Album review: David Bowie, Never Let Me Down (1987)


By Steve Newton

David Bowie has not broken any stylistic barriers on his new album, as he’s been wont to do in the past. Instead he’s opted to go for the big ’80s dance-rock sound that he has been favouring since 1983’s hit Let’s Dance LP. And on Never Let Me Down he does that about as well as anyone else in the world.

Light years ahead of his last record, 1984’s Tonight, Bowie’s new disc is crammed full of melodies with hooks and funky rhythms. In fact the five songs that make up side one–“Day-In Day-Out”, “Time Will Crawl”, “Beat Of Your Drum”, “Never Let Me Down”, and “Zeroes”–are such great tunes that you hardly get motivated to flip the disc over at all.

And that would be a real shame, because–apart from a rather boring fairy-tale intro to “Glass Spider” and the forgettable disco of “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)”–there are more super songs here as well. One of the best is “Bang Bang”, a track cowritten by Bowie’s buddy Iggy Pop and Ivan Kral from the Patti Smith Group.


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