I haven’t even finished my top albums review of the year but yet I’m already posting another in memorium topic, rock is deader than disco at this point, which is somehow back and thriving thanks to those MDMA ridden assholes pushing that shit like smack on the floors of venues in 2016. Well yeah anyway, David Bowie, the thin white duke of music himself, has kicked it just after releasing an album that might just go on to be the best of 2016 at this rate.
“Lazarus” will go down as Bowie’s last single released before death, put out January 7th, 4 days before he died. His new experimental rock album which features a bunch of unknown jazz musicians came out a day later, and then he died 2 days after that. How’s that for promotion of his best album in decades? Goes to show how cruel of a joke this plane is. Makes David crawling around in a hospital bed in that video all the more creepy and relevant.
Bowie was certainly one of those uncompromising lifers just like the dudes I payed tribute to in the last post, he did things on his own terms and never really caved in the long run. Yes I know about his 1980’s albums “Tonight” and “Let’s Dance” but I think we can all move past those and forget they ever existed based on what’s come before and since. In 2004 Bowie announced a retirement from live performances and since then he’s put out a pair of albums that appeared to be a comeback. The Next Day was his basic declaration with a bunch of classic rock anthems, and Blackstar was his return to experimental touches. But now he’s dead, and rock feels a lot hollower without him.
Regardless of what kind of rock music you preferred, there was something in David Bowie’s vast catalog for you. Name a genre that’s not technical death metal and Bowie probably dabbled in it over the course of his career. Everybody and their dead grandmother knew “Space Oddity”, “Ziggy Stardust” and “Suffragette City”, those songs are cemented as classics of the rock and roll pantheon as much as any Beatles or Rolling Stones song was. One can only hope churches and mosques are erected in memorium of this rock and roll chameleon who released too many classic albums to even name. I alerted my own mother of David Bowie’s death, she was devastated, even she loved the tunes of an album like Ziggy or Aladdin Sane or Diamond Dogs.
Just like Lem, I don’t think anyone would have wished death on this chameleon of rock, he never made anything twice and always had a fresh twist on his next album, regardless of what prior conceptions were made about his music. And that’s what made David Bowie uncompromising and always a surprise to listen to. Even though every classic rock dad radio playlist wants to pump “Space Oddity” and “Ziggy Stardust” to death, they are still all time classics worth the overexposure. Bowie was an archetype who many posed their career after and he is always worthy of the praise he gets. Rest in ashes Ziggy, Major Tom, The Thin White Duke, you had the career people will dream of having.