Friday, December 23, 2016

who but we remember these

hello people

yes, i've been going through my boxes of discs again, look you see. time to wallow in some nostalgia, then, and have a look, or if you like gander, at something found that prompted all sorts of thoughts.

much of my sunday gone, as opposed to the sunday to come, was spent with the sounds of David Bowie on the stereo. which recordings? mostly the Christiane F "soundtrack", which is more of a Berlin-era compilation really, and the 1. Outside album. but also Reality.

ah, but of course - i took the pictures with one of them Apple devices, and so blogger has gone ahead and turned one of them, the one above, upside down. sorry about that, unless for some reason it comes out the right way up on your side, and then i am not sorry.

the above reflects a segment of my Reality collection. sorry, haven't got it all out. the silver copy of the recording features a bonus track in the form of a cover of Waterloo Sunset, and a boss DVD of David and his merry musicians doing the whole album live. the black covered record in the middle is the Reality Tour double CD set, which came out some 5 - 6 (maybe more) years after the tour; a tour which always seemed and turned out to be the last he would undertake.

that one in the middle laid down is the New Killer Star DVD single, and it is to the the main focus of this blog post.

yes, you read that right, a DVD single. like a single, but with video. when these started turning up in the early 2000s it was seen as embracing the new technology, but was of course nothing too new - back in the 80s and in aspects of the 90s we had VHS "video singles" for some select releases. the biggest, and quite possibly still the biggest selling video of all time, was of course Thriller off of Michael Jackson.

what can i tell you of the DVD single? broadly they were an interesting idea kind of wasted, as they featured little content, were expensive and could only be played on your tele at home. in respect of the latter, a CD you could pay on your stag, on a portable player, make a tape off of for your walkman, play in your car, etc. not so much a DVD. it wasn't like a DVD drive was standard in computers then, either.

cost? from what i remember £4.99 a go, that compares to, from memory, between 99p - £1.99 for a cassette single, and between £1.99 - £3.99 for a CD single. this was in the days when you bought music as you had no choice. as hard as it might seem to think now, back in the early 2000s the internet was slow and not widely used, so there was no social media or streaming. illegal downloads? sure, but it took about an hour to download one song, and if your internet connection got interrupted you had to start all over again.

the above video clip, for those able to play back the video what i place on my blog (if you use Firefox for browsing purposes you should be cool), of New Killer Star. this DVD single followed the suspiciously standard pattern which was true of every DVD single ever released.

what you got for your 1p south of £5 was the music video for the single, an "extra track" that was either audio only or a pretty basically filmed thing, and an interview or promo of the artist. the interview bit was very seldom over five minutes, and the DVD itself was rarely more than 1GB in terms of use. 

with respect to the last content part above, on New Killer Star you get what is called the "Reality EPK", which i eventually worked out was "electronic press kit". basically, then, David Bowie decided to just issue snippets of interviews to the people, rather than do interviews.

actually, David did very much do interviews around this time, say 2003 or 2004. as ever, in those interviews he was wildly ahead of the curve. he was the first reasonably famous person you saw using something called an "iPod", at a time when Apple products were considered the exclusive preserve of 6 or 7 obnoxious twats with no social life. he also said, in a time of dial up internet connection, that he saw a time when all music would be available all the time across computers, and it would "run like water". i'd like to think that the name for this now, "streaming", was taken as inspiration from his greatness.

do i own any other DVD singles? yes, but not many. Whispers off if Ian Brown, Elevation off of U2, and i think the two singles what the Manic Street Preachers released off of Lifeblood. no, hang on, i am sure there was a video single for There By The Grace Of God off of Forever Delayed too.

but i haven't taken them out, as such, whereas i have with New Killer Star.

what makes New Killer Star different from the above examples i have mentioned is that the DVD single was it, folks. to my knowledge, no CD single, no cassette single and no 7" of the song was issued, at least not in the UK. a bit of a bold move, and one which is probably reflected in a poor, if at all, chart appearance.

this meant, of course, that the extra track was one that you could have in a format to play on a stereo. although, in fairness, few wished to.

yes, the above is indeed what appears on  tele or computer monitor if you, for some reason, wished to listen to the David Bowie recording of Sigue Sigue Sptunik's Love Missile F1-11.

should you be able to play back video here and for some reason you wish to hear this, here you go.

please, don't get me wrong. as catalogued here somewhere, i absolutely love this song and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. it's just that the David Bowie recording of it is, dare i say, not at all good.

i have often wondered what exactly inspired him to have a go at this as a cover. perhaps it was another case of "revenge" off of him. back in the early 90s he did famously cover Morrissey's I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday purely because when he heard the original he noted it was a "cheeky" steal from his own celebrated Rock N Roll Suicide. Bowie described his recording as "me doing an impression of him doing an impression of me". when you listen with that knowledge, you can hear Bowie struggling to avoid breaking out in laughter.

who knows, then, maybe Bowie heard what Sigue Sigue Sputnik did in terms of a cover of Rebel Rebel and decided to, so to speak, return the compliment.

for a long time - nearly a decade - Reality was something that growingly came to be accepted as Bowie's likely farewell. he, as is well known, suffered a very serious heart attack during the last days of the Reality tour, and appeared to withdraw from public life. in the rare instances he spoke during those years, one comment he gave was that it would have to be "something really, really spectacular" for him to record and release music again. knowing now what we do, The Next Day and Blackstar in particular would absolutely tick that box, alas.

a quick scout around suggesting you can pick up the New Killer Star DVD single for about half what it cost at the time. is it worth it? probably. as far as i know the video, which David doesn't appear in, isn't available on any other compilation. also, the interview bits are worth a look. but, you know, with the world being what it is, the whole thing is probably on that you tube stuff anyhow.

Reality is, however, an album very much worth getting. it was the third of three relatively quickfire releases, and maintained with ease the quality of hours.... and Heathen. which, you know, was a surprise at the time after the "interesting" record that was Earthling.

i can, as ever, but hope that this has all been of interest to someone somewhere!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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