David Bowie – Look Back In Anger (1979)

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“Look Back in Anger” is a song written by David Bowie and Brian Eno for the album Lodger (1979). It concerns “a tatty ‘Angel Of Death'”, and features a guitar solo by Carlos Alomar. RCA Records was unsure if America was ready for the sexual androgyny of “Boys Keep Swinging”, the lead-off single from Lodger in most territories, and “Look Back in Anger” was issued instead. The B-side was another track from Lodger called “Repetition”, a story of domestic violence. The single failed to chart. “Look Back in Anger” has a mixed reputation among Bowie commentators. NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray have described it as “probably the low point” of the album, while Nicholas Pegg considers it “one of Lodger’s dramatic highlights”. Beyond the shared title, the song has nothing to do with the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger. The song has been performed on the 1983/84 “Serious Moonlight” Tour and was reworked in the mid-90s as a heavy rock song for the “Outside” and “Earthling” tours. David Mallet directed a music video for the song, featuring Bowie in an artist’s studio. The scenario was based on the conclusion of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, as a self-portrait of the protagonist grows more handsome while he himself physically decays.


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