David Bowie – The Lodger – Our Shootout Winner from Way Back


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

White Hot Stampers for Lodger discovered — this wasn’t easy, folks! We’ve been trying to find a great sounding Lodger for years but it’s taken us until now, which should tell you just how tough it is to get a killer copy of this album. This one has the best side one we’ve ever heard and a strong side two to boot.

Side one has the correct balance of elements, just what we were looking for. It’s rich and smooth but not overly so, it’s got a nice top end but never gets aggressive, and it’s got a serious bottom end but never gets too thick or bloated. There’s lots of texture and body to the synths, which really brings Eno’s contributions to life in a way that didn’t happen on most copies. The vocals are clean and clear with good presence. We gave it an A+++.

Side two is clean, clear, natural and balanced. The vocals sound right and the bass is tight and punchy. Side one gives you a little more in the way of energy and presence, but this is still one of the stronger side twos we’ve heard in all these years. We rated it A+ to A++.

Who knows if we’ll ever find another copy this good? We’ve been at this for ages and this is the first one to make it to the site. If you’re a fan of Bowie’s famous Berlin era, I’m guessing you may want to take this one home for a spin before someone else snags it!


Side One

Fantastic Voyage 
African Night Flight 
Move On 
Red Sails 

Side Two

Look Back in Anger 
Boys Keep Swinging 
Red Money

AMG Review

On the surface, Lodger is the most accessible of the three Berlin-era records David Bowie made with Brian Eno, simply because there are no instrumentals and there are a handful of concise pop songs.

Nevertheless, Lodger is still gnarled and twisted avant pop; what makes it different is how it incorporates such experimental tendencies into genuine songs, something that Low and Heroes purposely avoided. “D.J.,” “Look Back in Anger,” and “Boys Keep Swinging” have strong melodic hooks that are subverted and strengthened by the layered, dissonant productions, while the remainder of the record is divided between similarly effective avant pop and ambient instrumentals. Lodger has an edgier, more minimalistic bent than its two predecessors, which makes it more accessible for rock fans, as well as giving it a more immediate, emotional impact. It might not stretch the boundaries of rock like Low and Heroes, but it arguably utilizes those ideas in a more effective fashion.