Last week, a new David Bowie box set based around his 1980s recorded output, Loving the Alien: 1983-1988, was announced. The central attraction of the 15xLP/11xCD set, outside of Bowie’s studio albums of the time period and rare live performances, was a whole new version of Bowie’s 1987 studio album Never Let Me Down, mixed by Mario McNulty and featuring new instrumentation from past Bowie collaborators, new string arrangements by Nico Muhly, and a cameo from Laurie Anderson. Today, a stripped-down and totally remixed version of one of the album’s songs, “Zeroes,” has been released as “Zeroes (2018).”
With the au courant ’80s-pop production stripped away, the song is based around a bright, strummed acoustic guitar, a sitar courtesy of Peter Frampton, and Bowie’s powerful vocals. The song was originally intended as an ironic call-back of sorts to the 1960s and in this treatment, it sounds that way even more explicitly, channeling the sound of some of Bowie’s early album. The new “Zeroes,” along with a redone radio edit version of Never Let Me Down’s “Beat On Your Drum,” are slated to be released on a 7″ picture disc on September 7, ahead of the release of the full Loving the Alien box set, featuring Never Let Me Down (2018), on October 21. Listen to “Zeroes (2018)” below.