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Loving the Alien [1983-1988] [Box Set] Image
Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The 11-disc box set collects the pop icon's music from 1983 - 1988 including remasters of 1983's Let's Dance; 1984's Tonight; 1987's Never Let Me Down; as well as live albums: previously unreleased 1983's Serious Moonlight from Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum and 1987's Glass Spider; a remixThe 11-disc box set collects the pop icon's music from 1983 - 1988 including remasters of 1983's Let's Dance; 1984's Tonight; 1987's Never Let Me Down; as well as live albums: previously unreleased 1983's Serious Moonlight from Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum and 1987's Glass Spider; a remix disc; and a disc of rare tracks. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 16, 2018
    80
    The fascinating thing about Loving the Alien is how it makes this period seem more interesting than the individual albums, and that's entirely due to the dance mixes, ephemera, and awkward live material. On these byways, it's possible to hear Bowie grapple with both his past and present in a hungry fashion and that desperation is alien to Bowie, so an immersion into this unease makes for compelling listening.
  2. Oct 11, 2018
    80
    While few would suggest that there’s material here rivalling Bowie’s 70s peak, there are more than enough elegant, standout moments. You may not exactly fall in love with it, but you’ll certainly strongly admire the work here.
  3. Mojo
    Oct 11, 2018
    80
    The box set's main selling point is the inclusion of a completely different version of Never Let Me Down, recorded posthumously. [Nov 2018, p.100]
  4. 70
    Let’s Dance is the highlight of this 11- disc compilation which finds Bowie moving from that high point to some of his most unsatisfactory, misguided, uninspired and at times even embarrassing music (the ear-wincing Mick Jagger duet on “Dancing in the Streets,” anyone?). ... Two more discs of 1987’s Glass Spider tour with Peter Frampton on guitar document a successful jaunt where Bowie rescued some of the newer material in a flashy, elaborate, well received live show. A Dance platter of extended 12 mixes included here is for diehards only and the fourth volume of Re: Call collects another two platters of rarities, single edits, hard to find live tracks and the like.
  5. Uncut
    Oct 11, 2018
    70
    The LPs collected here lack the punch of his previous efforts. But they do have their charms. ... Most revealing are two live LPs, from '83 and '87, that show an artist reconsidering his old hits--and his old selves--for new fans. [Nov 2018, p.45]
  6. 50
    Padded out with uneven live albums, indifferent remixes and anodyne film soundtrack songs, this 120-track package makes for depressingly arid listening in places. That said, no anthology that includes the heart-soaring Absolute Beginners or the high-gloss Let’s Dance can be considered a total wash-out.
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