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1. Outside is a concept album first released September 26, 1995 by David Bowie on Virgin Records.


1. Outside introduced the characters of one of Bowie's short stories; a "non-linear gothic drama hyper cycle" called the "Diaries of Nathan Adler". The album pamphlet outlined the story of a somewhat cyberpunk version of the year 1999, in which the government had created a new bureau to investigate the phenomenon of Art Crime. In this future, murder and mutilation of bodies had become a new underground art craze. The main character, Nathan Adler, was in the business of deciding what of this was legally acceptable as art and what was, in a word, trash. The album is filled with references to characters and their lives as he investigates the complicated events leading up to the murder of a fourteen-year-old girl. One is meant to assume that Bowie's character, Nathan Adler, works for the British government due to several references to the cities of Londonmarker and Oxfordmarker, but in the liner notes these are revealed to be, at least in some cases, London, Ontariomarker and Oxford, New Jerseymarker, indicating that the entire story may take place in North America - or, indeed, that the distinction between the two places has become blurred and indistinguishable.

Public reception and tour

The album put Bowie back into the mainstream scene of rock music with its singles "The Hearts Filthy Lesson", "Strangers When We Meet", and "Hallo Spaceboy" (notably remixed by the Pet Shop Boys). In September 1995, Bowie began the Outside Tour, with Reeves Gabrels joining him as his live band's guitarist. In a move that was equally lauded and ridiculed by Bowie fans and critics, Bowie chose Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails as his US tour partner. NIN & Bowie (as well as Kevin McMahon's Prick, Trent's fellow Nothing Records industrial artist and friend) toured as a co-headlining act: NIN appeared on stage first, always playing an equal amount of stage time as Bowie. As the crew changed sets behind a large backdrop, NIN would play several Bowie compositions ("Subterraneans", "Hallo Spaceboy", and "Scary Monsters "), followed by two NIN songs with Bowie ("Reptile" and "Hurt"). A subsequent UK/European tour with opener Morrissey received equally mixed reception from the public. A solo summer festival tour was better received, due to the lack of a split ticket between equally devout but diametrically opposed fans.

Trent Reznor has gone on record numerous times as being heavily influenced by David Bowie, and further collaborated with Bowie by remixing "The Hearts Filthy Lesson" and later on 1997's "I'm Afraid of Americans" single. Bowie may also have been influenced by Reznor; for example, on various performances of the Outside Tour, bass player Gail Ann Dorsey wore a crucifix mask strikingly similar to that featured in the Closer video. However, when asked in 1995 if his album Outside was influenced by Nine Inch Nails, Bowie answered, "No. I was influenced by a Swiss band called The Young Gods." The Young Gods also toured with Bowie through Europe during much of his promotion for Outside.

Unrealized follow-up albums

Initially, Bowie voiced his intention to continue the narrative of 1. Outside with follow-up albums 2. Contamination and 3. Afrikaan. Though some session work was apparently done, little mention has been made of the projects since 2000. [94234]

Track listing

All songs by Bowie and Eno except as indicated. Listed in italics are the characters who are singing in each particular song.

  1. "Leon Takes Us Outside" Leon Blank – 1:25 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  2. "Outside" Prologue – 4:04 (Armstrong, Bowie)
  3. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson" Detective Nathan Adler – 4:57 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  4. "A Small Plot of Land" The residents of Oxford Town, New Jerseymarker – 6:34 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay)
  5. "(Segue) – Baby Grace (A Horrid Cassette)" Baby Grace Blue – 1:39 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  6. "Hallo Spaceboy" Paddy – 5:14
  7. "The Motel" Leon Blank – 6:49
  8. "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town" Leon Blank – 3:47
  9. "No Control" Detective Nathan Adler – 4:33
  10. "(Segue) – Algeria Touchshriek" Algeria Touchshriek – 2:03 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  11. "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty)" The Artist/Minotaur – 4:21 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels)
  12. "(Segue) – Ramona A. Stone/I Am With Name" Ramona A. Stone and her acolytes – 4:01 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  13. "Wishful Beginnings" The Artist/Minotaur – 5:08
  14. "We Prick You" Members of the Court of Justice – 4:33
  15. "(Segue) – Nathan Adler" Detective Nathan Adler – 1:00 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  16. "I'm Deranged" The Artist/Minotaur – 4:31
  17. "Thru' These Architects Eyes" Leon Blank – 4:22 (Bowie, Gabrels)
  18. "(Segue) – Nathan Adler" Detective Nathan Adler – 0:28 (Bowie, Eno, Gabrels, Garson, Kizilcay, Campbell)
  19. "Strangers When We Meet" Leon Blank – 5:07 (Bowie)

"I Am With Name" contains a sample from "The Brian May Band Live at Brixton Academy".

Alternate versions

The Japanese release of the album had "Get Real" as an additional track, as did the 2004 Sony reissue.

An edited version called Excerpts from Outside was released as an LP in 1995. In 1996 the album was released as version 2, but with different versions of it being distributed in Australia, Japanmarker and Europe. In Europe, the re-edition was released by BMG without "Wishful Beginnings", but with the Pet Shop Boys remix of "Hallo Spaceboy" as the last track. In Australia and Japanmarker, version 2 was released as a double-disc album, with the first one being the untouched original disc of Outside, and the second one including remixes and live versions already released on the 1995-1996 singles. In 2004 the album was again released as a limited 2CD edition.

Excerpts from Outside LP

  1. "Leon Takes Us Outside (edit)" – 0:24
  2. "Outside" – 4:04
  3. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson" – 4:57
  4. "A Small Plot of Land" – 6:34
  5. "Segue - Baby Grace Blue (A Horrid Cassette)" – 1:39
  6. "Hallo Spaceboy" – 5:14
  7. "The Motel (edit)" – 5:03
  8. "I Have Not Been to Oxford Town" – 3:47
  9. "The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (as Beauty)" – 4:21
  10. "Segue - Ramona A. Stone / I am with Name" – 4:01
  11. "We Prick You" – 4:33
  12. "Segue - Nathan Adler" – 1:00
  13. "I'm Deranged" – 4:31

Australian bonus disc - version 2

  1. "Hallo Spaceboy (Pet Shop Boys remix)" – 4:26
  2. "Under Pressure (live version)" – 4:08
  3. "Moonage Daydream (live version)" – 5:29
  4. "The Man Who Sold the World (live version)" – 3:35
  5. "Strangers When We Meet (edit)" – 4:21
  6. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Bowie mix)" – 4:56

The Japanese version of the bonus disc had the "Rubber mix" of "The Heart's Filthy Lesson" instead of the "Bowie mix".

2004 limited 2CD edition

  1. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Trent Reznor Alternative Mix)" – 5:20
  2. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Rubber Mix)" – 7:41
  3. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Simple Test Mix)" – 6:38
  4. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Filthy Mix)" – 5:51
  5. "The Hearts Filthy Lesson (Good Karma Mix by Tim Simenon)" – 5:00
  6. "A Small Plot of Land (Basquiat)" – 2:48
  7. "Hallo Spaceboy (12" Remix)"
  8. "Hallo Spaceboy (Double Click Mix)" – 7:47
  9. "Hallo Spaceboy (Instrumental)" – 7:41
  10. "Hallo Spaceboy (Lost in Space Mix)" – 6:29
  11. "I am with Name (Album Version)" – 4:01
  12. "I'm Deranged (Jungle Mix)" – 7:00
  13. "Get Real" – 2:49
  14. "Nothing to be Desired" – 2:15


Outside was originally conceived in March 1994, based on a three and a half hour jam session between David Bowie, Brian Eno and the other musicians involved in the project. Bowie wanted to release the raw versions of the jams as a double album titled "Leon", but was unable to find a record label willing to distribute something that was so uncommercial. A number of original tracks from this jam session have leaked on the Internet and are called by fans the Outside Outtakes.

The Outtakes appear on the final album in their rawest form as the segues that are scattered throughout it, albeit edited considerably. "I Am With Name", for instance is 22 minutes long in the Outtakes' version, as well as other songs (such as one noted by Reeves Gabrels to be titled "The Enemy is Fragile" and one with a similar sound to "The Motel" called "We Creep Together").


Year Chart Position
1995 Norway's album chart 15
1995 UK album chart 8
1995 US Billboard 21

Production credits

  • Mixing and additional treatments:
    • David Richards
    • David Bowie

  • Album Design & Image Manipulation:

  • Album Cover Concept:
    • David Bowie
    • Denovo

  • Front Cover Painting:
    • "Head of DB" (11"x11") acrylic on canvas 1995 by David Bowie


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