LOS ANGELES — Parlophone Records have announced the third and latest installment in their series of David Bowie’s boxed sets covering the late artist’s career from 1969. A New Career in a New Town compiles his material from 1977 through 1982, arguably the most experimental years of his career.
The 11-CD/13-LP set includes the so-called Berlin trilogy of albums — Low, Heroes and Lodger — as well as Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), the live album Stage, the 1981 Baal soundtrack, and assorted B-sides and singles. The set also includes a new mix of Lodger by Bowie’s longtime co-producer Tony Visconti, which was “started with David’s blessing before his passing in January last year ... and remixed with the benefit of modern technology to better highlight the album’s nuances”, according to a press release.
The series completes Bowie’s enormously influential catalogue originally released on RCA Records, which covers his pioneering glam-rock era (on the Five Years 1969-73 set), his R&B years (Who Can I Be Now? 1974-76) and, with the new set, his more angular and experimental work — a profound influence on new wave and the Pitchfork generation. During this time Bowie turned his back on the R&B-based fame he’d achieved with mid-’70s hits like Fame, Young Americans and Golden Years, moved his residence from Los Angeles to Berlin. In collaboration with Visconti and experimentalist Brian Eno, he pursued atmospheric and instrumental work influenced by European electronic acts like Kraftwerk and Neu, with Brian Eno as well as left-field hits like Heroes, Ashes to Ashes, Sound and Vision and Fashion.
While the era that followed included Bowie’s biggest-selling album, 1983’s Let’s Dance, most fans feel that his influence and the quality of his work waned during the 1980s and 1990s, recovering some of its vitality with albums like Hours (1999) and Heathen (2002) before finishing with a blaze of jazz-inflected creativity on Blackstar, which was released just three days before his death from cancer on Jan. 10, 2016.
Over the years Bowie curated his catalogue zealously, and while the new set — named after a key track on Low — includes many single edits and B-sides and even two different versions of the live Stage album, like the previous set it selectively omits several bonus tracks he’d released on previous reissues, including the instrumentals Some Are and I Pray, Ole as well as a later recording of Panic in Detroit and a few other stray tracks.
The physical boxed set’s accompanying book, 128 pages in the CD box and 84 in the vinyl set, will feature rarely seen and previously unpublished photos by photographers including Anton Corbijn, Helmut Newton, Andrew Kent, Steve Schapiro, Duffy, and many others as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from Visconti.
For further details head to DavidBowie.com. VARIETY.COM/REUTERS