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David Bowie Box Set Reveals Darker, Revamped ‘Beat of Your Drum’

New version of 1987 track appears on late singer’s ‘Loving the Alien (1983-1988)’


David Bowie's "Beat of Your Drum" is reworked into bruising, majestic art-rock in a 2018 mix of the track.

Nils Jorgensen/REX Shutterstock

David Bowie’s “Beat of Your Drum” is reworked into bruising, majestic art-rock in a 2018 mix of the track. The new version appears on the Loving the Alien (1983-1988) box set, a collection of Bowie’s studio and live albums from that era.

Sawing strings and David Torn’s crashing guitars highlight the cut, which originally appeared on Bowie’s 1987 LP, Never Let Me Down. “Torn’s ambient guitars start the song that now lead into a much darker world than its shiny predecessor,” producer Mario McNulty said in a statement, Stereogum notes. “David sang all the backing vocals on this which I have kept.”

McNulty – who worked with Bowie as a mixer and engineer on numerous projects, including his penultimate album, The Next Day – recorded the new versions at Electric Lady Studios in New York, New York with longtime Bowie musicians like guitarist Reeves Gabrels and drummer Sterling Campbell. Bassist Tim LeFebvre, guitarist David Torn, Laurie Anderson and string arranger Nico Muhly also contributed to the project, which resulted from Bowie’s aim to rerecord a poorly reviewed LP that he considered a bitter disappointment.

“Beat of Your Drum” and “Zeroes” comprise a double A-side picture disc out Friday, September 7th. The 11-CD or 15-LP Loving the Alien (1983-1988), out October 12th, also features the studio albums (Let’s Dance, Tonight, Never Let Me Down), one live record (Serious Moonlight (Live ’83)) and the newly assembled remix compilation Dance


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