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David Bowie – Look Back in Anger (Tony Visconti 2017 Remix)

May 18th, 2020 | by admin
David Bowie – Look Back in Anger (Tony Visconti 2017 Remix)
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David Bowie • Look Back in Anger • Tony Visconti 2017 Remix • 1979

Released on this day, the 18th of May 1979, was David Bowie’s long awaited new album “Lodger”. For many, one of the highlights of the album was the track Look Back in Anger.

The material for Lodger was recorded for the most part in September of 1978, during the four month break in the Isolar II world tour. The material was then finished in March of 1979.
In the US Look Back in Anger was also a single. The shocking (!) androgyny of Boys Keep Swinging and it’s accompanying “outrageous” David Mallet directed-video was thought to be unsuitable for the US market, and so Look Back in Anger was chosen instead. It was released in the US on the 20th of August 1979, and despite being accompanied by another David Mallet video, it failed to chart.
At the time NME critic Charles Shaar Murray described Look Back in Anger as “probably the low point” of the album. I bought Lodger the day it came out, and to me the song was (and remains) the obvious standout track of the album. I agree with Chris “Pushing Ahead of the Dame” O’Leary, in that Look Back in Anger is “one of Bowie’s major songs of the late ’70s”.

Beyond the shared title, the song has little or nothing to do with the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger. Tho’ Osbourne’s play begins in an attic much like the setting of Mallet’s video. Chris O’Leary again, on the video, “Bowie, in an artist’s loft, paints himself as an angel and then, reverse-Dorian Gray style, transforms into a grotesque with paint- and clay-encrusted skin. In the final shot, Bowie drags himself up the stairs and crawls under his bed. It’s as though he’s been made leprous by his art, and he’s sickened by himself.”

Look Back In Anger

Unlike most of Lodger, Look Back in Anger doesn’t feature lead the players Adrian Belew, Roger Powell or Simon House. It is predominantly the work of the D.A.M. Trio rhythm section:
Dennis Davis: Drums
George Murray: Bass
Carlos Alomar: Guitar
In addition Sean Mayes is on Piano and Brian Eno on Synthesizer (and Horse trumpet and Eroica horn – whatever they are?!)

36 years after it’s original release, Parlophone included a new Tony Visconti remix of the entire Lodger album in the Bowie box set, “A New Career in a New Town”.

It seems that the original mixes of Lodger were never satisfactory to Visconti and Bowie, having been done on a sub-standard desk, due to an overbooked studio. Hard to believe that another artists work was important than mixing a new Bowie album! Anyway, in the sleeve notes for the remix Visconti says that his intention was to try to present Lodger as good sonically as the follow up album, Scary Monsters. The new mixes were done with Bowie’s approval and he had heard at least some of them before he passed away, we are told.

In terms of editing, I haven’t had to do much here. Starting out with the best quality version that I could find of the original Look Back in Anger video, I synced it to Tony Visconti’s new mix, which is marginally faster than the original. The new mix also has a longer outro fadeout. To accommodate this longer ending, the final part of the video, after Bowie’s lead vocal ends, has been slowed down. The quality of the original video always seemed a bit murky and washed out to me, so I added just a little sharpening, contrast and color saturation.
Thanks for watching, hope you dig it!

Credits
Video sources:
David Bowie • Look Back in Anger official promo video • Directed by David Mallet • 1979
Audio Sources:
David Bowie • Look Back in Anger • Tony Visconti 2017 Remix • From the album Lodger 2017
Musicians:
David Bowie • Vocals
Dennis Davis • Drums
George Murray • Bass guitar
Carlos Alomar • Guitar
Brian Eno • Synthesizer • Horse trumpet • Eroica horn
Sean Mayes • Piano
Tony Visconti & David Bowie • Production
Tony Visconti • Remix

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