David Bowie

David Bowie

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 September, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 January, 2016, 4:08pm

David Bowie



The history of pop is the story of teamwork, especially between artists and producers. Mention Elvis and you think Sam Phillips; The Beatles and you're talking George Martin. In David Bowie's case, that other half is Tony Visconti.

Not that the Thin White Duke hasn't worked with other top-notchers. The legendary Chic bassist, Nile 'Let's Dance' Rodgers, for example, did a memorable job on the recently reissued Black Tie White Noise from 1993. But it was Visconti who created that symbiosis of mean guitars, gated snare and multi-tracked vocals that is instantly recognisable as the Bowie sound. Think Young Americans and Heroes, remember Scary Monsters, and here it is again on Reality, an album that picks up where last year's Heathen left off.

And it was that raw power that invaded more than 60 countries when Bowie transported himself into cinemas and theatres in a feat of digital science to promote the album.

The power chords of the opener, New Killer Star, got people side-glancing each other in a telepathy of approving recognition. The cover of The Modern Lovers' Pablo Picasso was strident, the enticing cacophony of the title track Reality a gem.

Not that the album is without its tender moments. Days and The Loneliest Guy are laser-guided to the seat of the emotions. My favourite though, is the sleazy Bring Me The Disco King, all dim lighting, haunting jazz piano and cigarette smoke frozen in time, easily one of his best.

Bowie rocks. Reality bites.