Tracking Surround: David Bowie CD+DVD

Young Americans Virgin
Music ••• DVD Mix •••• Extras ••••
Say, I must be getting good at this. Before playing "Fame," I imagined the high-to-low repetition of the title word at song's end panning around the five main channels - and indeed it does. Obvious gimmick? A kick, nonetheless. On this Special Edition CD+DVD, Tony Visconti's 5.1 mix packs a dynamic wallop. The left- and right-front duel between Bowie and his Philly Soul consorts on "Right" is a treat, and "Fascination" is a sharply focused monster in surround, with the popping of bass strings, the strident sax of David Sanborn, and fusillades of percussion all having in-your-face precision. This may be a lesser Bowie album, but it has never sounded so punchy or alive. Extras include the same three outtakes on Rykodisc's 1991 reissue, though "It's Gonna Be Me" has had its string arrangement restored. The real treasure is a half-hour of Bowie on The Dick Cavett Show from December 1974, where he performs two songs and chats at length.

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