David Bowie
"Young Americans (Special Edition)"

(Virgin Records America 2007)David Bowie - Young Americans (Special Edition)

It is difficult to think of another artist who defined the 70s as much as David Bowie did. Always changing, always reinventing himself and always trying to raise the bar, Bowie was the 1970s. For years now, they have been remastering and reissuing Bowie's albums. But the new reissue of "Young Americans," from 1975, really is the special edition. Including not only the album's original eight tracks plus three bonus tracks ("John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)," "Who Can I Be Now?," and the previously unreleased "It's Gonna Be Me (with strings)") but it also includes a DVD full of videos and new audio mixes by the equally legendary Tony Visconti.

Bright and upbeat, "Young Americans" is light and jazzy as saxophone and congas add to the smooth instrumentation of the title track as well as "Fascination," a song Bowie co-wrote with the then unknown Luther Vandross, who was a background singer on the album. Tracks like the instantly recognizable "Fame" need no introduction while Bowie's cover of "Across The Universe" pays tribute to The Beatles with a funkier version of the tune. While the three bonus tracks on the CD have been included on the album since the RykoDisc rerelease in 1991, they remain an important addition to the album.

At just over 20 minutes long, the DVD includes Bowie's performance of "1984" and "Young Americans" as well as an interview from The Dick Cavett Show. Super slender with bright copper locks, Bowie's performances are crisp and invigorating even if his interview is quiet while he anxiously fidgets, running his fingers distractedly along his black cane. As mentioned, the special edition also includes new mixes of the album by Tony Visconti in 5.1 surround sound, however, these were not included on the advance for review.

Soulful and sexy, "Young Americans" is an emotionally and physically moving album. The addition of the DVD to the set is a nice touch, taking us back to those simple days before everything was tediously downloaded from YouTube. This special edition version is a great reminder of the talent of David Bowie and there has never been a better time to add "Young Americans" to your record collection.

B+

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