David Bowie: Repo Man

5 Sep

In 1977, David Bowie teamed up with Iggy Pop to “co-write” and produce The Idiot.  The Stooges had been defunct for about three years and Pop, thanks to copious amounts of drugs, was also defunct.  With Bowie’s direction, The Idiot was a great success and was able to effectively keep Iggy Pop’s name on the pop/rock radar.

Two years later, David Bowie released Lodger, the third of his Berlin era records with production aid from Brian Eno.  This is another great album (“D.J.” might be my favorite David Bowie song), I did notice a few strange things though.  Namely, the final track “Red Money”; it is, exclusive of lyrics, the same song as “Sister Midnight.”  The guitars are slightly more gritty and distorted.  It even repeats the “Can you hear [it] at all” lyric from Iggy’s track.  Both songs clock in at 4:20.

Four more years later in 1983, Bowie released Let’s Dance.  The two main singles on that album are the title track…and “China Girl.”  What’s the matter, Bowie?  Did Iggy do such a shitty job that you needed to redo it, or were you just frustrated because you wrote a great song and weren’t getting credit for it?  Or were you just creatively tapped at that point?

In any event, Bowie gets a pass because Iggy Pop was such a charity case in the mid-70s and because he always does…he’s David Bowie.

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