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AlIen ResurrectIon

A NEW DAVID BOWIE BOXSET, LOVING THE ALIEN (1983-1988), DOCUMENTS HIS BIGGEST COMMERCIAL YEARS AND INCLUDES A RE-RECORDED VERSION OF THE NEVER LET ME DOWN LP. CLASSIC POP HEARS FROM BOWIE’S CLOSEST COLLEAGUES ABOUT THE TOURS, REVOLUTIONARY VIDEOS AND ALBUMS OF DAVID’S MOST TURBULENT DECADE.

POP_UP Bowie hated the song Too Dizzy on Never Let Me Down so much that he barred it from all subsequent reissues, including the new boxset. He didn’t want it remade for the new re-recorded album, either.

Looking back now, it seems obvious that, as soon as his cult appeal finally flourished into genuine megastardom, David Bowie was going to revolutionise what could be done with live music and the still-new pop-video format. Speak to those who were closest to him, and it’s clear Bowie was improvising his way through the artforms almost as much as anyone.

David Mallet directed most of Bowie’s music videos in the 1980s, starting the decade with Ashes To Ashes. When it came to directing the promos for the Let’s Dance album, it soon became obvious that Bowie was relying on the broadest of ideas to get his next image in place.

“The very first thing that David said to me was: ‘I want to film the videos for this album in Australia,’” Mallet recalls. “I didn’t really understand why, and I don’t think David did, either. I think it was just an instinct – that filming halfway around the world would add something different to the videos that his contemporaries were making. But that’s partially justifying the statement after the facts.”

The two Davids discussed the ideas for Let’s Dance and China Girl, which would be filmed simultaneously. Mallet directed some of the decade’s boldest videos, including virtually all of Queen’s output, I Don’t Like Mondays, White Wedding, Games Without Frontiers, Let’s Stay Together for Tina Turner and promos for The Rolling Stones and Culture Club. But he says Bowie usually had the most specific video ideas of any musician he worked with. “What David intended with China Girl is exactly what you see on screen,” Mallet enthuses. “We didn’t really waver from the initial concept at all. One reason David liked working with me, I believe, is that I didn’t try to impose my vision on him. A lot of directors at the time wanted to make the Great British Movie in a music video, and the artist they were working with was incidental. Whereas I didn’t have an ego problem when David had the ideas. I was happy being told what he wanted to do and to work out ways of making his ideas work for him.”

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About Classic Pop

Issue 46 of Classic Pop magazine is on sale now! In the latest issue we have an exclusive chat with the new line-up of Spandau Ballet – their first major group interview as they relaunch themselves with new frontman Ross William Wild. We also have a must-read interview with Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet who look back on their fractious past life in Yazoo. The legends just keep on coming, too, as we speak to Nile Rodgers about his 40 years of classic tracks as a billion-dollar hitmaker and Chic's hotly-anticipated new album, It's About Time. Elsewhere, we look back at the 80s heyday of Top Of The Pops through the eyes of those who were there – DJ Janice Long and a whole host of TV insiders. Our classic album is the Stone Roses' imperious debut and we also meet Stephen Hague, the producer behind hits by Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Robbie Williams and many more besides. Need a buyer's guide to Michael Jackson? We look at the King of Pop's complete career in our Lowdown feature. As we delve into David Bowie's 80s boxset Loving The Alien, Classic Pop catches up with his closest collaborators who tell us how the legend's most divisive decade made him a global star. New albums from Boy George And Culture Club, Chic, Robyn, and The Prodigy get the once-over alongside reissues including OMD, Bronski Beat, Ultravox, The Police and Massive Attack. We also review Soft Cell's celebratory farewell O2 show plus Kylie Minogue's Golden Tour and more.. Enjoy the issue! Steve