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Trivia / Never Let Me Down

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  • Creator Backlash: Like Tonight before it, Bowie had hardly a kind word to say about Never Let Me Down in the years following its release. In particular, Bowie's distaste for the album's penultimate track, "Too Dizzy", has become the stuff of legends among his fans, to the point where Mario J. McNulty (the producer of Never Let Me Down 2018) openly stated that he would never consider remixing that particular song. The details for why Bowie hated that one track so fervently are detailed under Keep Circulating the Tapes below.
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  • Development Hell: The 2018 remix is an unusual case of this in the sense that it was the planning stage that heavily stagnated, rather than the actual production. Bowie had been planning a do-over of Never Let Me Down since the very year it was released, first bringing up the idea to Reeves Gabrels in late 1987. Gabrels, however, shot the idea down, stating that it had been too soon since the original album appeared on store shelves. Bowie agreed with Gabrels, and put the idea off. He next brought the idea up just before the recording sessions for Earthling in 1996, but again, it failed to materialize for whatever reason. A Never Let Me Down redo wouldn't be brought up again until 2008, with the production of Mario J. McNulty's remix of "Time Will Crawl" for the iSelect compilation album, with Bowie stating in the linear notes "oh, to redo the rest of the album..." Unfortunately, Bowie would end up dying before his prospect of a Never Let Me Down do-over could come to fruition, but he was able to hand-pick some of the session musicians who participated in the recording of new backing instrumentals for the album's redo, which would finally be recorded quite smoothly during the first quarter of 2018. The do-over that Bowie had spent the last 29 years of his life yearning for would finally see an official release on October 12, 2018, exclusively as part of the Loving the Alien (1983-1988) Boxed Set.
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  • Executive Meddling: The album's severe overproduction can be attributed to EMI still wanting to cash in on the 80's pop rock sound that made Let's Dance a success, despite that same pressure being a major factor in the poor quality of Tonight. Because Bowie took an "indifferent" approach to the album's production, the executives and co-producer David Richards were free to stuff it with as much synthesizers and gated reverb as they pleased.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: "Too Dizzy", the album's penultimate track, was removed from all reissues at Bowie's request. As a result, the only way to hear it without entering the realm of piracy is to obtain an original 1987 vinyl/CD pressing. Bowie himself described the song as a throwaway piece that he was surprised got included on Never Let Me Down in the first place, and reportedly stormed out the first time he heard the finished song. Some have also speculated that Bowie grew uncomfortable with the album's lyrics over time; the song is meant to be sung from the point of view of someone hopelessly in love with a person already dating a guy, but certain lines (i.e. "it's me or no other" and "you can't have no lover") make the narrator come off more as a yandere.
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  • Name's the Same: Despite sharing a release year and having similar titles, the album and title track are unrelated to the Depeche Mode song "Never Let Me Down Again".
  • Refitted for Sequel: Of a sort. During the original album's production, Bowie got the Borneo Horns to record a part for "Day-In Day-Out", only for their work to later be replaced with synthesized horns for the final release. For the 2018 version, Mario McNulty was able to find and restore the Borneo Horns' recording for the new version of the same track.
  • What Could Have Been: Shortly after Never Let Me Down's 1987 release, Bowie publicly expressed his excitement to return to the studio immediately after the then-upcoming Glass Spider Tour, aiming to create a more musically experimental follow-up in the vein of his Berlin Trilogy. However, the disastrous critical and fan reception of both Never Let Me Down and the tour affected Bowie to such a degree that he dropped his plans for the follow-up album and instead formed Tin Machine as a means of artistically rejuvenating himself. Supposedly, the tracks "Lucy Can't Dance" & "Pretty Pink Rose" and a cover of "Like a Rolling Stone" were originally planned for inclusion on this aborted album, but were eventually repurposed in different forms on later projects.note  Bowie would eventually make a Spiritual Successor to the Berlin trilogy in the form of 1993's The Buddha Of Suburbia, but the one that was intended to follow Never Let Me Down never really came to fruition.

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