Not many artists have experienced such a commercial and critical nosedive as David Bowie. From a near-infallible and extremely prolific output in the 1970s, culminating in 1983’s lap of honour Let’s Dance, its follow-ups Tonight (1984) and Never Let Me Down (1987) are such unspeakable duds that they deserve to remain sealed. In fact, these two albums are the most readily available from Bowie’s back-catalogue in second hand vinyl stores, probably precisely for this reason. Feeling the need for a reinvention, his brief “Tin Machine” alt-rock phase was brave, but felt incredibly forced, screamed “midlife crisis” and remains a textbook case of ill-fitting makeovers. In the 1990s, flirtations with industrial music and what was then called “Jungle” saw a goateed Bowie playing catch-up with “the kids” and their music.
Bowie a few years later, as elder statesman and fashion icon