Never Let Me Down is considered to be the worst David Bowie album; he even said as much in an interview with Charlie Rose. Well guess what? I'm going to elicit rage and calls of putting me in a Greek restaurant with a sign on me reading "I'm A Turk" in saying that I place it high on my list of his albums. Go on, do something!
Bowie must have taken a cue from Eurythmics and gone for a harder edged sound like they did with Revenge. Well, the effort's one of consistency and definitely different from his other 1980's albums.
"Day-In Day-Out" captures the gritty life of a woman living on the edge until she pulls a shotgun and makes "the world aware she's an angry gal." I've associated this song too much with the video but it hasn't spoiled my liking this song.
"Time Will Crawl" is a bouncy but nihilistic three verses with differing themes. Uncaring government space experiments, chemical poisoning in the rivers that affects the local populace, and somebody who is either a psychopath or the same government man from verse one who is carrying out an experiment involving poison gas. Shades of Bhopal, 1984? The warm, warm breeze that melts metal and steel could be a reference to Chernobyl. And that line on making one's fingers disappear, could that also mean making one unable to feel anything, as in being jaded or disillusioned?
"Beat Of Your Dream" highlights Bowie's low vocals and it even has a catchy chorus to match, with a punchy brass and guitar section. And with a cool Frampton solo included in the last minute of the song. Or is that Alomar?
The title track is another standout track with its synthesizer and harmonica. Bowie sings in a higher register here and that works here.
Catchy and rocking is the theme for "Zeroes," "New York's In Love" and "'87 And Cry." In all three, especially the engaging "Zeroes," in which Bowie's vocals are strong and the guitar sometimes sounds like a sitar. I only say this because the musicians credits do not list a sitar player.
The spoken word story of "Glass Spider" and its synth-string and drumming musical section is not a waste of five-and-a-half minutes. The imagery of the spider's layered web of skeletons is intriguing. Wonder if this spider's a relative of those Martian spiders back in the 1970's.
The only song I'm not too crazy about is "Shining Star," which features a vocal rap from Mickey Rourke.
The 1999 remaster omitted the song "Too Dizzy," which was the penultimate song on the original rendition. I don't miss it that much.
Bowie gets guitar help not only from Carlos Alomar but from Peter Frampton. Robin Clark of Simple Minds does background vocal chores like she did on 1984's Tonight.