Forgotten series: Tin Machine – Live: Oy Vey, Baby (1992)

by Tom Johnson

I think Tin Machine was unfairly dismissed.

Consisting of two studio albums and this live disc, and featuring David Bowie and guitar-genius Reeves Gabrels (who would accompany Bowie in his solo works through the 1990s), Tin Machine’s output was slammed for being woefully out of touch at the time they were released. Too rough, too angular and quirky, the mainstream music world just wasn’t ready for this sound.

Had it been 5 years later that the self-titled first TM album was released, it might very well have been a success. Up against the sound du jour, big hair metal, Tin Machine sounded distinctly different, odd even, and even Bowie’s fans had a hard time swallowing this one.

The stripped down, raw, back-to-basics approach Tin Machine took just didn’t have a niche to fill at the time, and it’s surprising that Tin Machine II even saw the light of day. How this live album was released is a complete mystery: I’m not sure who they thought this was going to appeal to, but as one of the few admitted fans of the band, I’m glad it was at least released, even if it did go quickly out of print.

To prove just how few people were interested in this, the used copy I snagged appeared to be virtually unused — no significant scuffs on the case (not even shelf-wear), nothing on the disc, and the artwork is in mint condition minus a corner having been cut from the booklet.

Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.