As it offen happens when chemicals are involved, at some point the drugs stopped working. In a few years, Madchester had become a mockery of itself. The Hacienda was plagued by drug-related violence and criminality, the bands were repeatedly pointed at for their excessive laddishness and their follow up albums were often very disappointing. To finish it all off, a new phenomenon from America was quickly becoming the new love of the British music press: Grunge.
Still, Madchester had planted seeds that would flourish a few years later with Britpop.
Although music critics are unimpressed since 1983’s Let’s Dance, David Bowie keeps meeting commercial success. To support his latest album Never Let Me Down, he plans the “Glass Spider Tour”, a spectacular and very ambitious show which became a template for mainstream pop stars tours such as Madonna’s or Prince’s.
But in 1989, leaving his more recently acquired fan base, he teams with other musicians to form a hard rock band: Tin Machine. The band dissolves after 3 years and Bowie confirms his reputation as a musical chameleon by returning to his solo career with a soul album: Black Tie White Noise.
Bowie is now more confident and with the 1980 album Scary Monsters, partly recorded at Keith Richard’s house in Jamaica, he finds a new balance. He now wears suits on stage and reaches a new peak in popularity with Let’s Dance, his best selling album to date and – ironically – also his most criticized.
With the release of Station to Station in 1976, Bowie introduces yet another persona: the Thin White Duke. But things aren’t going well to say the least. Drugs are taking him over the edge and he is starting to worry for his life. He and his friend Iggy Pop – who’s not doing great either – thus decide to leave Hollywood’s insanity and clean up their act in Berlin.
After producing an album for Iggy, he encounters producer Brian Eno. Eno takes Bowie to new ground and their collaboration will end up producing one of Bowie’s most acclaimed and influential pieces: Low, the first album of the so-called “Berlin Trilogy”. He finally sees the end of the tunnel.
Part 3 of the David Bowie Story focuses on Bowie’s fascination for America, an “alternative world” that catches his imagination. But it was getting harder and harder for him to get out of the Ziggy Stardust persona, which had became an easy way to escape from reality. He ends up retiring Ziggy and goes to find other sources of inspiration, especially from american musicians. But the heavy use of drugs starts to really affect his personality.