Song of the Day #2,880: ‘Without You’ – David Bowie

bowie_lets_danceThe album that many Bowie fans pinpoint as David Bowie’s first big miss, a soulless exercise in commercialism, also happens to be the biggest success of his career.

1983’s Let’s Dance was indeed crafted with a broader audience in mind. Bowie described it as “a refocusing of Young Americans” and the singles do share the catchy exuberance of that album’s title track.

Let’s Dance has a bad reputation — it marks the turning point from the undisputed classic era of Bowie’s career to the more uneven decades that followed — but I find it quite good. Kickoff track ‘Modern Love’ is one of his finest efforts, which even the album’s detractors admit, and hit singles ‘China Girl’ and ‘Let’s Dance’ are more than worthy of their success.

Rounding out Side One (remember sides?) is today’s SOTD, ‘Without You,’ a lilting, poppy love song featuring a great Bowie vocal. Side Two features the supremely catchy ‘Cat People’ and ‘Shake It,’ along with ‘Ricochet’ and ‘Criminal World,’ two of the album’s more intriguing tracks. That’s it… eight songs, every one of them solid to great. What’s not to like?

Apparently what’s not to like is the next dozen albums Bowie released, and while I hesitate to take the word of the masses (I really like Let’s Dance, after all), I didn’t bother exploring his work from the rest of the 80s, the 90s or 00s.

Instead, I will wrap up my three-week Bowie retrospective tomorrow with a cut from his final album, Blackstar.

[Verse 1]
Just when I’m ready to throw in my hand
Just when the best things in life
Are gone
I look into your eyes

There’s no smoke without fire
You’re exactly who I want to be with
Without you
What would I do

[Verse 2]
And when I’m willing to call it a day
Just when I won’t take another chance
I hold your hand

There’s no smoke without fire
Woman I love you
Without you
What would I do

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,880: ‘Without You’ – David Bowie

  1. Dana says:

    I too haven’t really paid much attention to Bowie’s work after Let’s Dance, but I seem to recall hearing praise here and there for at least some of the stuff he put out there, including albums released as part of Tin Machine. Undoubtedly, however, it was Bowie’s work in the 70’s that stands out and holds up the best.

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