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Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

February 20 2017 at 8:48 PM
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nick f  (Login nickfa)
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Gabor
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 20 2017, 9:21 PM 

This was a great read. I loved Gabrels as Bowie's guitar player, but their partnership started to get stale and things got overproduced. We Shall Go To Town is a prime example.

 
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Doctorocto
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 20 2017, 10:02 PM 

Good interview. Enjoyed that.
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 20 2017, 10:51 PM 

Great interview. I did briefly meet him, actually a few times, and he mentioned the Hours outtakes and the idea of a Tin Machine box set. I love We shall All Go To Town, think it's brilliant. So I nodded when he said that disagreements about what should be on hours were what motivated him to move on.

Felt like Reeves was massively overlooked at the Bowie Is exhibition. I think there was something like 1 sentence!

 
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gabe
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 20 2017, 11:34 PM 

Excellent interview! Reeves has mentioned before the original hours album was more raw and dark till Bowie watered it down and polished it up.

 
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Gabor
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 10:00 AM 

Are the original versions the Omikron ones?

 
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Larranaga
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 10:21 AM 

That's a great interview. Was never much of a fan of Reeves' guitarplaying,
but there's no denying the pivotal role he played in getting Bowie to junk his '80s work -
so we all owe Gabrels a big thanks!

 
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Frankie
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 12:38 PM 

That confirms the existence of a studio recording of You've Been Around as played by Tin Machine only ONCE in 1989 at the world NY. Lovely version, wonder if we'll ever see this Tin Machine box set.

 
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justforoneday
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 3:08 PM 

Such a good interview. I love Reeves playing and think whether you are a fan of his style or not, we all owe him a great deal in shaping Bowie's output from the late 80's onwards. Am also a massive fan of The Cure, and after seeing them on their tour last year, can confirm Reeves really still can play guitar!
Interesting thought as to where Bowie would have ended up musically without his intervention.

 
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sam
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 3:29 PM 

What did he mean, "it got weird" with Bowie there for awhile?

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 3:43 PM 

Bowie had some talent but clearly wouldn't have made the breakthrough without Gabrel's artistic direction happy.gif

 
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MGOSCH
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 21 2017, 4:55 PM 

Tin Machine demo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PemstNpfIvg



As for Gabrels, he made his reply in 1995, refitting the original “Around” demo with some new guitar tracks, and, in a fine tit-for-tat, he replaced Bowie’s vocals in the second verse with the actor Gary Oldman (sounding a bit like Bono).



 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 22 2017, 1:31 AM 

I think bowie grappled a lot with how far to go experimentally, to me bowie has always first and foremost been more of a commercial mainstream artist who dabbled occasionally slightly leftfield, but he still couldn't help himself putting a commercial sheen on most of his material, hours being a prime example.
even outside, low and Buddha has its more accessible tracks.
he liked the idea of Scott walker for example but he could never have thrown himself completely out there.
the next day more so but even blackstar was far from leftfield as it was originally thought it might be, actually a very accessible quite mainstream album.

 
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Noggin
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 22 2017, 2:13 AM 

Thanks for the link.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 22 2017, 2:36 AM 

You've Been Around
Bass – Matt Gruenberg
Drums, Percussion – Hunt Sales
Guitar, Percussion – RG*
Lead Vocals [2nd Verse] – Gary Oldman
Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals – David Bowie
Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals [2nd Verse] – Tom Dubé*
Written-By – Bowie*, Gabrels*

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 22 2017, 3:31 PM 

Sylvainne,

it's all depends on who you compare him with. Comparing to Walker, he wasn't an experimental musician, but compared to 99% of today's music, he surely was.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 22 2017, 7:33 PM 

He says in the interview he wrote 48 songs with Bowie. I think that was probably too many. It's the decade I care least about in retrospect.

He cites the influence of the tin machine 1 album on Never Mind, however surely an unequivocal success would have been if Tin Machine 1 had been Nevermind - a decade defining album in almost everyone's record collection - which it wasn't. I liked Heavens in here, but that was a Bowie composition. I can't read and amazing were not bad too buts that's 3 or 4 out of over a dozen tracks.

He says that his collaborations with Bowie were darker and great before some dodgy production decisions. You know what, of his co-compositions I actually think that while they were Gabrels best work, they were a long way from Being Bowies best work. What's interesting is that many of my favourites like baby can dance are actually Bowie solo composition spoiled in my view bŷ Gabrels annoying guitar. Again there are some co-compositions I have a soft spot for, like baby universal or you belong in rock'n'roll but on the whole the tin machine work wasn't an unequivocal success.

A double album version of oy vey baby? - please no, one record was bad enough.

I do love the black tie white noise version of you've been around, but by then it was quite a long way away from the tin machine original.

The best compositions on outside are all Bowie eno or Bowie solo compositions and there is almost nothing I like on earthling, save telling lies which again is a Bowie solo number.

The one that sums it up for me is hours. You absolutely feel that at no point in that album do Bowie and Gabrels completely nail any track. The songs are all compositionally wrong footed - they are almost pretty and rueful but poor melody or chord choices mean each of them just doesn't quite catch fire, it's not just poor production. They wrote loads of songs for that and couldn't find 10 crackers among them. We all go to town is a dirge and wouldn't have saved that album in any meaningful way.

At that point I think Bowie felt he would try another tack. What surprises me is that Heathen and Reality were comparatively light on Bowie originals or Bowie originals that were good. It perhaps suggests that Bowie really needed a cowriter in that decade for some reason. Was it lack of confidence? The next day and Blackstar are genuine returns to form, and with blackstar in particular I think he finally wrote a self penned album that was unequivocally coherent and great.

 
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TJNewton
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You've been around

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February 23 2017, 6:54 PM 

I remember Bowie joking that because btwn was a Bowie album and not a TM album he was able to mix reeves into the background which he joked undoubtedly annoyed him.

 
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sammy mcnight
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 24 2017, 2:04 AM 

a very perceptive summation Timmy Sheen. lack of confidence? accumulated exhaustion necessitating a sabbatical? the mysteries of creativity.

 
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Anonymous
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Re: Excellent interview with Reeves Gabrels

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February 24 2017, 5:36 PM 

By the way, I enjoyed reading the interview, it was quite revealing. I don't want anyone to think that I hated it or hate reeves. What strikes me about it is the surprising generosity of Bowie and the sheer duration of their professional relationship. Presumably he felt that whilst reeves wasn't as much of a multi instrumentalist, he was perhaps more of a songwriter (in a way that perhaps Ronson wasn't, despite his greater musical talent). In my view, Gabrels kind of replaces Erdal Kizilkay as a sparring partner. I know we have discussed his falling out with kizilkay before but Buddha was a highlight in that decade and could have been the reigniting of a longer collaboration but they obviously fell out very seriously leading to Bowie deleting too dizzy.

 
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