Prisoner Of Love
I Can't Read
You Belong In Rock 'N Roll
You Can't Talk
Shopping For Girls
Leon Takes Us Outside
The Hearts Filthy Lesson
A Small Plot Of Land
Segue Baby Grace
Segue Algeria Touchshreik
Voyeur Of Utter Destruction
Ramona A. Stone
I Am With Name
Segue Nathan Adler
Thru' These Architects Eyes
Battle For Brittain
Dead Man Walking
The Last Thing You Should Do
Looking For Satellites
Seven Years In Tibet
Law (Earthling On Fire)
Something In The Air
If I'm Dreaming My Life
What's Really Happening
The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell
New Angels Of Promise
We Shall Go To Town
We All Go Through
No One Calls
then that's sad. Claude you have named most of Outside. It seems like a test of how good a Bowie fan you are. I love Outside but it is never in the same league as his 70's stuff plus Heathen. The latter is a real classic for me. It's a shame he left it at Reality.
Secret Life Of Arabia
African Night Flight
Look Back In Anger
Boys Keep Swinging
I'm Afraid Of Americans
Leon Takes Us Outside
Hearts Filthy Lesson
A Small Plot Of Land
Segue - Baby Grace (A Horrid Cassette)
I Have Not Been To Oxford Town
Segue - Algeria Touch Shreik
Voyeur Of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)
Segue - Ramona A Stone
I Am With Name
We Prick You
Segue - Nathan Adler
Segue - Nathan Adler (end)
Would be interesting to see what songwriting credits the earlier material would have if Bowie lightened up about getting all the credit. Also I'd throw in the concept of 'arranger' too. Ronno wins outright.
I wouldn't really count the Outside 'jam' songs with multiple co-writers as it's hard to know who wrote what, but I say Gabrels because Bowie's work without Gabrels in that era was generally not as good. With Gabrels co-writing, Bowie's music was a little bit more melodic.
E.G. Tin Machine with Gabrels:
Prisoner Of Love
I Can't Read
You Belong in Rock n' Roll
You Can't Talk
Shopping for Girls
V Tin Machine without Gabrels
Heaven's in Here
Under the God
Working Class Hero
Baby Can Dance
If There Is Something
A Big Hurt
Goodbye Mr. Ed
Good point, but Erdal didn't have any writing credits on Buddha, so difficult to argue that he's Bowie's best writing partner.
Perhaps he's an inspiring guy to have around, but I think it's more the subject matter (mainly South East London) that proved inspiring for DB, and Erdal was employed more for his multi-insturmentalist skills.
Being a musician, I can surmise that DB was inspired by Erdal. And the fact that no writing credits have been given to Kizilkay is just a contractual matter. Golden Years is credited to Bowie but Alomar did the whole thing. Bowie just plunkered on the piano and sang 5 words and said to Alomar you see what I mean ? ;-0
Yeah, that could be very true! Rodgers has no songwriting credit for the China Girl staccato intro/ outro.
Thinking about DB's co-writers....Unless I'm mistaken, from 1964-1973, Bowie wrote all his songs on his own. Space Oddity, Hunky Dory, Ziggy, etc... He did also cover other artists' work (E.G. The Stones, Jacques Brel, Springsteen, etc), but he never sat down with another artist to pen songs together, never shared a songwriting credit in this period.
Something changed in the mid 70's and Bowie became open to the idea of composing a song with another artist. Perhaps the reason for this change in approach was Pin Ups. Bowie's album of covers.
Perhaps the whole schizophrenia aspects of those early 70's albums were too much of a drain on his psyche and the liberation of recording Pin Ups, a whole album of other artists' songs, taught him to allow other people to help write his own music. For straight after Pin Ups, Bowie recorded Diamond Dogs, which featured Rock N Roll With Me, written with Warren Peace, his first co-write.
Then nearly every album after, from Diamond Dogs to 'hours', featured co-writes. The only 2 albums from this long period to not credit another co-songwriter are Scary Monsters & Buddha. Significantly, after 'hours', Bowie went back to doing solo compositions on Toy, Heathen & Reality. Chubby Little Loser, or whatever it's called, being the only exception, with Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais being the co-writers (the chord structure on that song is very similar to the bridge of Hallo Spaceboy).
I reckon there was also a reason that Bowie stopped writing with other songwriters in the Noughties, and reverted back to doing solo compositions, but I don't know what it is. Maybe it was the acrimonious split from Gabrels? Or perhaps it was the personal and philosophical nature of Heathen which was not conducive to a co-writing situation...
Anyway, getting back to the debate, IMO, there are 3 main contenders: Eno, Pop & Gabrels
Eno co-wrote Warsazawa on Low, about 5 on Heroes, about the same number on Lodger, the jam and some of the non-jam tracks on 1.Outside and IAO Americans.
Iggy Pop co-wrote most of Lust For Life, The Idiot & Blah Blah Blah with DB and some of their co-writes appeared as covers on Bowie's 3 EMI albums.
Gabrels co-wrote nearly all the best Tin Machine numbers on both TM albums, You've Been Around on BTWN, the jam tracks on 1.Outside (and he wrote a song called Moondust which became Spaceboy), some of the 1.outside tracks, all but 1 of the Earthling songs, most of the 'hours' songs, and the 'hours' outtakes.
Alongside those main 3, there are a few other guys who have co-written more than 1 song with DB: Alomar (5 songs), Kizilkay, Garson, Campbell, Peace, Plati, Armstrong, the Sales brothers, etc....
But my vote goes to Gabrels. Reason is that Bowie is/was a fantastic solo songwriter. Utter genius who needed no help to pen an awesome song. However, if you look at DB's work from '89 to '99, often the best songs from this era will be Gabrels co-writes. Gabrels actually improved what Bowie was doing at the time which is why I think he was a good songwriting partner.
I think that with Iggy, Bowie wrote the music and Pop contributed the lyrics (Red Money uses the same music as Sister Midnight but has no Iggy credit). If so, I think Bowie could have done just as good or better himself. I'm not saying Pop is a bad lyricist, far from it, but I feel that Bowie is also a brilliant lyricist. Bowie and Pop did some great stuff on their 3 albums together. Blah Blah Blah is a brilliant album, especially the track Little Miss Emperor. If only Bowie could have been as adventurous on his own albums around that time.
Eno, I'm slightly suspicious of. He didn't write any of the Roxy Music songs, he hasn't had any solo hit songs, he didn't produce Low, Heroes or Lodger, only 1.Outside (which I think sounded better live and was therefore badly produced). Low only had 1 Eno co-write and I actually wonder what Eno's contribution to the song was. But I have to admit that Lodger is a gem of an album, and Eno had a large hand in creating it, so I respect him for that! Getting the musicians to swap instruments on Boys Keep Swinging was a genius idea.
This message has been edited by BenderRodriguez from IP address 188.8.131.52 on Aug 6, 2012 4:48 PM
I think Eno brought the tools to make these ambient records Bowie longed for, if you listen to most of ambient records from that period, Eno's are the ones that stand the test of time. Also during this era music was in constant transformation, you had to rethink everything from one year to the other to stay on top, not like today...
But this said, for having worked in studios extensively, so much happens in a studio, engineers behind the console are never credited but they give lots of input that have a definitive impact on a song. Also mistakes are a genuine catalyst of fantastic ideas.
What comes to mind is Heroes guitar, the engineer forgot to mute the first 2 takes when listening to the 3rd take, hence this created that mindfucking sound that we've listened to hundred of times without getting bored ! The song would have sounded totally different without this mistake.
And there are probably other things that we'll never know about.
On Sunday, everyone was looking for a synth pad to put behind Bowie's voice, and finally I suppose out of desperation, Visconti recorded his voice, layered it with harmony, tweaked it and it became the pad sound you hear on Sunday.
I'll never understand the mess that became Hours... it's like Tonight revisited with no energy.
I think they didn't go along in the studio at that time. Gabrels pulling for more experimentation and DB bored to death (like on Tonight), because what came out didn't have much character, except Thursday's Child.
Dash_Away (Login Dash_Away) BW Member 184.108.40.206
August 6 2012, 7:16 PM
Hours is a curate's egg. Yes, it's seems a muted album, under produced and performed. Yet...there's a flow to it that appeals to me. It's Bowie's most chill-out LP. Not amongst his best, sure, but still a quietly understated work.
Pierre, thanks for your great posts (this forum needs a 'thumbs up' function).
'hours' an interesting one, as it's quite a boring album by Bowie standards. My theory is that it's full of faux regrets, Bowie writing from an imaginary viewpoint of a man who had achieved little. This insincerity perhaps led to a lack of conviction or enthusiasm for the lyrics, making it sound like a subdued hangover from the party of Earthling and enthusiasm of the Outside era (album, tour, reinterpreted old songs and festival dates).
What's Really Happening was a real low. Vocal melody for the verses stolen from You Keep Me Hanging On and lyrics by a comp winner, with the original chorus being the worst part. Having said that, it's not all bad. Survive & Something in the Air are 2 great tracks that I couldn't live without. & I love the wistful, dreamy experimentation of We Shall All Go To Town & We All Go Through. Those 2 tracks go well with Wood Jackson, another brilliant non-album track. Wish that 'hours' had more of the experimental tracks thrown in, might have given it a whole different sheen.