Tuesday, June 11, 2002

David Bowie Heathen released


David Bowie

Released: June 11, 2002

Peak: 14 US, 5 UK, 9 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.18 US, 0.1 UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: glam rock/classic rock veteran


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Sunday [4:46]
  2. Cactus (Francis) [2:55]
  3. Slip Away [6:05]
  4. Slow Burn [4:41] (6/11/02, 19 AA, 94 UK, 69 AU)
  5. Afraid [3:28]
  6. I’ve Been Waiting for You (Young) [3:00] (10/02, --)
  7. I Would Be Your Slave [5:14]
  8. I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship [4:06]
  9. 5.15 the Angels Have Gone [3:58]
  10. Everyone Says “Hi” [3:58] (9/1/02, 20 UK)
  11. A Better Future [4:11]
  12. Heathen (The Rays) [4:18]

Songs written by David Bowie unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 52:08

The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals, keyboards, guitar, saxophone, stylophone, backing vocals, drums)
  • Tony Visconti (bass, guitar, recorders, string arrangements, backing vocals)
  • Matt Chamberlain (drums, drum loop programming, percussion)
  • David Torn (guitar, guitar loops, Omnichord)
  • The Scorchio Quartet
  • Carlos Alomar, Gerry Leonard (guitar)
  • Sterling Campbell (drums, percussion)
  • Lisa Germano (violin)
  • Mike Garson (piano on “Conversation Piece”)
  • Earl Slick (guitar on “Conversation Piece”)
  • Tony Levin (fretless bass on “Slip Away”)
  • Mark Plati (guitar, bass)
  • Jordan Rudess (keyboards)
  • Lenny Pickett, Stan Harrison, Steve Elson (saxophone)
  • Kristeen Young (vocals, piano)
  • Pete Towshend (guitar on “Slow Burn”)
  • Dave Grohl (guitar on “I’ve Been Waiting for You”)


3.611 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Heathen marks a new beginning for David Bowie in some ways — it's his first record since leaving Virgin, his first for Columbia Records, his first for his new label, ISO — yet it's hardly a new musical direction. Like Hours, this finds Bowie sifting through the sounds of his past, completely at ease with his legacy, crafting a colorful, satisfying album that feels like a classic Bowie album.” AMG

“That's not to say that Heathen recalls any particular album or any era in specific, yet there's a deliberate attempt to recapture the atmosphere, the tone of his '70s work — there's a reason that Bowie decided to reteam with Tony Visconti, the co-producer of some of his best records, for this album — even if direct comparisons are hard to come by. Which is exactly what's so impressive about this album. Bowie and Visconti never shy away from electronic instrumentations or modern production — if anything, they embrace it — but it's woven into Bowie's sound subtly, never drawing attention to the drum loops, guitar synths, and washes of electronica.” AMG

“For that matter, guest spots by Dave Grohl and Pete Townshend (both on guitar) don't stand out either; they're merely added texture to this an album that's intricately layered, but always plays smoothly and alluringly. And, make no mistake, this is an alluring, welcoming, friendly album — there are some moody moments, but Bowie takes Neil Young's eerie I've Been Waiting for You and Pixies' elusively brutal, creepy Cactus and turns them sweet, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, either.” AMG

“In the end, that's the key to Heathen — the undercurrent of happiness, not in the lyrics, but in the making of music, a realization by Bowie and Visconti alike that they are perfect collaborators. Unlike their previous albums together, this doesn't boldly break new ground, but that's because, 22 years after their last collaboration, Scary Monsters, both Bowie and Visconti don't need to try as hard, so they just focus on the craft. The result is an understated, utterly satisfying record, his best since Scary Monsters, simply because he'd never sounded as assured and consistent since.” AMG

Notes: A 2-CD version of the album includes a bonus disc with remixed versions of “Sunday” and “A Better Future” as well as the 1970 song “Conversation Piece” and an outtake of “Panic in Detroit.”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 2/20/2008; last updated 8/9/2021.

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