RCD 20171 Changesbowie
Previously released material
Released on April 1990
Find it at GEMM
RCD 20171 cover
[high resolution scan]

R ykodisc deserves a round of applause for their stewardship of the Bowie back catalog, revitalizing interest in the artist with loving repackages that featured remastered sound, bonus cuts and excellent packaging. At a time when the majority of labels were still producing perfunctory CD reissues, Rykodisc tapped into the allure of CD technology and raised the bar of expectations with these releases. I usually hesitate before buying something on disc that I already have on vinyl, but not so these: I snatched up a complete collection from Space Oddity to Scary Monsters in a matter of a year and never looked back. However, job number one for Rykodisc was releasing the catalog under the Sound + Vision brand, including a new compilation to whet folks’ appetite. Titling it Changesbowie is faithful to the past, but where the earlier RCA compilations were spotty and unsatisfying this disc (available as a double elpee with three extra tracks) nails it with eighteen winners. No scattershot selections here, Changesbowie is a gleeful celebration of the past, beginning with “Space Oddity” and splashing down in the modern era with Tonight’s “Blue Jean.” In between it’s nothing but lean meat. While it’s worth noting that Low and Lodger are missing, I wouldn’t trade one track here for anything else. The disc's appeal is more than a case of righting an historical wrong (the absence of a legitimate greatest hits release in the US). Rykodisc understood that RCA had understated Bowie’s case on their earlier compilations. Changesbowie, by contrast, leaves nothing to chance. EMI America had done nothing to advance the cause (other than throw money at the artist), so it was up to Rykodisc to build the champion back up. Changesbowie didn’t single-handedly revive Bowie’s commercial fortunes, but it was one of several carefully aimed salvos at an audience whose attention had been allowed to wander. In other words, it reminded us again that David Bowie was an artist without peer. Of note: Rykodisc honored another longstanding tradition by including a new song to the sauce, “Fame ‘90 Remix.”

RCD 20171 gatefold sleeve
RCD 20171 gatefold sleeve


    CD track listing
  1. SPACE ODDITY    5:13
  2. JOHN, I'M ONLY DANCING    2:46
  3. CHANGES    3:33
  4. ZIGGY STARDUST    3:13
  6. JEAN GENIE    4:06
  7. DIAMOND DOGS    6:04
  8. REBEL REBEL    4:28
  9. YOUNG AMERICANS    5:10
  10. FAME '90 (REMIX)    (David Bowie/Carlos Alomar/John Lennon)    3:38
  11. GOLDEN YEAR    3:58
  12. HEROES    (David Bowie/Brian Eno)    3:35
  13. ASHES TO ASHES    4:22
  14. FASHION    4:46
  15. LET'S DANCE    4:07
  16. CHINA GIRL    (David Bowie/Iggy Pop)    4:14
  17. MODERN LOVE    3:56
  18. BLUE JEAN    3:09

    All songs written by David Bowie unless noted


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EUR April 1990 EMI 2LP/CD/CS DBTV1/CDP 7 94180/TCDBTV1 gatefold cover
US April 1990 Rykodisc 2LPCLR/CS/CD RALP/RACS 01712/RCD 20171 gatefold cover, clear vinyl
AUS'L/BRA 1990 EMI 2LP EMC 7 94180 gatefold cover
CAN 1990 Rykodisc CD RCD 80171 20-bit digital remaster gold disc
MEX 1990 EMI 2LP LEMPB-1682 gatefold cover


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