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