David Bowie • DJ • Tony Visconti 2017 Remix • 1979
Audio and video sources:
• David Bowie • DJ • Tony Visconti 2017 Remix • from the album Lodger 2017
• David Bowie • DJ official video • Directed by David Mallet • 1979
David Bowie • lead and backing vocals, chamberlin, piano
Dennis Davis • drums
George Murray • bass guitar
Carlos Alomar • rhythm guitar
Adrian Belew • lead guitar
Simon House • violin
Tony Visconti & David Bowie • Production
Tony Visconti • Remix
Forty years ago today, on the 29th of June 1979, “DJ”, the second single from David Bowie’s album Lodger was released.
It's generally acknowledged that with DJ, Bowie was channeling David Byrne of Talking Heads - a band he was fond of and was often name checking at the time. However, DJ was quite an odd choice for a single. Sure, it has a good groove, and a catchy chorus. But half way through the song, things go off at a decidedly uncommercial tangent, and the catchy chorus doesn't return.
The material for Lodger was recorded in September 1978 at Mountain Studios, in Montreux, Switzerland, and in March 1979 at the Record Plant Studios, NYC, where it was also mixed. Due to limitations at the Record Plant, Bowie and producer Tony Visconti were not entirely satisfied with the mix of the Lodger album. In recent years, with Bowie's blessing, Visconti remixed the entire album. He finished the work in 2017, in time for inclusion on the A New Career in a New Town box set. The muddy lo-fi sound of the original mixes has thereby been greatly elevated, and previously unnoticed instrumentation has been revealed. The new mix of DJ is a huge improvement on it's predecessor. Carlos Alomar's great riff now seems more prominent, Dennis Davis drum fills are more substantial and there is a much more sturdy sound in general.
David Mallet's memorable video for DJ sees David Bowie alternately trashing a DJ studio, and strolling around London's Earls court interacting with surprised passers by. In both scenarios Bowie seems to be having a lot of fun - when we first see him stride into the frame, it looks like he is having difficulty keeping a straight face.
As with the previous two Mallet-directed Lodger videos that I've re-soundtracked to the 2017 Visconti remixes (Boys Keep Swinging vimeo.com/332833000 and Look Back in Anger vimeo.com/277365071) this was a relatively simple job of syncing the two sources. In the original video, Bowie's lip sync becomes increasingly wayward, and I haven't attempted to correct that in any way.
Hope you dig it!
More videos to follow, so please keep your electric eye on me babe!
I don't own the rights, and I'm not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.
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