David Bowie

The Singles Collection 2

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The second volume of EMI's Singles Collection picks up precisely where the first left off, with the release of "Heroes," the September 1977 release that so effortlessly maintained the sequence of brilliant 45s that Bowie had ignited five years before. Whereas that first volume offers up an all but unbroken run of classics, however, Vol. 2 is somewhat more of a patchwork, retaining the chronology of releases but paying little regard to actual completeness; the serious collector will glance at the track listing and isolate any number of classic omissions. No "Magic Dance," no "Baal's Hymn," and not even "Loving the Alien," generally regarded among Bowie's best compositions of the entire 1980s. Instead, the album adopts a more populist approach to what had hitherto been an academic quest, a device that means all the biggest hits are here, through to 1987's "Day-In Day-Out," but several of the best are missing. Less a singles collection, then, than a sampling, Vol. 2 is worth acquiring if you can't face the regular albums, and worthwhile for the inclusion of "This Is Not America" and "Absolute Beginners." Otherwise, however, it's a wasted opportunity.

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