Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Edited versions make for a botched oppurtunity
Nostradamnus | Seattle, WA | 01/12/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For the casual Bowie fan this is a pretty good and pretty thorough collection, spreading across the breadth of what is widely considered his classic years, and including most of his well known songs, as well as a hit and miss selection of various rarities and semi-rarities. But is the song selection here as good as it could be? Is it listenable all the way through? Does it contain any bad songs? And what purpose does it serve in a world that already contains several Bowie compilations?
The real reason to consider this compilation is for the third disc, as the other two are available separately. Bowie's 80's period (discounting Scary Monsters)is the one in most need of a compilation cd as it was his weakest era. Let's Dance, Tonight, and Never Let Me Down are really of interest only for their singles and frankly not worth buying to anyone but a diehard. A compilation that simply rounded up the singles from these three albums would nicely fill a gap in Bowie's catalogue. Does disc 3 of the platinum collection fit the bill? Not quite. For one thing, the superb song "Never Let Me Down", from the mostly bad album of the same name, is inexplicably ommitted in favor of dreck such as "Underground" from the Labyrinth movie, and various other movie soundtrack songs that, while handy to get in one place like this, are generally from very decent soundtracks that would be worth having on their own. Futhermore in the effort to cram as many songs, including various sundry rarities, on here as possible, the compiliers have resorted to inferior edited versions of some key songs. Thank God they at least seem to have chosen the soundtrack version of Cat People (judging by the amazon song sample) instead of the absolutely wretched remake that mars the "Let's Dance" album. [Incidently, the Cat People remake is the very thing thing that pushes Let's Dance from a mediocre album to a bad one in my book, knocking it off my to-buy list and making this compilation tempting in the first place because of its inclusion of the 3 excellent Let's Dance singles].
However, despite what appears to be the inclusion of the original version of Cat People, they have chopped off two minutes of the song, a butchery job which borders on blasphemy! I really wonder why compilers think that this sort of thing is acceptable these days. Arbirarily cutting off minutes this way just to save space shows a real lack of respect for a recorded song as a performance and a peice of art. Can anyone imagine "Stairway to Heaven" or "I am the Walrus" or "Hey Jude" with two minutes lopped off? Would they be just as good? No? Then why do it here? The soundtrack version of "Cat People" is one of Bowie's very finest vocal performances and is somewhat hard to find on a Bowie cd in its original 6 minute plus version. If the idea was to include some genuinely worthwhile rarities from this era, an unedited "Cat People" should have been top of the list. But instead they amputate two whole minutes. I'm sure apologists for this kind of mutilation have their reasons. Perhaps someone will say this edit was actually some obscure 7 inch single version and not a new edit made specifically for this compilation. Regardless of such irrelvencies, everyone knows the definitive version of "Cat People" is the 6 minute plus version, so why not include it? If space was the only reason, I would gladly get rid of boring rarity-for-rarity's-sake crud like "Drowned" and "Alabama Song" that drag down the momentum of this cd anyway, to get back those 2 minutes of one of my all time favorite Bowie songs.
Disc 2 has a similar problem in the severely edited version of "Young Americans". Some songs simply need to be heard in full. These two are prime examples. As a result it's hard to reccomend this album and I consider it a botched oppurtunity to make sense of Bowie's 80's output.
Finally, as the Best of David Bowie 1969-1974 and 1974-1979 respectivly, are identical to disc one and two of this set, it seems to be adding insult to injury not to make disc 3 available separately as well---perhaps they thought it wouldn't sell on its own. Instead, those who own the first two discs already in the form of the earlier collections would be forced to duplicate them if they simply wanted the third disc as a representation of bowie's 80's period.
Though I might make this compilation sound pretty bad, it does enough things right to make itself tempting (such as collecting together some essential singles and rarities, especially from the shaky 80's period) and, in its favor, it actually could have been much worse. At the very least the compilers should be lauded for having the good taste not to include that horrendous monstrosity of a cover of "Dancing in the Street" Bowie did with Mick Jagger in the early 80's. I consider that abomination to be Bowie's absolute career low point and hands down THE worst song he's ever recorded bar none (yes I have heard the entire Deram Anthology including the infamous "Laughing Gnome", Dancing in the Street is worse). I cannot even listen to Dancing in the Street all the way through without feeling the overwhelming urge to press skip and actually got rid of the otherwise excellent "Singles Collection 1969-1993" simply because I was tired of having to get up and skip that godawful song every time I listened to it. So, simply by not including "Dancing in the Street", this collection earns an extra star from me, bringing it up from a 2 to a 3. And I truly hope this precedent becomes a trend for all future retrospective Bowie compilations.
To end on a more positive note, disc one of this album is a terrific encapsulation of bowie's glam period. It includes great rarities such as "Velvet Goldmine" and the almost impossible to find Bowie version of "All the Young Dudes", which is almost enough on it's own to make it worth buying, even if it does include a bit too much from Aladdin Sane. Fortunately, it is available separately as "The Best of David Bowie 1969-1974"."
The Platinum Collection
Morton | Colorado | 03/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Bowie-The Platinum Collection *****
With so many compilations to his name, some to his accord and some which he had nothing to due with, merely just record companies making money off the Bowie name, the question is, is this collection worthy of purchase with so many others available...Well yes actually. This is by far the best, and strongest collection of Bowie's entire career as far as biggest selling singles goes. This even include quite the number of songs that you wouldn't expect on the collection, and a prime example of this being 'John I'm Only Dancing (again)' which is something that most fans of Bowie would love to have on a collection like this but would never dream it possible to be included, which is further proof that you can not place a tag on David Bowie. This includes almost everything except for his mid 1990's work and 2000's work as even though he made some great music during this period it did not sell as well as his earlier material from 1968-1990.
So basically for someone who is interested in David Bowie this would make a fine introduction to the musicians career leaving gaps for newer fans to decide what facet of Bowie's career and explore it more. But as for those who are already fans this is more then just another way to expand your collection of Bowie compilations."