From Georgie Rogers:
BBC 6 MUSIC INTERVIEWS: DAVID BOWIE LOVING THE ALIEN BOXSET WITH REEVES GABRELS AND MARIO MCNULTY
The 12th October will see the release of the latest in the series of career spanning David Bowie box sets. So far the first three have covered from 1969 through to 1982.
The next is called 'LOVING THE ALIEN' and reflects 1983 - 1988.
The eleven CD, fifteen-piece vinyl set which includes newly remastered versions of Bowie's most successful period - starting off with 'LET'S DANCE' which propelled him into a commercially mainstream stadium-filling stratosphere, then it's follow up 'TONIGHT', 'NEVER LET ME DOWN, the live album 'GLASS SPIDER (Live Montreal '87)' and the previously unreleased 'SERIOUS MOONLIGHT' live album.
Now the accepted wisdom is that while 'LET'S DANCE' was all killer, and 'TONIGHT' has its moments (Loving The Alien) but 'NEVER LET ME DOWN' wasn't Bowie's finest moment, and admittedly the 80's production hasn't aged that well.
So this set includes a complete re-versioning of the album.
Early this year engineer Mario McNulty - who had remixed the album's track Time Will Crawl back in 2008 with Bowie - he got in the studio with drummer Sterling Campbell, bassist Tim Lefebvre (who played on Blackstar) and guitarists Reeves Gabrels and David Torn to record a new version of the album with Bowie's original vocals.
Reeves Gabrels was David's guitarist from 1988 through to 1999. He was also in Bowie's heavy alt rock group Tin Machine and plays in The Cure. I spoke to him for BBC 6 Music about the project...
Listen to the BBC 6 Music interview here (Bowie segment starts at 44:25, Reeves interview at 46:24). They also talked to Reeves about The Cure, and say they'll air that part in a couple of weeks.
And here's more info on the project from Rolling Stone:
Also exclusive to the box set is a 2018 reworking of Never Let Me Down with new production and instrumentation overseen by Bowie producer/engineer Mario McNulty. Longtime Bowie collaborators including guitarist Reeves Gabriel and drummer Sterling Campbell, Blackstar bassist Tim Lefebvre and composer Nico Muhly also contributed to the project, which was born out of Bowie’s desire to rerecord the 1987 LP that he called “a bitter disappointment.“
“The seeds of this new reimagining of the albums were first sown in 2008 when Bowie asked McNulty to remix the track ‘Time Will Crawl’ and record new drums by longtime Bowie drummer Sterling Campbell along with strings,’ Parlaphone wrote of Never Let Me Down (2018). “The track was issued on the iSelect compilation to much acclaim and, in the notes for that record, David remarked ‘Oh, to redo the rest of that album.'”
In early January, the musicians involved entered New York’s Electric Lady Studios to fulfill Bowie’s wish and remake Never Let Me Down, which now features a guest appearance by Laurie Anderson on “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love).” The 2018 reworking also boasts “newly ‘remixed’ artwork reflecting the album’s subject matter and features unseen images from the original cover photographic session from the archive of Greg Gorman.
Better description is: a new production (2018) of "Zeroes"-- and indeed of the entire Never Let Me Down album. All of David's vocals and his guitars are intact as recorded in 1987. Around them the production (by Mario McNulty) is new.— reeves gabrels (@reevesgabrels) July 19, 2018