Flashback: David Bowie’s Tin Machine Covers The Pixies

Flashback: David Bowie's Tin Machine Covers The Pixies

Watch David Bowie’s short-lived noise rock band play “Debaser”.

David Bowie knew it was time for a big change at the end of his 1987 Glass Spider Tour, a grueling, overblown stadium extravaganza that baffled many fans and left most critics quite cold. It had been four long years since the huge success of Let’s Dance, and his last two releases were commercial bombs. Teetering on the verge of irrelevance and feeling uncool for the first time in his professional career, he decided to team up with guitarist Reeves Gabrels, bassist Tony Sales and drummer Hunt Sales to form the noise-rock band Tin Machine.

The band drew heavy inspiration from critically-adored alternative groups Sonic Youth and the Pixies, acts that got virtually no mainstream radio play or MTV love, but were moving rock in bold and exciting new directions. The only problem was that those bands had the advantage of growing organically. Tin Machine had the odd misfortune of being fronted by one of the most famous rock stars in history. They couldn’t exactly tour under-the-radar or do anything without obsessive Bowie fans chronicling their every move.

The band hit the road in the summer of 1989 to promote their self-tiled debut LP. They made it quite clear before it started that this would be a Tin Machine show and anyone showing up that hoped to hear “Let’s Dance” or “Young Americans” would leave disappointed. “Reaction to the shows was mixed,” read a report in Rolling Stone by Jeff Ressner. “While some concertgoers felt the band delivered a strong, tight set, others were underwhelmed by the new material and the contrived atmosphere of the event. Most appeared jostled by Tin Machine’s straight-ahead emphasis on loud guitars, dark lyrics and stark staging, pegging the band as merely the singer’s latest whimsical conceit.”

Full Story @ Rolling Stones

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