David Bowie – Who Can I Be Now? [1974-1976] (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/192 kHz | Time – 03:49:57 minutes | 8,58 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Parlophone UK
The boxed set, which is named after a track recorded in 1974 but not officially released until the 1990s, includes a huge set of studio recordings of some of David Bowie’s most memorable tracks. Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabits a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliché, Bowie writes and performs what he wants, when he wants. His absence from the endless list of “important events” has just fuelled interest. Constant speculation about what the guy was up to has even led some to wonder if this is his greatest reinvention ever.
Digital Download 192kHz/24bit Boxed Set:
Diamond Dogs (Remastered)
David Live (Original Mix) (Remastered)*
Young Americans (Remastered)
Station To Station (Remastered)
* Exclusive to WHO CAN I BE NOW? (1974-1976)
Parlophone Records are proud to announce David Bowie – Who Can I Be Now?, the second in a series of box sets spanning his career from 1969. The box set features all of the material officially released by Bowie during the so-called American phase of his career from 1974 to 1976. The boxed set, which is named after a track recorded in 1974 but not officially released until the 1990s, includes a huge set of studio recordings of some of David Bowie’s most memorable tracks.
A sequel to the 2015 box Five Years 1969-1973, 2016’s Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) covers just three years but this stretch in the mid-’70s happens to be the peak of David Bowie’s superstardom. That much can be gleaned from the number of albums within the set: three studio albums – Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station to Station, each released in a subsequent year – along with the double live album David Live from 1974. Four albums in three years is plenty but to that core canon Who Can I Be Now? add an early version of Young Americans called The Gouster. The latter seems to bend the rules of this extensive Bowie catalog reissue project, which is to preserve the officially released canon and keep unreleased tracks – whether they surfaced on the ’90s Rykodisc reissues or remain unheard – locked up in the vaults. The Gouster contains “Who Can I Be Now?” and “It’s Gonna Be Me,” both originally released on the 1990 Ryko edition of Young Americans, along with alternate versions of “Can You Hear Me?” and “Right,” plus the disco version of “John, I’m Only Dancing,” but otherwise it plays like Young Americans, only not quite as good. Furthermore, its presence calls into question why the unreleased outtake “Shilling the Rubes” is left behind alongside the “Dodo” that showed up on the Ryko CD of Diamond Dogs: if the door is opened for some outtakes, it’s hard not to miss those that are absent. Still, this is quibbling. The Who Can I Be Now? box set remains as beautifully produced as Five Years, and a deep dive into its contents produces many rewards. Perhaps the alternate album mixes are only slightly different, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the rapid development of Bowie’s music during these three years. The distance between Diamond Dogs and Station to Station is vast, and the addition of the live albums accentuates how deeply he cared for strong, deeply etched funk to offset his art. Listening to all this music in a concentrated blast, such progression is a wonder to behold.
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