First RC does the feature, then EMI reissue the album. Now Chrome Dreams give us an Under Review-style DVD to celebrate Young Americans being back in vogue. Without re-retelling the story too much here, there’s the preamble (Diamond Dogs signalled glam’s death knell; Bowie needed to prove his longevity), the ‘what makes plastic soul?’ discussion, longtime Bowie keyboardist gives his insight into working with The Dame and Steve Strange looks slightly bitter and annoyed to be there at all.
Young Americans isn’t without moments, but it seems to mostly provoke confusion here. The editor pits talking heads against each other too bluntly (Fame is a great/ crap song; soul music is/isn’t political), which doesn’t spark debate, is irritating to watch and somewhat undermines the authority of the whole. There’s some overlap with Chrome Dreams’ Berlin years overview, which prompts a comparison. Glaringly, there isn’t such an extensive use of audio interviews from Bowie, though the material certainly exists (even if just from the infamous Dick Clark Show appearance, from which they’ve taken live clips). Otherwise, there haven’t been many ch-ch-chchanges in nine months. It seems the series needs to make a Bowielike abrupt shift if it’s to remain appealing, or else fans with a decent grasp on their idols may turn and face something else.