Tin Machine - Tin Machine (1989) (1 Viewer)

rettucs

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Just completed my third listen. I still kinda feel how I did on my second listen. It has the potential to really grab me, but we're not quite there yet.

I still love the opener. It reminds me of Waterfront by Simple Minds. Am sure that's just coincidental.

Different songs remind me of different things, actually, some of which I can't fully place. Crack City had to have been ripped off by Oasis at some point. The start of Tin Machine reminds me of Safety Dance.

I still think it's too long too. This was released on the cusp of CDs becoming mainstream, right? I wonder if that explains the length.

I also never fully got why Bowie did this. I would have been young enough at the time, but I was fairly aware of Bowie. And I had trouble telling between what he was producing under his own name, and what came out under Tin Machine. For example, for years I was convinced 'Time Will Crawl' was Tin Machine. Turns out it's not. It's from that album that spawned the 'Glass Spider' tour, which even as a 13-year old, I knew was shite.

The Working Class Hero is really good I think. Nice and angry. He does it justice.

Dunno what else. I'm largely with Anthony on his thoughts, though not sure what a Zavid is, either. Some of this is quality Bowie. Other bits, nonsense. But lots of Bowie from that time was nonsense too.

Not so sure I'll revisit this much in the future. Prisoner of Love might make it onto a playlist or 2, otherwise I'm probably done with it. Glad to have had the excuse to listen though.

3/5
 

travispickle

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Just completed my third listen. I still kinda feel how I did on my second listen. It has the potential to really grab me, but we're not quite there yet.

I still love the opener. It reminds me of Waterfront by Simple Minds. Am sure that's just coincidental.

Different songs remind me of different things, actually, some of which I can't fully place. Crack City had to have been ripped off by Oasis at some point. The start of Tin Machine reminds me of Safety Dance.

I still think it's too long too. This was released on the cusp of CDs becoming mainstream, right? I wonder if that explains the length.

I also never fully got why Bowie did this. I would have been young enough at the time, but I was fairly aware of Bowie. And I had trouble telling between what he was producing under his own name, and what came out under Tin Machine. For example, for years I was convinced 'Time Will Crawl' was Tin Machine. Turns out it's not. It's from that album that spawned the 'Glass Spider' tour, which even as a 13-year old, I knew was shite.

The Working Class Hero is really good I think. Nice and angry. He does it justice.

Dunno what else. I'm largely with Anthony on his thoughts, though not sure what a Zavid is, either. Some of this is quality Bowie. Other bits, nonsense. But lots of Bowie from that time was nonsense too.

Not so sure I'll revisit this much in the future. Prisoner of Love might make it onto a playlist or 2, otherwise I'm probably done with it. Glad to have had the excuse to listen though.

3/5
Basically the idea was for Bowie to reignite his creative spark and pull himself out of the godawful mess he'd made of his career, post Let's Dance, with the Tonight and Never Let Me Down albums and Glass Spider Tour.
Tin Machine was a return to him being in a band, and not being "David Bowie". Songs were to be written on the fly; in the studio or wherever; lyrics were to be first drafts more or less, deliberately left unedited or worked over. Recording songs was to be mostly live in the studio, with very few overdubs, and they wanted to keep a "demo" feel to the finished tunes.
I've had my final listen:

I agree mostly with Anthony and Rettucs posts above.
I think the first side, or half, of the album is the strongest; it runs out of steam as it goes on.
I think Heaven's in Here is a bonkers opening, but it sets out the Tin Machine stall - it's overlong, it's rambling; there's a good song in there but they deliberately cosh it into unconsciousness. It's a brave opening track.
Highlights for me are Prisoner of Love, Under The God, Crack City, I Can't Read and Bus Stop (which reminds me of the Damned's New Rose).
Gabrel's guitar is an acquired taste I think, but I like the overall bombastic sound of the album; Bass and drums are always solid and spot on.
I'd say they would have been great to see live, as they seemed to be all about capturing the energy of a live gig.
It wouldn't be an album I'd happily pull out to listen to all that much, but it was good to get a chance to sit down with it for TAC. I won't be bothering with Tin Machine 2.
 

Lili Marlene

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Listen 1 report:

I really liked the first three songs. Then it's boring as hell for ages. It picks up slightly at Bus Stop before getting boring again.

All those heavily processed guitars and wailing solos just make the whole thing sound like music that didn't make the Terminator 2 soundtrack, for something that was supposed to be a return to "basics" it sure sounds labored and highly produced. A song like Baby Can Dance might be a good track if the entire backing track was thrown out and replaced with something else.

The best thing on here is probably Bowie's voice, which occasionally tricks you into thinking you're listening to something good,


Two more listens? Really? I can't see this changing.
 

GO

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Just stuck it on.

Not liking it

First tune...Reminds me why I don't play guitar solos anymore
 

hiadudiad?

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It's kinda naff, the whole thing. This hard rock / blues rock stuff wouldn't generally be my thing at all but the general good buzz off of it, the smattering of excellent songs and the various off-kilter things (squealing guitars, goofy bits, hooky bits and noisy bits mostly) make up for it. I agree with the general consensus that it's too long and drags in the second half. The master entry on discogs doesn't list Run or Sacrifice Yourself - I wonder was that a vinyl vs cd thing or were they added to reissues? I can't be bothered checking. Anyway, I wouldn't miss them if they weren't around and I'd drop Pretty Thing too. The rest is grand to great. I'd say they were excellent live, if you caught them on a good night. I remember seeing a concert of them on TV one night when I was in school and I got excited by it. I think it might have been this gig which looks like how I remember that one

There seemed to be cool random live concerts on the tv at that time, probably just filling in gaps in the schedule.
1563993084699.png
 

prefuse

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1 - Heaven's in Here
A big blues rock opener, kind of doors-esque (roadhouse blues, love me times,). Nice guitar tones. A little bit of frenzied shredding near the end & some tremolo bar mangling, Reeves Gabrels making his presence known. (I always thought he was an odd choice of guitarist for the Cure) A live jam feel. It doesn’t sound dated but gets a bit ragged near the end.


2 - Tin Machine
Bowie pours on the cockney accent here. There’s a good energy to it, a wall of sound, but it’s not a great song. Gabrels making a racket again on the outro. Stop saying tin machine please.


3 - Prisoner of Love
The first good song on the album (the best one on the album IMHO) Some cool guitar parts, a spaghetti western style guitar line in the verses, a multi tracked harmony part in the pre chorus. It has a Pixies, bossanova album feel to it (Bossanova was released after it, so the influence goes both ways) Massive reverb all over it. Squealing, outro guitar solo.


4 - Crack City
The wild thing rhythm is all over this one. A great vocal performance by Bowie elevates a fairly average song. “They're just a bunch of assholes, with buttholes for their brains”


5 - I Can't Read
Gabrels gets very dissonant on this. Clashing, close intervals, feedback ect…There’s also a heavy modulation effect (probably chorus) on the guitar, giving it an off, detuned feel. Nice bass during the chorus. The detune effect on the guitar kind of ruins the chorus tbh. The whole thing is a bit of a mess. Maybe with a bit more work it could have been better. None of these songs seem overworked. That was probably the point. Bowie getting away from his polished, 80’s pop period.


6 - Under the God
A fairly straight ahead rock tune. Makes a lot of noise but it’s a bit meh. Lyrical it’s about racial tension & violence in America. It’s an okay song.


7 - Amazing
This is a decent song. Nice sweeping chord changes. I like the guitar line during the verses. Nice guitar playing throughout but his tendency to get squeally & disjointed creeps in near the end.


8 - Working Class Hero
A reworking of the John Lennon song. Bowie sings it well, really belts it out in places. There’s a nice rock backbeat groove going on….althought the snare build at the end is annoying.


9 - Bus Stop
This isn’t a bad song. Kind of a throwaway. Brief, only 1:45. I like the double tracked vocal.


10 - Pretty Thing
A quiet bit, loud bit, lash it out there kind of song. Good energy, but not much of a song


11 - Video Crime
The title is probably the best thing about this. Very jammed out, loose. Some nice big dumb rock drumming, sounds great. I’d say it would work well live, on record it a bit underwhelming.


12 - Run
I like the arpeggiated guitar part, (very 80’s sounding) I don’t really like the chorus, the verses are good though. It’s an improvement on the last 2 songs.


13 - Sacrifice Yourself
This is okay. Not over thought, the modus operandi of the album & probably the whole tin machine project. Nice sweep picking on the intro. Like most songs on the albums. It’s noisy & “rocks” but feels a bit empty.


14 - Baby Can Dance
Another okay song. A bit of a Led Zep feel. Gabrels is squealing away through the whole thing, which grates a bit. I’m sure a lot of these songs were good fun to jam out in a rehearsal room or play live, but the recording revels they’re limitations as compositions. The production sounds big & full but the tunes are a bit undercooked. I’d say it was written & recorded very quickly, which can be great if the songs are inspired. I own a good few Bowie albums, not this one though. I wouldn’t buy it. Could see myself listening to it again.
 
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Anthony

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A worked-on version of I Can't Read. Used over the end credits on The Ice Storm (which is amazing). Just as an example of what could be with these tunes.

edit: I still prefer the version on TM
 

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