The upcoming David Bowie box set Loving the Alien (1983 – 1988) has revealed its newly revamped take on “Zeroes,” a track off the full-album “2018 version” rerecording of the late icon’s 1987 LP Never Let Me Down.
Prior to his January 2016 death, Bowie expressed a desire to rerecord Never Let Me Down, “a bitter disappointment” as he called it, with less-dated production and instrumentation; this version of “Zeroes” strips off the Eighties synths and gated drum sound and fills in the void with newly recorded guitar work while keeping Bowie’s original vocal track intact.
The new rendition of “Zeroes” also clocks in at 4 minutes and 15 seconds, nearly 90 seconds shorter than its overlong predecessor. Drummer Sterling Campbell, Blackstar bassist Tim Lefebvre and composer Nico Muhly also contributed to the Never Let Me Down 2018 project.
“The ultimate happy-go-lucky rock tune, based in the nonsensical period of psychedelia,” Mario McNulty, longtime Bowie engineer and overseer of Never Let Me Down 2018, said in a statement. “Stripping this song down to its core revealed a track that could have been right at home on Hunky Dory, I kept Peter Frampton’s sitar (which was originally owned by Jimi Hendrix) as it still fits against the new guitars from Reeves Gabrels.”
The 11-CD or 15-LP Loving the Alien, due out October 12th, also features three Bowie studio albums – 1983’s Let’s Dance, 1984’s Tonight and 1987’s Never Let Me Down – alongside a pair of first-time-on-vinyl live albums – Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) and Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87) – and the newly assembled compilations Dance, which collects 12 contemporaneous remixes from the era, and Re:Call 4.