Lodger (album)

Studio album by
Released18 May 1979 (1979-05-18)
RecordedSeptember 1978, March 1979
LabelRCA Records
David Bowie chronology
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
Singles from Lodger
  1. "Boys Keep Swinging" b/w "Fantastic Voyage"
    Released: 27 April 1979
  2. "DJ" b/w "Repetition"
    Released: 29 June 1979
  3. "Yassassin" b/w "Repetition"
    Released: July 1979[5]
  4. "Look Back in Anger" b/w "Repetition"
    Released: 20 August 1979

Lodger is the 13th studio album by English singer-songwriter David Bowie. It was originally released in May 1979 by RCA Records. The last of the Berlin Trilogy, it was recorded in Switzerland and New York City with collaborator Brian Eno and producer Tony Visconti. Unlike Bowie's previous two albums, Lodger contained no instrumentals and a somewhat more pop-oriented style while experimenting with elements of world music and recording techniques inspired by Eno's Oblique Strategies cards.[4]

The album was not, by Bowie's standards, a major commercial success. Indifferently received by critics on its initial release, it is now widely considered to be among Bowie's most underrated albums.[6][7] It was accompanied by several singles, including the UK Top 10 hit "Boys Keep Swinging".

It is one of Bowie's most influential works, particularly to the 1990s Britpop movement, with two major Britpop bands, Oasis, who named their 1996 number-one hit "Don't Look Back in Anger" after Lodger's "Look Back in Anger" and Blur, who used the same chord sequence as "Fantastic Voyage" and "Boys Keep Swinging" in their 1997 hit single "M.O.R.".

Recording and production

Originally to be titled either Planned Accidents or Despite Straight Lines,[7] Lodger was largely recorded between legs of David Bowie's Isolar II Tour and featured the same musicians, along with Brian Eno. The recording sessions saw Bowie and Eno utilize techniques from Eno's Oblique Strategies cards.[4] Experiments on the album included using old tunes played backwards, employing identical chord sequences for different songs and having the musicians play unfamiliar instruments (as on "Boys Keep Swinging").[4] Lead guitar was played not by Robert Fripp, as on "Heroes", but by Fripp's future King Crimson band member, Adrian Belew, whom Bowie had "poached" while the guitarist was touring with Frank Zappa. Much of Belew's work on the album was composited from multiple takes played against backing tracks of which he had no prior knowledge, not even the key.[6]

Eno felt that the trilogy had "petered out" by Lodger,[8] and Belew also observed Eno's and Bowie's working relationship closing down: "They didn't quarrel or anything uncivilised like that; they just didn't seem to have the spark that I imagine they might have had during the "Heroes" album."[6] An early plan to continue the basic pattern of the previous records with one side of songs and the other instrumentals was dropped, Bowie instead adding lyrics that foreshadowed the more worldly concerns of his next album, Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).[8]

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