Tag Archives: The Next Day

➤ 14,000 words on Bowie’s album – responding to Bowie’s own 42 words telling what it’s all about

❚ AND YOU WON’T STOP READING THEM! A novelist asked David Bowie to explain his comeback album. In his own way, Bowie uttered his first public words on the subject: 42 of them.

Rick Moody,reviews,David Bowie, The Next Day,pop music,Britishness

Rick Moody photographed by Seamus Kearney … and a salute from Bowie at 66

“Never has an album been quite as resistant to interpretation as The Next Day,” writes Rick Moody, the 51-year-old American author, tipped by New Yorker magazine as one of its “20 writers for the 21st century”. So he asked Bowie for some clues! We offer a few teasers here to entice you in, but no spoilers. The original piece is so rewarding, you won’t regret setting aside half an hour of your time to devour it… Moody talks of cocktail napkins, albatrosses, a sequence of ghosts and the pressure to be à la mode … of chanson, of papal indulgences, of hatred of rhyme, the ancient temple in Rome, quintessential Britishness, rethinking certainties and the world at war…


➢ Rick Moody dissects Bowie’s new album with the help of its creator in 14,000 words published yesterday. Read the full essay at the pop-cultural web platform, The Rumpus

BY RICK MOODY: I am writing these lines because The Next Day, the album by David Bowie, is the unlikeliest masterpiece of the recent popular song, the best album by an otherwise retired classic rock artist in many, many years. It kicks the shit out of that recent spate of albums by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, it is better than anything the Stones did since Tattoo You … [etc etc etc]

It’s a remarkable and completely unpredictable masterpiece by a guy in his later sixties, an album that doesn’t sound like anything else happening in 2013, except that it sounds, in some ways, like a lot of the very best work David Bowie has done … [etc etc etc]

In the environment of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber and One Direction, David Bowie sounds like a titan, like a behemoth of song, but it’s not only because of his context, it’s because he made a great album, which has more passion in each composition than most people manage in entire albums … [etc etc etc]

I wanted to understand the lexicon of The Next Day, and so I simply asked if he would provide this list of words about his album… and yet astonishingly the list appeared, and it appeared without further comment, which is really excellent, and exactly in the spirit of this album, and the list is far better than I could ever have hoped.

David Bowie, The Next Day, Where Are We Now?,video

Having asked Where Are We Now? in his first comeback single this year, Bowie’s second posed other enticing questions in a sexually ambiguous video for The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (ISO Records)












































It’s a great list, and it has the word chthonic on it, and this is one of my very favorite words, and you have to admit, additionally, chthonic is a great word, and all art that is chthonic is excellent art, and art that has nothing chthonic about it, like, let’s say, ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’, that is art that’s hard to withstand
➢ Rick Moody continues at The Rumpus


❏ Rick Moody: They have no idea how easy it would be to stop. Still, this neglects the loss you would feel about retirement… Ian Hunter, the British singer-songwriter and Bowie’s acquaintance for whom he once wrote All the Young Dudes, had a song on this subject, on his comeback album called Rant (2001), the song being Dead Man Walking (What am I supposed to do now?/ Crawl down the hole of monotony?/ The silence is deafening/ The phone never rings)


2013 ➤ Bowie is Go! Tasters for this week’s record-breaking V&A exhibition

+++V&A video trailer for the new exhibition, David Bowie is

➢ David Bowie is the enigmatic title of a retrospective exhibition of 300 possessions drawn from Bowie’s personal archive displayed at London’s Victoria & Albert museum, March 23–Aug 11. Appropriately, this week his first album in ten years, The Next Day, sits at No 1 in the Official UK Album Chart. It’s his ninth UK No 1 album (though spookily neither of his recent singles releases is anywhere near the singles chart). Before the V&A show launches, ticket sales exceed 42,000, more than double the advance sales of previous exhibitions at the museum. A few tickets are still available by booking online, in person in Kensington, or by phone +44 (0)20 7907 7073.


➢ David Bowie, the Return – Tony Parsons, Miranda Sawyer and La Roux’s Elly Jackson discuss Bowie’s music and influence for Radio 4’s Front Row (broadcast March 7, available on iPlayer for a year). Presenter John Wilson is guided through the V&A exhibits by the show’s curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh.

David Bowie, V&A exhibition, White Cloth Gallery, Leeds

Brian Duffy’s photography for the Lodger album sleeve 1979. © The Duffy Archive Limited

➢ The Duffy Collection of iconic Bowie images – which include three of his most famous album covers – goes on display May 2–June 4 at the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds LS1 4HT. The show documents Duffy’s special relationship with Bowie over ten years.

➢ A cryptic guide to the typography of Bowie – The V&A exhibition catalogue dissected by Gavin Lucas at Creative Review, 4 March 2013:

Jon Abbott at graphic design studio Barnbrook said of the book David Bowie Is: “We wanted to create an engaging pop-object for an audience who have come to expect the unconventional” … The book’s body typeface, Priori Serif, is one from Jonathan Barnbrook’s own foundry, Virus Fonts. Drawn by Jonathan Barnbrook and Marcus Leis Allion, the typeface was influenced by British typographers Gill and Johnston, and fittingly it found one of its first outings on the cover of Bowie’s 2002 album, Heathen … / Continued at Creative Review

Celia Philo,Brian Duffy,David Bowie, V&A exhibition,

One of the rejected cover shots for the Aladdin Sane album taken by photographer Brian Duffy in 1973. © The Duffy Archive Limited

➢ The day that lightning struck Aladdin – In 1973, Celia Philo directed the photo shoot for David Bowie’s album Aladdin Sane. The result was one of the most iconic images ever created. She talks to Stylist magazine, 2013:

Sometimes, when you’re doing something that you know is going to be good, it’s because it’s come from an extreme end of the spectrum of experience: either it’s incredibly hard work, or it comes together almost effortlessly. The photographic shoot for the cover of Aladdin Sane happened like magic. Its success was the result of a lucky collaboration of people … / Celia Philo, continued at Stylist

David Bowie, V&A exhibition,Lower Third,Swinging 60s,

Setting out as Swinging 60s Mod: Bowie promo shot in 1966 for his first single on Pye, Can’t Help Thinking About Me, with his band The Lower Third which included producer Tony Hatch on piano. The NME decided: “Absorbing melody, weakish tune”

➢ Iain R Webb: How David Bowie liberated my wardrobe – As a 14-year-old boy living in a West Country village, Webb, the former Blitz Kid and fashion editor and now RCA professor, thought David Bowie’s style statements were a gift. And so have generations of fashion designers. Read feature in The Independent, March 16, 2013:

Bowie’s influence on my life has been major, from the fundamental desire to never be labelled or pigeonholed to my profound love of glitter and penchant for a spikey haircut. And I am not alone … / Iain R Webb, continued at The Independent

➢ Glam! The Performance of Style (Feb 8–May 12) is a seriously well-curated multi-media show at Tate Liverpool surveying the 1971–75 phenomenon on both sides of the Atlantic, across the whole spectrum of painting, sculpture, installation art, film, photography and performance. The in-depth survey comes in two halves, drawing a clear distinction between the playful subversion of pop music and fashion that characterised the British glam wave, and the American, which was driven much more profoundly by gender politics. Well worth a daytrip to Liverpool.

➢ 1970, Where to draw a line between glitter and glam: naff blokes in Bacofoil versus starmen with pretensions — analysis by Shapersofthe80s.

➢ How Glam Changed Britain, by Gary Kemp – feature written by the Spandau Ballet songwriter for The Times, Jan 28, 2013.


David Bowie, V&A exhibition, ,Berlin,Tony Visconti, Hansa Studios

Berlin 1976: Bowie with moustache, Tony Visconti and assistant engineer, Edu Meyer, taken in the control room of Hansa Studios by Meyer’s wife, Barbara

♫ BBC Radio 6Music celebrates the life and work of David Bowie throughout Easter week, March 25–31. Gems from the archive feature concerts and interviews which have not been heard in 30 years.

♫ 2013, Shock and awe verdicts – Shapersofthe80s rounds up critical opinion on Bowie’s born-again single Where Are We Now? and the masterful new album The Next Day – “beautiful, obsessive and deliciously cruel”.

♫ News of special vinyl release at Bowie’s website – His second 2013 single, The Stars, is scheduled for a limited edition vinyl 7inch 45 Record Store Day release on April 20. Backed with Where Are We Now?

❏ Music video for the 1979 song DJ (above) sees Bowie sporting a pink onesie dungaree outfit designed by Willy Brown and walking through London streets being snogged by fans, both boys and girls.


➤ Bowie’s first album for a decade is beautiful, obsessive and deliciously cruel


The Next Day ,David Bowie,albums,pop music,Tony Visconti ,reviews ➢ An absolute wonder that’s bold and baffling, writes Neil McCormick in the Daily Telegraph, Feb 25:

It is an enormous pleasure to report that the new David Bowie album is an absolute wonder: urgent, sharp-edged, bold, beautiful and baffling, an intellectually stimulating, emotionally charged, musically jagged, electric bolt through his own mythos and the mixed-up, celebrity-obsessed, war-torn world of the 21st century.

Musically, it is stripped and to the point, painted in the primal colours of rock: hard drums, fluid bass, fizzing guitars, shaded by splashes of keyboard and dirty rasps of horns. The 14 songs are short and spiky, often contrasting that kind of patent Bowie one-note declarative drawl with sweet bursts of melodic escape that hit you like a sugar rush. Bowie’s return from a decade’s absence feels very present, although full of sneaky backward glances… / Continued at Telegraph online

➢ Despite the lyrical density, the album’s success rests on simple pleasures, writes Alexis Petridis at Guardian online today

The Next Day offers what you might call an index of Bowiean obsessions… The mutual respect between Bowie and Scott Walker is well-documented – an effusive 50th birthday tribute from the elusive former Scott Engel famously reduced Bowie to tears live on Radio 1 – and it’s Walker’s latterday work that much of The Next Day resembles, at least in that the lyrics are so dense and allusive you occasionally feel in need of a set of York Notes to get through them.

Producer Tony Visconti has suggested that The Next Day is of a piece with 1979’s Lodger and, as on that record, Bowie spends a lot of The Next Day experimenting with his vocal delivery, offering, among other things, a peculiar nasal drone on the title track and a doomy, tortured lowing that recalls Walker – him again – on the closing Heat… [This is] an album that’s thought-provoking, strange and filled with great songs… / Continued at Guardian online

➢ In the FT, Ludovic Hunter-Tilney perceives an album thick with visions of ageing, death and violence

Bowie’s vague but vital sense of terror is one of the most provoking and enigmatic aspects of his first album in 10 years… The visions of ageing, death and violence that run through the album… climax in You Feel So Lonely You Could Die, an unsettling kiss-off to a would-be suicide (I can see you as a corpse hanging from a beam), incongruously played as a ballad. Bowie’s idea of terror, an existential dread, follows Burroughs’ “frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork” – a sentiment that Bowie rephrased in his Queen duet Under Pressure: It’s the terror of knowing/ What this world is about. / Continued at FT.com

The Stars (Are Out Tonight),David Bowie,vinyl , singles,pop music,Tony Visconti ,reviews

Another single release: The Stars is scheduled for a limited edition vinyl 7inch 45 Record Store Day release on April 20, 2013. Backed with Where Are We Now? Before that, on April 1, the album will be released as a 180 gram, 17-track double vinyl set

➢ More mystery than any other living singer,
asserts Chris Roberts at the Quietus:

Fortunately, [the album]’s great. I mean: it’s not just good, it’s great. No wild pioneering sonic experiments here: it’s primarily a “rock” album with plentiful twists, with the closest sibling being Scary Monsters… I sometimes found myself pining for more ballads or tangents to break up the album’s mid-section run of half a dozen roaring thumpers. Yet it starts with six mercurial wonders that have you grinning because he’s pulled this comeback thing off big-time. They tease, tumble and twirl, referencing his past in flashes but refusing to relinquish their own personalities and identities. Moreover, it closes with two mind-blowing, show-stopping, grandstanding epics: one as baroque as Rock And Roll Suicide ONLY MORE SO; one as frazzled and sinister and ticking as Scott Walker’s (ok, The Walker Brothers’) The Electrician.

So more than half the album is fantastic, and the rest is very, very strong… Every Bowie biography from now on is going to have a lot more cod psychology to do. And even after all these years, all these artistic statements, we don’t know what’s a confession and what’s a character. The interface between the two (substance and style seduce each other, Miller and Monroe in one misfit) affords Bowie more mystery than any other living singer, still… / Continued online at Thequietus

The Next Day ,David Bowie,albums,pop music,Tony Visconti ,reviews ➢ In the NME dated March 2, Emily Mackay says the in-your-face pace of The Next Day rarely slackens

It’s the sheer vibrancy of the new album that strikes you hardest. In contrast to Outside or Earthling, there’s no sense that it’s the need for another radical reinvention that has pulled Bowie back to music-making. These songs feel like stories that insisted on being told, bright and aggressive and poppy. The title track sets the tone. A cocky strut seething with rage… it boils with lust, paranoia and megalomania… This album is about songcraft… it absorbs his past and moves on, hungry for more… / Continued in the NME, along with an exclusive five-pager on the making of the album

➢ Bowie is in masterful voice and his band are at full throttle,
says Simon Price in the Independent, March 3:

The strangely artless artwork (the “Heroes” cover blanked out with a white square and the title in pseudo-Helvetica). The teaser single Where Are We Now?, wherein this Englishman in New York reminisced about old friends and Old Europe. Now it’s here, and it’s clear: The Next Day’s primary concern is the delicious cruelty with which the past haunts the present. Just walking the dead, indeed.

This album is not David Bowie’s first overtly nostalgic work, the first to reference his own career, nor the first to feature meditations on aging, but it repeats those tricks with immense style. On Love Is Lost, he brutally commands you to “say goodbye to the thrills of life … wave goodbye to the life without pain”. On How Does The Grass Grow?, amid Fifties ya-ya-ya-yas and snatches of Bond theme, he daydreams If the clocks could go backwards, then the girls would fill with blood and the grass would be green / Continued at Independent online

➢ We’re told Bowie made his first album in 10 years because “today he definitely has something to say”. In the Huffington Post (March 3) Michael Hogan says it’s up to us to ask, What is he trying to say?

You get the sense, from the music but also from the video [for The Stars Are Out Tonight] with Tilda Swinton, that Bowie has ambivalent feelings about his distance from the cultural tide. There was a time when he defined it, followed by a long period when he tried but perhaps failed to steer it in more esoteric directions; now all he can do is remind us how much he did to shape it – and impart a few lessons to those travelling in his wake.

Like so many ageing artists before him, it seems, Bowie has learned the Big Lesson: no matter how much money you make, how many sex partners you corral, or even how many masterpieces you produce, we’re all riding a one-way conveyor belt into the furnace of oblivion. Does that mean everything we’ve done is meaningless? Not really, Bowie seems to suggest on Where Are We Now?, As long as there’s sun / as long as there’s rain / as long as there’s fire / as long as there’s me / as long as there’s you . / Continued at Huffington Post

David Bowie, portraits, Jimmy King, William Burroughs

Freeze. And freeze again: Let’s not forget the shadow of Burroughs and his “frozen moment”. One of this year’s few official portraits of Bowie, taken by Jimmy King

➢ The Stars single reviewed: Bowie’s psychodrama mocks the rockiness of godliness

➢ Riddle of the train Bowie could not have taken in
Where Are We Now?

➢ 2013, The Bowiesconti proxy has spoken – Shapersofthe80s translates revelations from the Visconti interview

➢ 2013, Bowie officially not “devastated” as fab retrospective show goes ahead at the V&A