Sometimes you just have to treat yourself to an expensive record. I’d all but given up hope on finding this in the wild, like I did with the band’s 1989 debut, and a reissue seems unlikely unless they include it in the ongoing box-set campaign. One of the local New Zealand sellers found a copy of Tin Machine II when he was overseas, and held on to it for me until he got back.
In terms of production, it’s more of the same: a noisy wall of guitars with Bowie’s vocals sounding somewhat out of place; all influenced by what was happening in Seattle at the time. It’s just a shame the songs aren’t a little better. There’s one thing that both Tin Machine albums are lacking in, and that’s melody. It takes too much of a back seat for the songs to ever breathe.
Imagine an album like this, but with songwriting to match the output of Nirvana or Pearl Jam. It’d be unbeatable, and would have introduced Bowie to a much younger audience. As it is, it seems that the project passed most people by, particularly those in smiley-face t-shirts and plaid.
If I didn’t find Tin Machine II after twenty years of searching, it seems even unlikelier that I’ll run into a copy of the band’s only live album, Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby, and so that’s definitely one for Discogs.
Hit: Baby Universal
Hidden Gem: One Shot