David Bowie has died. Blackstar.

Blackstar, David Bowie’s latest album, came out last week. I’d read the warm, enthusiastic reviews but only sampled small pieces before word came this morning that he’d passed on. I was waiting until I found the whole album, Google Music didn’t have it, but it turns out YouTube did. We’ve written about many Bowie songs and projects here over the years. This cut is a worthy piece of ambitious and pleasurable music suffused with the mythmaking heart found in everything David Bowie created. A look backward into a dark future without him (but with his art) that starts today.

8 thoughts on “David Bowie has died. Blackstar.

  1. I’m sorry he died. Not to be a curmudgeon but I don’t like this album at all. I did a little post on Facebook last week in which I called it “derierre garde,” but alas people thought that was a compliment. I’m going to go back and listen to his old stuff today. I always liked this lesser-played song:

    • I like the song Blackstar, as art. The change up to the soul vamp is cool, and imagery of the video is fine.

      I saw your commment, Gene, about derriere garde and figured it was negative (but could be positive) until I read about all the jazzy elements of the album. Then I thought you might be talking about a different elpee, since I couldn’t find it.

  2. I’ll check out Blackstar at some point, but I’m in no big rush.

    My Bowie story, whether you want it or not:

    Bowie was the third real rock artist I got into, after Alice Cooper and Slade. By “got into” I mean buying an album and playing it to death because there was no affording another album for quite a while on a 13-year-old’s salary.

    Started, in usual not-the-way-you’re-supposed-to-do-it fashion with Diamond Dogs. Not sure why. Best guess would be it was new and it had a cool album cover. Me and one of my neighborhood friends really liked it a lot. Then, with no internet to tell us where to go next, we got Young Americans when that came out and both were like, “Where the hell are the guitars?”

    I didn’t get Ziggy and Hunky Dory until years later. Sorry to be so typical, but those are my two faves. One of those deals in which whatever album you’re listening to at the time is a slight favorite over the other (Dudes and Ass Cobra by Turbonegro, second and third Blue Oyster Cult albums, first three Ramones, etc.). I’m quite sure both made my Remnants Top 50 oh so long ago.

    The Bowie I most need to check out is Tin Machine, which lately has been classified as underrated hard rock. At first it was classified as shit.

    And yes, Gene, Andy Warhol is a classic.

    This will make the sappy Crosby/Bowie Christmas thing I love so well all the more sappy.

  3. I saw him playing keyboards for Iggy, I saw him on Broadway as the Elephant Man, but I never saw him live as David Bowie. One night the Sinatras were playing at an after-hours place called the Stickball Club, which started as a transvestite revue joint in the 1950s called Club 82 and was later owned by Ron Wood and called Woody’s. It was our favorite place to play. All the people who worked at Max’s and CB’s would go there as well as many bands that were in town. First set at about 4 AM, then another and if the place was hopping a third set about 6:30. The Hell’s Angels lived next door and hung out there. One night we were walking onstage and one grabs me and says, “Do ‘Pills.'” You can bet we opened with Pills. Anyway, another night people were saying that David Bowie was there, but I never saw him. Some story, eh? Here’s another of my faves, great snappy Stax-meets-Television rhythm guitar.

  4. BTW Steve, you guessed it Ziggy Stardust was the first Bowie I heard. I was obsessed with Suffragette City for weeks. But ya know what? For a guy who made concept album after concept album, at the end it’s the individual songs that stand out. Here you go, Steve.

    • Ziggy was the first for me, and inspired a short story about a reclusive alien androgynous rock star in a mansion merged with story and thematic elements of Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher. I hope that ms doesn’t reappear at some point out of the boxes in the basement, but it reminds me as a remnant of my interest in that album back then.

  5. I am down will all you say, in fact I was gonna do a little tribute. I was not a Bowie fan at first even though I dug Rebel Rebel the first time I heard it. He did win, though.

    I saw him twice, and will leave it at that, for I do have a nice little post ready…

    ciao David…

  6. I first heard “Suffragette City” as a Freshman at UC Santa Cruz in the late 1970s. My friend, Laura, told me the news an e-mail with the following subject line: “a world without Bowie?” She fondly remembered that I had given her a copy of “Young Americans” on vinyl. She still has it! “Panic in Detroit” is probably my favorite Bowie song. There’s a great story in Please Me about the Warhol crowd hanging out with Angie in London in the early Seventies. Some store on Canal Street was going out of business so they brought bottles of glitter with them to London.

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