PJ-17267 Never Let Me Down
Produced by David Bowie and David Richards
Released on April 1987
Find it at GEMM
PJ-17267 cover  

H ard to believe that Bowie, whose every idea once oozed credibility, needed to restore said credibility, but such was the effect of infrequent and inferior product. File it under: What have you done for me lately? The man who sold two albums a year was now releasing them every other, so a clunker like Tonight was followed by a long awkward silence. Would his next album, Never Let Me Down, live up to high expectations? Eh, yeah, pretty close. The important thing is that David Bowie is fully engaged in this project, writing ten new songs that push little envelopes while still pushing his post-Dance persona. Let’s Dance and Tonight were patch jobs (in Dance’s case a very good one), so in a sense Never Let Me Down is Bowie’s first authentic album of new material in a real long while. It’s the reassurance some of us needed, since living in a world where Bowie doesn’t choose to compete is tolerable (as long as he’s happy doing something else), but a world where Bowie can’t compete is terrifying. The first side is far more recognizable, featuring the singles “Day-In Day-Out” (let’s dance again), “Time Will Crawl” (a minor major tom exercise), “Never Let Me Down” (a paean to Lennon of sorts) and the likeable mix of old and new in “Beat of Your Drum.” Side two isn’t as instantly engaging, but if it lacks immediate melodies it doesn’t lack intelligence. The opening “Glass Spider” reflects the future legend of the past, “’87 And Cry” points to Tin Machine as does the cranky contribution from Iggy, “Bang Bang.” Tin Machine was louder, different, yet their journey begins on Never Let Me Down as Bowie sought to fit into an alternative rock scene raised on his records. He wasn’t ready to rest on his laurels yet, so he chugged along, not the graceful boxer who could lick them just by smiling, but a smart veteran who could still give you ten good rounds.

PJ-17267 back cover PJ-17267 lyric sleeve
PJ-17267 back cover PJ-17267 lyric sleeve


  1. DAY-IN DAY-OUT    (David Bowie)    4:38
  2. TIME WILL CRAWL    (David Bowie)    4:18
  3. BEAT OF YOUR DRUM    (David Bowie)    4:32
  4. NEVER LET ME DOWN    (David Bowie/Carlos Alomar)    4:03
  5. ZEROES    (David Bowie)    5:46
  6. GLASS SPIDER    (David Bowie)    4:56
  7. SHINING STAR (MAKIN' MY LOVE)    (David Bowie)    4:05
  8. NEW YORK'S IN LOVE    (David Bowie)    3:55
  9. '87 AND CRY    (David Bowie)    3:53
  10. TOO DIZZY    (David Bowie/Erdal Kilizcay)    3:58
  11. BANG BANG    (Iggy Pop/Ivan Kral)    4:02

    CD bonus tracks


DAVID BOWIE -- lead vocals, additional guitar and keyboards, mellotron, moog, harmonica, tamborine, back-up vocals
CARLOS ALOMAR -- guitar, guitar synthesizer, tamborine, back-up vocals
PETER FRAMPTON -- lead guitar
ERDAL KIZILCAY -- keyboards, drums, bass, trumpet, back-up vocals, guitar, violins
Crusher Bennett -- percussion
The Borneo Horns:
  Steve Elson -- baritone saxophone
  Stan Harrison -- alto saxophone
  Lenny Pickett -- tenor saxophone
Robin Clark -- back-up vocals
The Coquettes (Coco, Sandro, Charuvan, Joe, Clement, John and Aglae): backing vocals (5)
Laurie Frink -- trumpet
Earl Gardner -- trumpet, flugelhorn
Diva Gray -- back-up vocals
Gordon Grodie -- back-up vocals
Loni Groves -- back-up vocals
Sid McGinnis -- lead guitar
Carmine Rojas -- additional bass
Mickey Rourke -- mid-song rap (7)
Phillipe Saisse -- piano, keyboards
Bob Clearmountain -- mixing
Malcolm Pollack -- additional recordings
Mick Haggerty -- art, set and design
Greg Gorman -- photography
Ron Oates -- set construction

UK April 1987 EMI America LP/CS AMLS 3117 lyric sleeve
US/CAN April 1987 EMI America LP/CS PJ/4PJ-17267 lyric sleeve
ARG   EMI LP 10020 inner sleeve
AUS'L 1987 EMI LP ST-240746  
BRA/GER 1987 EMI LP C064 240746 picture sleeve
MEX 1987 EMI America LP SLEM-1453 picture sleeve
US   Capitol CD CDP 7 46677 w. bonus tracks
YUG   Jugoton LP 73190  
EUR November 13, 1995 EMI CD 493097  
UK   EMI CD 5218940 24-bit dig. rem. w. booklet
EUR 2002 Disky CD VI 795622  


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