David Bowie's Reality

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by PunkSaxMix, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. PunkSaxMix

    PunkSaxMix free yourself from apathy Thread Starter

    Anybody else love this 2003 album? I have spent the last week exploring it. How delicious it is!

    Call out for Bring Me the Disco King (in which Bowie sounds almost like Nina Simone); Pablo Picasso, that I vastly prefer to John Cale's recording. Bowie's arrangement is stunning, album version includes a Spanish guitar sound that suits the namesake brilliantly.

    Spotify says John Cale wrote Pablo Picasso, when you look up Cale's 1996 recording. But on Bowie's the songwriting credit goes to Jonathan Richman. (Producing credited to Bowie and Tony Visconti. Their production is sumptuous.)

    --Looks like Pablo Picasso was indeed written by Jonathan Richman; recorded in 1972 by The Modern Lovers, and ultimately released in 1976, as produced by John Cale.

    Shape-shifting David Bowie as jazz man, crooner, sophisticate, and of course, musician. He even revisits Rebel Rebel and has more to say musically in that song too. Then Queen of All the Tarts (overture) is also a treat. (Stop me from listing every song!)

    Remarkably good album, don't you think?

    Though I couldn't find the Spanish guitar version I heard on the album on Spotify, I did find this youtube to rock your Saturday.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
  2. jl151080

    jl151080 Senior Member

    Bristol, UK
    Absolutely. One of my favourite Bowie albums. He was on a hot streak following Heathen.

    The 5.1 SACD mix could be better, but is an interesting listen.
  3. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Reasons to be cheerful part 1

    Dutch mountains
    Opinions on this one are all over the place. I think it's good, but the songs somehow sounded way better performed live.

    Do yourself a favour and listen to the Riverside live disc from the movie theater performance. Maybe someday, hopefully it will be released in full and 5.1 to which Visconti mixed it live to begin with.
    Plus the Lohner mix of Disco King to top it off.
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  4. Jimmy Jam

    Jimmy Jam Forum Resident

    Its not a top tier Bowie record for me.....but I do like it a lot more than most people seem to (except the first 2 posters at least), 'New Killer Star", "Disco King", "Looking For water" are great imo, cant stand "Never Get Old" though, just very cheesy imo

    Overall its a 6/10 for me....but maybe a 7/10
    fluxkit likes this.
  5. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Love it.
    I know his last two albums are really good but rarely in the mood for them.
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  6. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    New England
    I’m a big fan of this album, and do check out A Reality Tour for the live versions!
  7. unclefred

    unclefred Coastie with the Moastie

    Oregon Coast
    not so much overall, some weak material, but the Reality Tour was very good.
  8. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    "She'll Drive the Big Car" is top ten Bowie for me
  9. cyril sneer

    cyril sneer Forum Resident

    Exeter, UK
    I love New Killer Star. For me it was his best song this side of 1983.
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  10. ShockOfDaylight

    ShockOfDaylight Forum Resident

    Detroit, MI
    Solid album, awful album cover

    Bring Me the Disco King is an absolute classic
  11. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    One of his best ever tracks, imo.
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  12. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    Disco King stands out as one of his very best...glad I saw his final tour in 04
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  13. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    A few good things on Reality but it's not among my favourite Bowie albums by any means.
    From about half-way through it bores the pants off me.
  14. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    I do like this much maligned album! The brick walled mastering is awful but it does have some great songs. New Killer Star, Pablo Picasso, Loneliest Guy, Bring Me The Disco King (and as someone already mentioned the Loner Mix is very good). Also related is probably the second oddest song, after his Bing duet, that he ever recorded... Love Missile F1-11!
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2021
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  15. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    I like it. Here is my copy.
    mark winstanley and PunkSaxMix like this.
  16. scobb

    scobb Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    You only have one copy :yikes:? Get off this forum right now o_O!
  17. long gone john

    long gone john Forum Resident

    Whitley Bay, UK
    ‘Days’ is one of my favourite Bowie tracks. Shame that the whole album is so hideously brickwalled. Let’s hope Bowie Box 6 sorts that out…
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  18. footprintsinthesand

    footprintsinthesand Reasons to be cheerful part 1

    Dutch mountains
    That would go against the Visconti evolution of Bowie album masterings as we've come to know it.
  19. charlie W

    charlie W EMA Level 8

    Area Code 254
    I enjoy it whenever I play it. I have it on CD and Dual-Disc.
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  20. MHP

    MHP Lover of Rock ‘n Roll

    I’m a Bowie fan and have all his music.

    “Reality” is in my opinion not a great album.
    There is some great and worthwhile songs, but there is also too much run-of-the-mill stuff going on.

    I think it was clear Bowie just wanted to have a rock album to tour behind at the time.
    Considering “Disco King” was a re-working of an older song (and with sampled drums from the Heathen outtake When The Boys Come Marching Home), plus 2 covers put on the album, tell books.

    New Killer Star, She’ll Drive The Big Car, Days, Fall Dog Bombs The Moon & Disco King are all great, though a couple of them seems a bit unfinished.

    The rest of the album, Pablo Picasso, Never Get Old, The Loneliest Guy, Looking For Water, Try Some Buy Some & Reality is plodding along in an unimaginative way.

    Compared to the majestic Heathen, Reality dissapointed me at the time.
  21. Sean

    Sean Senior Member

    Yea, I've been wanting to get off this site for a long time now.....:D
  22. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Essex, UK
    I think the biggest problem with this album is the sound, and I'm not talking compression. It just doesn't gel, like there's something missing. I find it a rather strark mix. It works for Disco King, but for the other tracks not so much. I mean, the opener is a great song, but it should have had a lot more drive to it, more weight. Same with Looking for Water, it needs to be untethered. I guess they were going for simpler arrangements, less fuss. But it all feels a little brittle and glass like to me.

    The Surround mix is nothing special, but is my preferred way of hearing it.
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  23. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Essex, UK
    Oh, and I'm not crazy about Pablo Picasso. Not because I dislike the song, but because I prefer John Cale's cover from the 70's.
    DTK likes this.
  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    That's true of virtually all Bowie.

    Very few Bowie songs worked better in their studio incarnations. He almost always improved them live!
  25. DME1061

    DME1061 Forum Resident

    Trenton, NJ
    I thought he was on a roll from 'hours' on through Black Star. Reality might be my least favorite from that group but is still a good album.

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