Does the world need yet another reissue of a David Bowie compilation? I lost count around about 20 Bowie compilations released already from the excellent “1974-1979” or the soundtrack of “Christiane F” to the pointless “Fame and Fashion” or “Golden Years” which were just nasty cash-ins by RCA during the “Let’s Dance” period.
One of the latest is the reissue of “Sound + Vision” in a traditional jewel case. I find this compilation particularly frustrating because it is such a lost opportunity. “Sound + Vision” is neither a greatest hits for the causal listener nor a second stage for people wanting to explore the great man’s back catalogue or collection of rarities and outtakes for the hardcore fan. “Sound + Vision” tries to be all and falls miserably between the stools as an unfocused mess, floundering for direction and purpose
The compilations “1969 to 1974” and “1974 to 1979” offer the explorer a much more well rounded introduction into Bowie’s legacy with a mix of hit singles and essential albums tracks, and greatest hits albums like the “Best of Bowie” or “Changesbowie” offer the casual listener all the hits. So what is the point of “Sound + Vision”?
Sadly, I think there is no point to “Sound + Vision” apart from an opportunity by the record companies to part die-hard Bowie fans with their money with the offer of a few out-takes and demos. This is such a wasted opportunity that could have offered Bowie fans a truly remarkable collection of CDs, brought together many of the difficult-to-get bonus tracks from “Sound + Vision“, reissues of his classic albums in 1991, alongside other material from his recording career. Instead, this compilation offers a bit of this and a bit of that, and ends up a complete mess instead of a testament to one of the greatest artists ever living.