511 216-2 Tin Machine II
Produced by Tin Machine & Tim Palmer
(Track 2 by Hugh Padgham)
Released on September 1991
Find it at GEMM
511 216-2 cover  

I f the first album felt like an airing out of David Bowie’s heavy metal aspirations, Tin Machine II seemed visibly deflated. The band shrank from the sonic onslaught of songs like “Under The God” and “Heaven’s In Here” (not counting The Pixies-packed punch of “A Big Hurt”), and discovered a dreamier and moodier muse. It’s here, on songs like “Baby Universal,” “Amlapura,” “One Shot” and “Shopping For Girls,” that Tin Machine delivers something the rest of the music industry wasn’t (their original raison d’etre). It’s audibly the work of the band, and yet different than anything they’d done on their own or with Iggy Pop. “You Belong In Rock & Roll,” for example, harks back to “An Occasional Dream” from Bowie’s earliest work; “Betty Wrong” recalls the softer side of the seductive “China Girl.” Yet you have to strain to effect the comparison; Tin Machine II defies easy categorization. On their first album, Reeves Gabrels’ played the sonic graffiti artist while Bowie flailed at imagined demons. Tin Machine II takes the world in stride, not looking to knock down the wall so much as poke holes in it with tracks like “Goodbye Mr. Ed” and “Shopping For Girls.” The Sales Brothers get more of a say in the final product too, with increased songwriting credits and a pair of vocals from Hunt (“Stateside,” “Sorry”). Stacked up against the rest of his post-Dance output to date, Tin Machine II may be the most substantial of Bowie’s releases in creative terms. It certainly sounds credible, whereas Tin Machine’s debut didn’t. However, I seem to be in the minority on this one, so if you find safety in following the critical consensus, start with their first record. A couple of minor things worth noting: the CD includes a “hidden” instrumental track (it’s pretty short, so don’t get too excited) and the album cover exists in its original and “castrated” versions. It says a lot about the hersterical mindset of 1991 that four castrated males on the cover were deemed less offensive.

511 216-2 back sleeve 511 216-2 lyric gatefold
511 216-2 back sleeve 511 216-2 lyric gatefold


  1. BABY UNIVERSAL    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels)    3:18
  2. ONE SHOT    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels/Hunt Sales/Tony Sales)    5:11
  3. YOU BELONG IN ROCK & ROLL    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels)    4:07
  4. IF THERE IS SOMETHING    (Bryan Ferry)    4:45
  5. AMLAPURA    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels)    3:46
  6. BETTY WRONG    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels)    3:48
  7. YOU CAN'T TALK    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels/Hunt Sales/Tony Sales)    3:09
  8. STATESIDE    (Words: Hunt Sales/David Bowie, Music: Hunt Sales/David Bowie)    5:38
  9. SHOPPING FOR GIRLS    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Reeves Gabrels)    3:44
  10. A BIG HURT    (Words & Music: David Bowie)    3:40
  11. SORRY    (Words & Music: Hunt Sales)    3:39
  12. GOODBYE MR. ED    (Words: David Bowie, Music: David Bowie/Hunt Sales/Tony Sales)    3:24
  13. (CD bonus:) hidden instrumental track


DAVID BOWIE -- lead & backing vocals, rhythm guitar, piano & saxophone
REEVES GABRELS -- lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals, vibrators, drano & organ
HUNT SALES -- drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals
TONY SALES -- bass & backing vocals
Kevin Armstrong -- piano (9), rhythm guitar (4)
Tim Palmer -- additional piano and percussion
Chuck Ferry -- engineer
Guy Gray -- engineer
Hugh Padgham -- engineer & mixing (2)
Eric Schilling -- engineer
Justin Shirley-Smith -- engineer
Reggie Simkins -- engineer
Simon Vinestock -- engineer
Sally Hershberger -- photography
Edward Bell -- illustration
Reiner Design Consultants, Inc. -- design

return to TIN MACHINE discography

UK September 1991 London LP/CD/CS 828 272 inner sleeve
US September 1991 Victory LP/CD/CS 511 216 lyric sleeve
US 1991 Victory CDLE 511 575 unedited cover w. poster
ARG 1991 London LP 29361 inner sleeve


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