David Bowie-Where Are We Now?


 Tuesday 8th January 2013 is David Bowie’s 66th birthday and by means of a birthday gift to the world he has chosen the day to release his first music in ten years. It is especially poignant as the last few years have been rife with speculation concerning Bowie with rumours of deteriorating health, acceptance that he had perhaps retired and just not told us and most worryingly of all the Flaming Lips released a song which begged in its title ‘Is David Bowie Dying?’.

The news this morning then that his new single ‘Where Are We Now?’ is already available to buy on iTunes with minimum fuss, hyperbole and build up is typical of Bowie’s mysterious and innovative ways in an industry which usually favours pre-release hype to the point the eventual release is inevitably something of a disappointment.

The song itself is melancholic and plaintive and focussed on the point of his life and career when he was attempting to escape the spectre of the masks and characters-Ziggy, Aladdin, The Thin White Duke et al- and reclaim the identity of their initial doppelganger, David Jones. In doing this he had ducked the momentum of a highly lucrative and successful global career and absconded to Berlin with Iggy Pop whose career had nosedived during exactly the same period Bowie’s had skyrocketed.

The fact that this move re-ignited his muse and resulted in what was probably his most creative and original period is neither here nor there when considered next to the fact that it was an extremely brave thing to do with many commentators observing it was commercial suicide.  Proving them wrong showed again that Bowie is always one step ahead of others and whilst many other artists underestimate their audience he never has and that is only one reason why he still inspires such great loyalty from his fan base.

This latest move merely confirms the fact that Bowie is still an artist to be reckoned with and one who exists only on his own terms still leading, rather than following, the pack.

A new single is only an appetite whetter however for an album to be released in March, The Next Day, which will neatly coincide with the V&A retrospective detailing the great man’s career and influence. This flurry of activity indicates that far from retiring, 2013 could be Bowie’s biggest year in decades. Welcome back David. Oh, and Happy Birthday!

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