Sessions for Bowie's 24th studio album, his first in ten years, began several years ago "in secret" at The Magic Shop, New York City [owned by Steve Rosenthal, Tape Op #29]. Long-time collaborator Tony Visconti [Tape Op #29] co- produced, engineered, arranged strings, and played various instruments. These secret sessions were engineered by Mario J. McNulty, along with assistant engineers Kabir Hermon and Brian Thorn. Special congrats to everyone involved for keeping this album's recording hush-hush for several years - that's no mean feat these days. The album? It's pretty stellar. I'm a fan of Bowie's last two Visconti-helmed records, Heathen and Reality, but I feel The Next Day digs in a little harder. More rocking songs, more "odd" backing vocals (reminiscent of Scary Monsters), and a general sense of urgency that might seem surprising coming from a 66-year old - any 66-year old who's not David Bowie, that is. The record came as a surprise to many, and definitely a welcome surprise for a Bowie fan! Mastered by Dave McNair [Tape Op #23]. ( -LC

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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