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YMMV / Never Let Me Down

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  • Author's Saving Throw: The 2018 remix is this to its supporters, who view it as a much-needed improvement to an album whose potential was held back by trend-chasing production techniques.
  • Broken Base: The 2018 remix suffers from a rather odd example of this in that fans are split on the quality of the redone album on a song-by-song basis. For each song, you'll find a good amount of people who either see it as a fantastic modernization of what was once a heavily dated victim of 80's overproduction or revile it as being nothing more than an attempt at polishing a turd. In the case of the detractors, you'll also find a Vocal Minority of people who adore the 1987 version of Never Let Me Down and decry the 2018 remix as a bastardization of an underappreciated album. The only songs people seem to near-unanimously think were significantly approved in the 2018 version are "Zeroes" (due to its more stripped-down nature being able to better show off Bowie's singing and guitar-playing skills) and "Glass Spider" (thanks to its Brian Eno and Nine Inch Nails inspired ambient-industrial angle that compliments the dark mood of the lyrics).
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  • Dork Age: The 1987 version of the album is considered to be emblematic of Bowie's 1984-1988 creative nadir, even more so than Tonight.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Inverted in regards to the 1987 version, especially after critical opinions have become more kind towards pop music nowadays. New listeners to the 1987 version of Never Let Me Down have frequently noted that while the album is indeed fairly run-of-the-mill compared to Bowie's usual foray, it's nowhere near as unlistenable as critical and fan consensus has made it out to be. What keeps this from being a case of Vindicated by History is the fact that the majority of people still agree that the 1987 version of Never Let Me Down was not a good David Bowie album, thanks to the unsympathetic production detracting from the songwriting's quality.
    • Played straight in regards to the 2018 version. Throughout the months between its announcement and actual release, it had been hyped up as if it would make David Bowie's worst-regarded album a masterpiece on par with Ziggy Stardust or "Heroes". Come the actual release, and fans are heavily split on just how improved each song actually is, as detailed under Broken Base above. Fortunately, it's not at a point where people are outright disavowing the album, but it is treated much less enthusiastically than it was back in July of 2018.
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  • Narm Charm: The minority of supporters for the 1987 version cite this trope as being the main reason for their enjoyment of it, stating that the bombast and cheesiness provide a kind of fun that the 2018 version lacks. Also crosses over a bit with I Liked It Better When It Sucked.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The 2018 version itself was this to the Boxed Set it was included in; because it was made exclusive to that set, with no plans for an individual CD and LP release, a good amount of fans who purchased Loving the Alien (1983-1988) stated that they did so primarily to get their hands on Never Let Me Down 2018. It's also reached a point where secondhand resales of the individual album on eBay can go through in just a matter of days compared to the other albums in the set.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Well, as minimally as "improved" goes, anyways. Despite the constant drubbing it gets from fans and critics, Never Let Me Down is actually considered a significant improvement over Tonight (mainly due to Bowie actually taking the time to plan the songs out instead of forcing out a quick n' dirty cash grab), albeit horrifically marred by an overly bombastic production. Additionally, with the exception of "Day-In Day-Out", all of its singles were considered surprisingly good, even and especially in the context of their parent album, with "Time Will Crawl" being seen even by Bowie himself as one of his best songs. It's rather telling that when the 2018 remix was announced, fans immediately shot down the idea of a similar treatment for Tonight, claiming that, unlike NLMD, it was beyond repair.

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