In 1992, David Bowie recorded a self-written title track for the Real Cool World soundtrack — his first since 1987. Both film and song have vanished from public eye. Reunited with Nile Rodgers, Bowie produces a house-inflected track that’s in keeping with the times but offers enough louche Bowie details: a vocal so detached that it makes Bryan Ferry’s late eighties work sound like Sam Cooke, ear-pricking sax fills by Bowie himself, block synth chords. It’s a dress rehearsal for the triumph of 1993′s “Jump They Say,” found on Black Tie White Noise, a shrewd appraisal of which is contained in the extraordinary Bowiesongs blog review of “Real Cool World”:
So BTWN is one of the stranger albums of Bowie’s life: a pop record that seems intent on denying itself; an album jammed full of ghosts and memories, with a restless creative spirit running through it, along with a seeming indifference to quality at times; it’s a funeral album as much as a wedding album, its moods ranging from glossy pap to uxoriousness on a global scale to ham-handed public commentary to a studied alienation. Bowie would alter his voice beyond recognition, sing on some tracks as a seeming parody of his public self, sing on others as though he’s desperately answering a question someone had posed years before. He seemed to have trawled through his past and picked up whatever came to hand: it’s an album on which not only Mick Ronson and Mike Garson reappear but also the Tonight-era Frank Simms and Phillipe Saisse. While making BTWN Bowie seemed incredibly happy, a man sunk into domestic bliss, and one who also was vaguely disgusted with having to recompose himself, yet again, as a public figure.