Black Tie White Noise was the beginning of David Bowie's return from the wilderness of post-Let's Dance, the first indication that he was regaining his creative spark. To say as much suggests that it's a bit of a lost classic, when it's rather a sporadically intriguing transitional album, finding Bowie balancing the commercial dance-rock of Let's Dance with artier inclinations from his Berlin period, all the while trying to draw on the past by working with former Spider from Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, collaborating with Let's Dance producer Nile Rodgers, and even covering inspiration Scott Walker's "Nite Flights."
Originally released as a home video in 2004, David Bowie's A Reality Tour saw a two-CD audio release slated for January 2010, with three previously unreleased bonus tracks – "Fall Dogs Bombs the Moon," "Breaking Glass," "China Girl" – adding value for those hardcore fans who already own this concert as a DVD. In either the video or audio incarnation, this show, from November 2003 in Dublin, Ireland, is an entertaining and open-hearted set, finding Bowie running through a generous selection of oldies – both hits and album tracks, including songs written by Bowie, like "All the Young Dudes" and "Sister Midnight" – and new songs that hold up well next to the classics.
David Bowie has claimed that Never Let Me Down is one of the worst albums of this career. He has claimed that he went into the studio for this album without really knowing why he was doing it, nor really caring that much about how it turned out. Indeed, the eventual realization that he was simply "going through the motions" on this project caused him to form Tin Machine, keep Tin Machine together much longer than he should have, and refrain from releasing another solo album until 1993's Black Tie White Noise.