For the Bowie fan who already has everything, the November release of “Nothing Has Changed” was met with minimal fuss. Let’s be honest, most of us who wanted the new single, “Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)” would have downloaded a copy off iTunes for a measly $2. That is of course, if you didn’t buy the 10″ vinyl release of said single to obtain the B-Side, “‘Tis A Pity She’s A Whore”, which you could also have downloaded for $2. So what is there for Bowie fans, old and new with “Nothing Has Changed”?
For starters, all the tracks you would generally expect to see on a Bowie compilation are included. There’s a whopping 59 tracks on the 3CD edition! A nice touch I thought was to start the compilation off in 2014 and wind it back over the three discs to finish up with “Liza Jane” in 1964.
My copy came by way of a Christmas gift from my parents. I’d had no intention to buy the compilation but figured if it arrived as a gift then I would openly accept the contents for further exploration.
Upon an initial glance of the tracklist, I noticed that “Lodger” was criminally left unrepresented with just “Boys Keep Swinging” as the only representation from a brilliant and too often underrated album. Other glaring omissions from “Nothing Has Changed” were “Cat People” from 1982 and “Real Cool World”, a single that bridged the gap between “Tin Machine” and “Black Tie, White Noise” in 1992.
It’s hard to fathom these missing gems when the tiresome and generally unwanted “Your Turn To Drive”, a reality out-take and personal favourite of Bowie’s that was offered up as a digital download in 2003 made the final cut. Another floor is the flimsy packaging that houses this 3CD edition. It won’t be long before there are rips, tears and creases in the cardboard sleeve. The 2 disc edition is housed in a standard jewel case.
A redeeming feature for “Nothing Has Changed” is the remastering process. Listening through a quality stereo system you can almost feel numbers like “Fame”, “Slow Burn”, “Diamond Dogs” and “Loving The Alien” take on a new lease of life. There will most certainly be minimal complaints in relation to the sound of the tracks contained within.
Many long term fans still hold out hope for a full re-issue program of the Bowie back catalogue done with the love, affection and care it truly deserves. If the remastering process contained within “Nothing Has Changed” is an example of what is to come then it can’t come soon enough!
As you take a walk back through 50 years of Bowie’s career in one sitting, it becomes apparent that will never be another artist quite like him. Should you have friends who are at a loss for new bands to discover and have not yet heard much of Bowie, “Nothing Has Changed” will be the perfect starting point for them should you fancy showering them in gifts of new music.
Despite the obvious floors to the collectors, this truly is an astonishing collection of gems covering 50 years that followers, old and new will cherish time and again.