Earthling (album)

Earthling (album)

Infobox Album
Name = Earthling
Type = studio
Artist = David Bowie

Released = start date|1997|1|30
Recorded = The Looking Glass Studios, Right Track Recording, New York
Genre = Drum and bass, Oldschool jungle, Techno, Rock, Dance rock
Length = 48:57
Label = BMG
Producer = David Bowie, Mark Plati, Reeves Gabrels
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|2.5|5 [ link]
*Pitchfork Media (8.0/10) [ link]
*Robert Christgau Rating-Christgau|dud [ link]
Last album = "Outside"
This album = "Earthling"
Next album = "'Hours...'"

"Earthling" is a 1997 album by David Bowie. The album showcases an electronica-influenced sound partly inspired by the rave culture of the 1990s.

Though not a major commercial success, the album scored a number of positive reviews and scored a minor hit with a Trent Reznor remix of "I'm Afraid of Americans". The album featured elements not common to dance electronica, such as live acoustic and electric guitar, jazzy live piano, and song structures more common to pop-rock than techno. The album performed better than its highly experimental predecessor, "Outside", reaching number 6 in the UK charts and number 39 in the US.cite book|last=Buckley| first=David|year=2000| origyear=1999 |title=Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story |location=London |publisher=Virgin |isbn=075350457X|pages=pp.517-527, pp.624-625]

Bowie's enthusiasm for remixing reached its peak when this album was released and the numerous singles from it were also issued to clubs, as well as online: three versions of "Telling Lies" were released on Bowie's official website months prior to the album's release, constituting the first ever downloadable single by a major artist. [cite book|last=Pegg |first=Nicholas |authorlink=Nicholas Pegg |year=2004| origyear=2000 |title=The Complete David Bowie |location=London |publisher= Reynolds & Hearn | isbn=1903111730] "Little Wonder" was the album's biggest hit, reaching number 14 in the UK. Three more singles — "Dead Man Walking", "Seven Years in Tibet", and "I'm Afraid of Americans" — did not fare so well, although the latter did remain in the U.S. charts for 16 weeks, peaking at number 66.

The music videos for "Earthling" were elaborate. Artist and director Floria Sigismondi directed the short films for "Little Wonder" and "Dead Man Walking", while Dom and Nic directed "I'm Afraid of Americans", the latter being nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. A video was also made for "Seven Years in Tibet", comprised largely of concert footage.

Track listing

Lyrics for all songs written by David Bowie. Music was written by Bowie, Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati, except "Seven Years in Tibet", "Dead Man Walking" and "Law (Earthlings on Fire)" by Bowie and Gabrels, "Telling Lies" music by Bowie, "I'm Afraid of Americans" by Bowie and Brian Eno.

# "Little Wonder" – 6:02
# "Looking for Satellites" – 5:21
# "Battle for Britain (The Letter)" – 4:48
# "Seven Years in Tibet" – 6:22
# "Dead Man Walking" – 6:50
# "Telling Lies" – 4:49
# "The Last Thing You Should Do" – 4:57
# "I'm Afraid of Americans" – 5:00
# "Law (Earthlings on Fire)" – 4:48

Bonus tracks on 2004 reissue

* "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Dance Mix)"
* "I'm Afraid of Americans (Nine Inch Nails V1 Mix)"
* "Dead Man Walking (Moby Mix 2 US Promo 12")"
* "Telling Lies (Adam F Mix)" (This version is not on the Digibook Expanded Edition.)

Bonus disc for 2005 Digibook expanded edition

# "Little Wonder (Censored Video Edit)"
# "Little Wonder (Junior Vasquez Club Mix)"
# "Little Wonder (Danny Saber Dance Mix)"
# "Seven Years in Tibet (Mandarin Version)" (The Mandarin title of this version translates as "A Fleeting Moment".)
# "Dead Man Walking (Moby Mix 1)"
# "Dead Man Walking (Moby Mix 2 US Promo 12")"
# "Telling Lies (Feelgood Mix)"
# "Telling Lies (Paradox Mix)"
# "I'm Afraid of Americans (Showgirls Soundtrack Version)"
# "I'm Afraid of Americans (Nine Inch Nails V1 Mix)"
# "I'm Afraid of Americans (Nine Inch Nails V1 Clean Edit)"
# "V-2 Schneider (Tao Jones Index)"
# "Pallas Athena (Tao Jones Index)"


"I'm Afraid of Americans" first appeared in 1995 on the soundtrack for the movie "Showgirls", in a version that was extremely rough compared to the remake on "Earthling".

Bowie asked Gabrels to play a guitar solo for "Looking for Satellites", though Gabrels didn't think it should have one. Bowie insisted, however, instructing Gabrels to divide the solo into four parts: the first only using the deep E string, the second only using the A string, the third only using the D string, and the fourth only using the G string — and it had to be in constant 16th notes. Says Gabrels: "By being put in that box, stylistically, you're defined by your limitations. The arbitrary limitation of that approach made me do stuff that I normally wouldn't have done. It's actually one of my favorite guitar solos that I've recorded."

At the Phoenix Festival in 1997, Bowie and his band played in the Radio 1 Dance tent as Tao Jones Index. They performed in darkness with dry ice and strobe lights. Tao Jones Index was a pun based on Bowie's real name, David Jones, and the 1997 Bowie Bond issue (Tao is pronounced "Dow", as in Dow Jones Index from the US stock market) [ [ Tao Jones Index] ] .

US sales of the album stand at 254,000 copies, according to Soundscan.



* David Bowie – production
* Mark Plati – co-production
* Reeves Gabrels – co-production


* David Bowie – vocals, guitar, alto saxophone, samples, keyboards
* Reeves Gabrelsprogramming, synthesizers, real and sampled guitars, vocals
* Mark Plati – programming, loops, samples, keyboards
* Gail Ann Dorseybass, vocals
* Zachary Alford – drum loops, acoustic drums, electronic percussion
* Mike Garson – keyboards, piano




External links

* [ Teenage Wildlife] hosts the original press release for the album.

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