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David Bowie – Look Back in Anger – Dennis Davis Isolated Drums Breakdown by Tony Visconti

March 16th, 2019 | by admin

The HD Projects with Nacho’s Videos presents,

David Bowie • Look Back in Anger • Dennis Davis Isolated Drums Breakdown by Tony Visconti

The HD Projects is very proud to present the first in a series of video’s featuring our interview with world-famous music producer, Tony Visconti.

The interview took place in 2018. Tony generously and comprehensively answered our questions. He provided a lot of information and insight into the music he and David Bowie made, and the times they shared with drummer Dennis Davis.

As part of the interview, Tony provided some unique Bowie track breakdowns, to illustrate how important Dennis Davis drumming was to the sound of Bowie’s groundbreaking late 70’s music.

One such was of Look Back in Anger – the classic Bowie rocker from his 1979 album, Lodger. It is a track dominated by Dennis Davis’ drums, and is rightly regarded as one Dennis’ signature tracks with Bowie.

Dennis’ drum tracks for Lodger were in all likelihood recorded at Mountain Studios in Switzerland, in September 1978, during the break in Bowie’s Isolar II World Tour.

On Tony’s breakdown for The HD Projects, vocals and lead instruments are stripped away to fully reveal the drumming, and a previously unidentified Dennis Davis conga drum track, subtly hidden in the mix.

In places, elements of the original track, including Bowie’s vocal, have been mixed back to add context and enjoyment to the video.

Huge thanks to Jeremy Otto at The Musicians Notepad for the use of his drumming footage


A personal note from Hikaru Davis:

After my father’s passing, I didn’t want to hear anybody say his name. It was not because I wanted to forget about him. It was my way of mourning. It made me sad, angry, and depressed to hear his name from someone. I wanted to keep him only inside of me. Maybe I was too selfish. But I was only 10 years old.

After a while, I started looking at social media to see what people were saying about my father. And I saw an article in Rolling Stone Magazine about Dad’s death. That’s when I saw Mr. Tony Visconti’s name for the first time. To be honest, I didn’t know much about my father’s career when he was alive. Dennis Davis was my dad. I used to go to his gigs with him, and watch him set up his drums and play. But wow, Rolling Stone? I know that magazine! And Mr. Visconti wrote such nice things about my father.

When I started this interview series, he was on top of my “I want to interview” list. I nervously sent him a message, and wrote him what I was doing. He generously agreed to do the interview. But he is such a busy person. I had to wait for a year. He invited my mother and me to his studio in New York City, right before my 11th birthday in March 2018. He answered all of my questions in a way I could understand.

And then my video partner Nacho has been editing the material for another year.

Now, it’s almost my 13th birthday around the corner. I’m so excited to share the series of interview videos with Mr. Tony Visconti. I hope you enjoy, and remember my late father, Dennis Davis. Thank you all for supporting me and my project!


A note from Nacho:

I am very proud to working on this project with the Davis family. I first noticed the drumming of Dennis Davis on tracks like Look Back in Anger, when I was about the age that Hikaru is now. At that time, I had no idea who Dennis Davis was, but I loved what I was hearing. And my appreciation and enthusiasm for the music that Dennis made such an important contribution to, has never really waned.

A lot of preparations were made for the interview with Tony Visconti, and there was considerable anticipation. The material Hikaru sent me from that day, exceeded all expectations and it is a huge and satisfying ongoing task to produce videos that do justice to that material, and to the subject matter.

The Look Back in Anger track breakdowns were an obvious standout in the material, and I felt a stand-alone video was warranted. Hikaru and Chie captured great sound at Tony’s studio and his explanations and enthusiasm for Dennis drumming is a delight. But, Tony and Hikaru looking at a computer screen throughout the playback was not a satisfying visual, so I got to work…


Dennis Davis passed away on April 6th, 2016. Hikaru is the youngest child of the late drummer. Hikaru interviews some of the great musicians and producers who have worked with his late father, as well as Dennis’s friends and family. Dennis Davis played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Roy Ayers, George Benson and many others. Hikaru hopes to learn how and why his father was one of the greatest drummers, and hear inspiring stories of his father through this tribute project.

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