump until 1989 when his hard rock band project Tin Machine recorded their self-titled debut.


No comments:

Post a Comment