Low

~ Release group by David Bowie

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA Victor PL 12030 [none]
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) CPL1-2030
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) RVP-6154
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) AYL1-3856 [none]
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) CL 13856 [none]
Low 12" Vinyl 11 RCA International NL 83856 0035628385611
Low CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) PD83856 0035628385628
Low CD 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) PCD1-2030 078635203028
Low CD 14 Rykodisc RCD 10142 014431014222
Low CD 14 東芝EMI 株式会社 (record company, do not use as release label - check obi, back or disc for imprint! Ended 2007-06-29) TOCP-6213 4988006660960
Low CD 14 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) CDEMD 1027, CDP 7977192 0077779771929
Low CD 14 Rykodisc RCD 80142 014431814228
Low (24-Bit Digitally Remastered) CD 11 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) 521 9070 724352190706
Low CD 11 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972), Virgin Records America (DO NOT USE! please refer to either “Virgin” or “Virgin America”) 7243 521907 0 6 0724352190706
Low CD 11 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) TOCP-70150 4988006850590
Low SHM-CD 11 EMI Music Japan Inc. (2007-06-30 to 2013-04-01 - record company, do NOT USE as release label - check the back cover or CD surface for the imprint) TOCP-95050 4988006876354
Low Enhanced CD 11 Parlophone 219077-PRL2 724352190706
Low CD 11 Parlophone 9029584292 190295842925
Low 12" Vinyl 11 Parlophone DB 77821 0190295842918
Low Digital Media 11 Parlophone 724352190751
Pseudo-Release
ロウ 12" Vinyl 11 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) RVP-6154 [none]

Relationships

associated singles/EPs: Be My Wife
covers: Low: Live in Chicago by Disappears
included in: A New Career in a New Town (1977–1982)
Portrait of a Star
Zeit! 77–79
part of: Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 251)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000185800 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/22382 [info]
Wikidata: Q837214 [info]
other databases: http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/david_bowie/low/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/qgn8 [info]
http://www.nme.com/reviews/114 [info]
http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_album.php?id=960 [info]
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/low-20010511 [info]
http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/on_second_thought/david-bowie-low.htm [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

Ok, so we all know that in the 40 years Bowie has been making music he has changed. He has changed his image, his music, his influences, his country, his friends, and his lifestyle. One thing he has always had, though, is self conviction - from the day his mother found him, aged three, putting on her make-up, through to 1992 when he confessed that he always wanted to "transgress the norm". And it was thanks to the musical experimentation of Brian Eno, the influence of bands such as Kraftwerk, Neu! and other Krautrock acts, world-weary fame; and the precision production of Tony Visconti, that Bowie was able to transgress the norm with Low. It was the first of the trio of albums that came to be known as the Berlin Trilogy along with 'Heroes' *and *Lodger.

As a young Bowie fan, I always found the first side of the album, with its sharp and easily recognisable rhythms and short cutting-edge tracks (few more than three minutes long), much more listenable to that the second, mostly instrumental side. Over the years I've come to appreciate the Eno atmosphere that was laid down and can see how Low with its sonic scapes might have begun life as part of the soundtrack to the film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The album is more montage than theme, though the special effects that cut through Sound and Vision chillingly reflect a drug induced breakdown. The jagged edges of Low are often attributed to the fragmentation that Bowie was suffering as a recovering cocaine addict. Self-destruction is carried through the album by the icy, mannered vocals.

Speed of Life opens the album with a jolt thanks to Ricky Gardiner's sharp guitar. The more lengthy and suspense-filled Warszawa, was used to open the 1978 and 2002 tours. It made sure that the audience were on tenterhooks until Bowie took to the stage.

With its texturing, layering and juxtaposing of random sounds and instruments, including an eventide harmonizer, Low is certainly an ambitious album and one that wasn't well-received by critics at the time. It does, however, show a Bowie who was had turned 30: a man growing up, coming into his own.

Without Low we'd have no Joy Division, no Human League, no Cabaret Voltaire, and I bet, no Arcade Fire. The legacy of Low lives on.