How would you rate "Outside" (1995) by David Bowie?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Haristar, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    "Outside" (also known as "1. Outside") was the twenty second studio album by David Bowie (if counting the Tin Machine albums and "The Buddha of Suburbia"). "Outside" marked the return of collaborator Brian Eno who had previously worked on the Berlin trilogy (1977-1979).

    Track listing:
    -Leon Takes Us Outside
    -The Hearts Filthy Lesson
    -A Small Plot of Land
    -(Segue) Baby Grace (A Horrid Cassette)
    -Hallo Spaceboy
    -The Motel
    -I Have Not Been to Oxford Town
    -No Control
    -(Segue) Algeria Touchshriek
    -The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty)
    -(Segue) Ramona A. Stone/I Am with Name
    -Wishful Beginnings
    -We Prick You
    -(Segue) Nathan Adler
    -I'm Deranged
    -Thru' These Architects Eyes
    -(Segue) Nathan Adler
    -Strangers When We Meet
    Here is a recap of the series so far:
    "Heroes" poll Rating: 4.28/5
    "Let's Dance" poll Rating: 3.58/5
    "Hunky Dory" poll Rating: 4.79/5
    "Reality" poll Rating: 3.47/5
    "Diamond Dogs" poll Rating: 4.27/5
  2. Bowieboy

    Bowieboy Forum Resident

    I'd rank it Pretty Great.

    I would say it's one of his more difficult albums ala Lodger, and I think a tolerance/appreciation for the mid-90s industrial rock sound is crucial to enjoying it, but I do so I like it.
    csnfan, jfeldt, zaza_3121 and 6 others like this.
  3. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Very high. Loved it a lot when it first came out and my admiration has only grown over time.
    Sternodox, strummer101 and oldturkey like this.
  4. johnnyyen

    johnnyyen Forum Resident

    Essential listening- a true classic. Probably in my top 10 Bowie albums, and his best since Scary Monsters. I would have liked more albums with Eno; when they were together they seemed to create magic.
  5. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    Bit of a shame that the Diamond Dogs thread got around 300 votes but this one only has around 20 so far.
  6. Really hard to rate properly.

    60% of the album is spectacular, right up there with the best of the best of his entire output (imho).

    Maybe 20% is just "good" or maybe even "quite good" - if I'm in the right mood.

    20% is just lousy (all the segues, or at least they don't work for me one bit), and maybe one or perhaps two tunes are down around this range in quality too.

    So I'm really torn between voting "essential" and just "pretty great". But 60% of it really is pretty damn essential, imho -- so I'm in the "essential" category overall, at the moment (in terms of voting).

    Favorite track: "I'm Deranged"

    Mike Garson's contributions throughout are really special.

    But I can't help but think that "Strangers We Meet" -- an otherwise really fantastic track -- doesn't fit with the rest of the album stylistically, or production-wise (sound-wise) either.

    Tons of great material, but not the most satisfying 'album' experience, unfortunately.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  7. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    Went with "Pretty great--worth recommending".

    Bowie working with Eno again should always be cause for celebration, even though I found the approach and the concept here somewhat muddled.

    It still contains some fantastically haunting songs (three of them in a row, in fact: "The Motel", "I Have Not Been To Oxford Town" and "No Control"). Bowie was back in a big way and working in a very wiggy, lyrically cutting and cinematic manner probably not seen since the likes of Diamond Dogs (or Low/Heroes at least).

    I think this album started a late career resurgence that served him well to the end.
  8. daca

    daca Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    As I have never listened to, or heard of this album, I will cast no vote.
  9. Christian Taylor Lee

    Christian Taylor Lee Well-Known Member

    Outside was my Fall 1995 album. I remember listening to it on a portable CD player going to and from work for a few months straight.

    It felt like a return to me, edgy, dark and so very cool.

    I have not heard it in a long time so reading this thread I put it on. Oh man, that voice, THAT VOICE!

    Hearing I’m Deranged brings in the chills and the feels.

    Love this record.
    hi_watt, jeffmo789, oldturkey and 2 others like this.
  10. fuzzface

    fuzzface Forum Resident

    Lebanon, MO
    First David Bowie album I ever bough (right after it came out). Loved it then and still do.
    aphexj likes this.
  11. karmaman

    karmaman Forum Resident

    simply the best post-Scary Monsters Bowie album. i voted "pretty great".
    pobbard, Alexlotl and DBMethos like this.
  12. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    When it first came out, my favorite album at the time.

    I bought it again via cassette in the last few years.

    Sometimes a bit disturbing.

    But a great collaboration between Bowie and Eno.

    I'm trying to remember if he was influenced by some new group at the time, that he went on tour with.

    Nine Inch Nails.

    Unless another one of his albums is associated with Nine Inch.

    Tin Man?

    I just looked it up.

    Tin Machine.

    But that was 1989.

    I'll have to research where the Nine Inch Nails fit into all of this.

    I just looked it up.

    Outside and Nine Inch Nails.
  13. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo "Oh Annie! Oh Annie! Oh Anusol!"

    Hampshire, UK
    Along with Earthling and Blackstar, Outside is easily in my top 3 Bowie since Scary Monsters. I remember hearing Hearts Filthy Lesson for the first time on VH1 along with the promo. My girlfriend at the time looked at me in disbelief and asked if I actually liked it. She was into UB40 and Billy Idol :biglaugh:

    The live band for the '95 tour through to early '96 were also my favourite Bowie Band of the lot. Check out Hallo Spaceboy from Jools Holland or The Voyeur Of Utter Destruction from The White Room. Awesome.

    I don't get the negativity towards the segues. In fact, my favourite Bowie 'album' of all is the prototype Leon Sessions, which is segue heavy. I'd love to see an expanded Outside along with these sessions released officially in the future.
    pobbard, Group of One and oldturkey like this.
  14. dead of night

    dead of night Forum Resident

    Northern Va, usa
    Bowie wasn't getting much attention during this part of his career, although he was putting out masterpieces like Outside, Earthling, Heathen, and Reality.
  15. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    I know I'm in the minority here but I enjoy Hours as well.
    csnfan, stef1205, strummer101 and 3 others like this.
  16. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    I enjoy quite a bit on ..hours myself, though it's an album that gets a regular bashing around here.

    Swervedriver frontman Adam Franklin just released a cover of "Thursday's Child" on his Bandcamp page. Looks like the limited 7" sold out fast.

    Thursday's Child, by Adam Franklin
    Paul P. and Haristar like this.
  17. Haristar

    Haristar Living in the Material World Thread Starter

    Southampton, UK
    I enjoyed that. I think it improves on the original actually.
    Chrome_Head likes this.
  18. Albiegator

    Albiegator Well-Known Member

    I know Outside has been reappraised in recent years but like most of his 90's output, I feel it was patchy. Like nearly all of the great man's albums (from any era) there was always something special on every album, for instance the reworking of Strangers When We Meet is fantastic but 'Outside' doesn't reach the heights of the best of his post Scary Monsters output, such as 'Let's Dance', 'Black Tie, White Noise', Heathen or Blackstar.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  19. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 1

    Haren, DM
    Too much predictable simplicity for me. Original still stands (I am a Thursday's Child).
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  20. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Forum Resident

    Long Island
    Spot on:righton:
  21. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 1

    Haren, DM
    Just compared the two Strangers .. versions and overall the Outside version sounds a lot better (drums, bass, vocal, added Garson) with better separation. Just really miss the low rhythm guitar from Buddha. Now playing my album favorite (Earthling sounds on their way).

    All the joy I seeeee
    jason202 likes this.
  22. karmaman

    karmaman Forum Resident

    that's probably the biggest insult to 'hours...' i've read yet!
    Carlox and e.s. like this.
  23. rstamberg

    rstamberg Forum Resident

    Riverside, CT
    BIG disappointment.
    sunspot42 likes this.
  24. Tristero

    Tristero A muted trumpeter swan

    I had to go with so-so here and I'm a little surprised by how many advocates this album has around here. Like many fans, I was hopeful that reuniting with Eno would help Bowie to reignite his creative jets and deliver a return to form. While the album has its moments, it suffers badly from CD bloat and those narrative bits are painfully self indulgent, interrupting the flow and pacing of the album. Outside is heavy on texture but lacking in memorable tunes.
  25. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Essential as, IMO, it's his best album in the 22 year period between Scary Monsters and Heathen.
    stef1205 and liv3evil like this.

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