Hours of limited-release material offered for the first time stateside
Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., Dec. 7, 2007
David BowieDavid Bowie Box (ISO/Columbia/Legacy)
As modern rock evolves, David Bowie remains an odd man out. Fans turned on by Ziggy tuned out after the embarrassment of Tin Machine. Others, blown away by Bowie's elastic sound and experiments in pre-electronica, found newer entertainments. Yet this 10-CD box of millennial-era LPs plus bonus remix discs offers latter-day salvation. Through contract magic and artist support, David Bowie Box collects albums the UK superstar recorded for Columbia and his personal ISO imprint, as well as his Virgin output. With hours of limited-release material offered for the first time stateside, DBB follows the contrails of Bowie's most recent hits and hiccups, picking up with Outside from 1995 (produced by Brian Eno) and carrying through to his triumphal return to form with 2002's Heathen (check Pixies cover "Cactus"). The other three platters are '97's Earthling, '99's Hours..., and 2002's Heathen follow-up, Reality. Limited-edition packaging pays homage to the inimitable talents of the aging White Duke, while guests and celebrity DJs bring the party: Beck dresses up a pair of outtakes, Trent Reznor adds to his Nine Inch Nails treatment of "I'm Afraid of Americans," and even Moby messes with a trio of tracks. Remixes notwithstanding, the real shocker is that the second coming of Bowie is worth witnessing yet again – and not just by young Americans.