SJ-17138 Tonight
Produced by David Bowie, Derek Bramble & Hugh Padgham
Released on September 1984
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #11 . . . PLATINUM RECORD
Find it at GEMM
SJ-17138 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

W hen I purchased the Tonight elpee, it came with a sticker and a free single of “Blue Jean.” Missing was the counterculture icon of the ‘70s, the sci fi acolyte turned beglittered fashion idol turned brooding enigma. In his place was David Bowie, the aging icon whose free agency had cost one label a fortune. At the time of its release, I had yet to reconcile myself to Let’s Dance; it would take years of staring at one dull disappointment after another before that album looked good. When Tonight arrived, I was cautiously optimistic, and an unconventional video of “Loving The Alien” (conceived with fashion sensibilities that suggested Jean-Paul Gaultier’s futuristic perversion of history) implied that Bowie might have gotten back on track. Well, not Tonight. There are a few bright moments: “Blue Jean” is aces, “Tonight” is just swell and “Loving The Alien” reveals that our experimental spaceboy is still rattling around in that gilded cage somewhere. However, the rest of the record is recycled Iggy Pop (“Neighborhood Threat,” “Don’t Look Down”) and oldies (“I Keep Forgetting,” “God Only Knows”). Those last two tracks in particular come awfully close to sounding like parodies of the thin white duke. Of course, anyone who looked closely at Let’s Dance saw the same distressing signals: too little new music over too much time, the creative crutch of collaboration and what appeared to be, in a few cases, the artist on auto-cruise. The financial motivation to stave off retirement was certainly there, but where was the creative motivation? Let’s Dance proved at least that Bowie could adapt one more time and charm the masses at will. Tonight didn’t prove anything, except that EMI America wrote a big check without first checking under the hood.

SJ-17138 back cover SJ-17138 lyric sleeve SJ-17138 sticker insert
SJ-17138 back cover SJ-17138 lyric sleeve SJ-17138 sticker insert

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOVING THE ALIEN    (David Bowie)    7:07
  2. DON'T LOOK DOWN    (Iggy Pop/James Williamson)    4:08
  3. GOD ONLY KNOWS   (Brian Wilson/Tony Asher)    3:04
  4. TONIGHT    (David Bowie/Iggy Pop)    3:42
  5. NEIGHBORHOOD THREAT    (David Bowie/Iggy Pop/Ricky Gardiner)    3:10
  6. BLUE JEAN    (David Bowie)    3:09
  7. TUMBLE AND TWIRL    (David Bowie/Iggy Pop)    4:56
  8. I KEEP FORGETTING    (Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller)    2:32
  9. DANCING WITH THE BIG BOYS    (David Bowie/Iggy Pop/Carlos Alomar)    3:32

    JPN CD reissue bonus tracks
  10. THIS IS NOT AMERICA
  11. AS THE WORLD FALLS DOWN
  12. ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS

CREDITS

DAVID BOWIE -- vocals, mixing
CARLOS ALOMAR -- guitars
THE BORNEO HORNS -- horn arrangements
   STEVE ELSON -- baritone sax
   STANLEY HARRISON -- alto sax, tenor sax
   LENNY PICKETT -- tenor sax, clarinet
DEREK BRAMBLE -- bass guitar, guitar, synthesizer, background
SAMMY FIGUEROA -- percussion
OMAR HAKIM -- drums
CARMINE ROJAS -- bass guitar
Robin Clark -- vocals
Curtis King -- vocals
Arif Mardin -- strings & synthesizer arrangements, conductor
Mark Pender -- trumpet, flugel horn
Iggy Pop -- vocals (9)
George Simms -- vocals
Guy St. Onge -- marimba
Tina Turner -- vocals (4)
Hugh Padgham -- engineer, mixing
Mick Haggerty -- art direction & design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/AUSL September 1984 EMI America LP/CS EL 240 227-1/4 lyric sleeve, insert
UK 1984 EMI America CD CDP 7 46047  
US/CAN/PHI September 1984 EMI America LP/CS SJ/4XJ-17138 lyric sleeve, sticker insert
BRA 1984 EMI LP 31C 064 240227 lyric sleeve
COL 1984 Capitol LP 11984 picture sleeve
JPN 1984 EMI LP EYS 91092 picture sleeve, poster
KOR 1984 EMI LP OLE-561  
MEX 1984 EMI LP SLEM 1231  
NZ 1984 EMI America LP ST-17138 lyric sleeve
SING 1984 Thomsun Original CS EN-98  
SPA 1984 EMI LP 072 240227-1 lyric sleeve
VEN 1984 EMI LP 25502  
YUG 1984 Jugoton LP SEMIA 11077 lyric sleeve
UK   EMI LP DB1 lyric sleeve
JPN 1995 EMI CDX VJCP-25211 w. bonus tracks
WW 1999 EMI CD 5218970 24-bit digital remaster
JPN 1999 EMI Toshiba CD TOCP-65319 24-bit digital remaster
NET March 20, 2003 Disky CD SI 905404  
JPN 2007 EMI CD TOCP-70155 digital remaster

 

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