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Heathen
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Performer Notes
  • This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files.
  • Personnel includes: David Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone, keyboards, stylophone, drums); Kristeen Young (vocals, piano); Tony Visconti (guitar, recorder, bass, background vocals); Mark Plati (guitar, bass); David Torn (guitar, omnichord, loops); Pete Townshend, Dave Grohl, Carlos Alomar, Gerry Leonard (guitar); Lisa Germano (violin); Jordan Ruddess (keyboards); Tony Levin (bass); Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion, programming); Sterling Campbell (drums, percussion).
  • The Scorchio Quartet: Greg Kitzis, Meg Okura (violin); Martha Mooke (viola); Mary Wooten (cello).
  • The Borneo Horns: Lenny Pickett, Stan Harrison, Steve Elson.
  • Recorded at Allaire Studios, Shokan, New York and Looking Glass Stuidos, New York, New York.
  • "Slow Burn" was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
  • There's more than a hint of things turning full circle in the 21st century's first original David Bowie full- length album. On HEATHEN, Bowie not only reunites with co-producer Tony Visconti, but within the first 15 minutes references his '70s hit "Heroes" in the suitably smoldering "Slow Burn," and turns around late co-conspirator John Lennon's "God" in "Afraid" ("I believe in Beatles"). Bowie wisely gives himself the space to toy with old R&B rhythms and weighty, pre-punk guitar riffs, juxtaposing Bjork-like string sections with looped rock drums and hissing synth backgrounds on "I Would Be Your Slave," while coyly harking back to his Ziggy Stardust persona on "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship."
  • "A Better Future" features a chirpy '60s arrangement underlying the sort of fallout-saturated pop ditty that might one day become a favorite of the protagonists of "Drive-in Saturday." As you might expect from a Bowie/Visconti collaboration, the production is both high-tech and down-and-dirty--one minute all overloaded mics and booming drums, the next all chiming synths and breathy backing vocals. Featuring smartly chosen guests Pete Townshend and Dave Grohl, HEATHEN is a righteous return to form from an erratic but consistently intriguing pop master.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (6/20/02, p.82) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...HEATHEN is the sound of Bowie essentially covering himself - to splendid, often moving effect. The album sparkles with hindsight..."

Q (12/02, p.65) - Included in Q Magazine's "The 50 Best Albums of 2002."

Q (6/02, p.108) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...HEATHEN has the beefiest sound of a Bowie record since 1980's...It's great....A return to form. Definitely."

Uncut (1/03, p.94) - Ranked #10 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year" - "...A stirring return to form....Bowie kicked it into high gear vocally, lyrically and imaginatively..."

CMJ (6/02, p.13) - "...Bowie's vision is fully realized with the help of lush string arrangements, acoustic guitar and minimal electronics....If only more artists could age with this much grace."

Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.108) - "...A fine restatement of classic Bowie elements with contemporary twists...the production is back-toform too..."

NME (Magazine) (6/15/02, p.28) - 8 out of 10 - "...It's great. All of it....Bowie is still a zillion times more inventive, brave and rocket-to-Mars brilliant than anyone who's been prodded by the genius stick..."
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