Micropost: Emerald Was The Light In Her Heart

Goodness: 1987. David Bowie released Never Let Me Down that year and Toyota this E90 Corolla…

1987 Toyota Corolla 3-door, today.

Both album and car deserve re-appraisal. Stylistically the Corolla has faired better than Bowie’s album, which is faint praise. While you need to listen past the overproduction to hear some good songs on NLMD**, you only need to look with your naked eyes to see that Toyota’s stylists produced a very consistent design with this iteration. Should you wish to have an automotive quiz, try this: what’s the odd car out from VW Jetta, Opel Kadett saloon, Toyota Corolla and Ford Orion?

Don’t cheat by Googling it, please.

I had a look at the E90’s production history and specs of the E90 and noticed that even if the car isn’t conventionally fascinating (we’re unconventional here), the administration of the global product mix deserves some admiration: engine variants, body variants, trim variants and production at nine localities. So: the Corolla isn’t so much a model but a system of products targeted right at the middle market, where the customers are.

**I really wish Bowie had re-recorded NMLD, keeping only the vocals. There are some excellent lyrics, super singing*** and decent melodies on that album. Eighteen months later he changed direction with the Tin Machine project and I find it remarkable that a singer filling stadiums would take such a drastic turn. Having heard pretty much all the out-takes from the Tin Machine period, it is easy to forget the smooth, polished but synthetic-feeling work of 1987 (I still like it though).

*** After NMLD Bowie’s voice seemed to deepen. There’s a hint of the young voice on 1989’s Tin Machine album but it was gone by 1991.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

3 thoughts on “Micropost: Emerald Was The Light In Her Heart”

  1. I really have to look deeper into Bowie. It’s one of these artists I’m always vaguely aware of, but never found a way to really get to know their work. It’s a pity. There is just too much good music out there for the time we have.

    About that quiz, I have no clue. A wild guess might be that the Corolla was developed as a saloon and then the hatch was derived from this, whereas with the others it was the other way round (I think the saloons all came later to the market than the ‘standard’ variants).

    1. It’s taken me nearly 30 years to really get to understand Bowie’s recorded output so there’s a lot to get your ears around. It might be advantageous to listen without the cultural baggage of the 1970s, certainly for the pre-Berlin albums. Interesting as his life was, biography ads little to the experience. So, really you need to get the albums one after another and give them a spin.
      I’ll say nothing about the quiz.

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