Tuesday, 8 January 2013

David Bowie returns

So David Bowie is 66 today, and has released a video featuring a track - Where are we Now? - from his upcoming album, the first collection of music from him for a long, long time. There is a link to the video from the BBC News UK webpage - see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20943160.

The video in question isn't, to my mind, one that will get your heart racing. It's low-key, mainly showing scenes of a contemporary interior space littered with artifacts from the last few decades, and shows two doll-like figures, one of whom has Bowie's face as it is now - they seem to be having a private conversation unrelated to the lyrics, which are helpfully superimposed on the scene in a variety of typefaces. Don't let me put you off: I'm not a diehard Bowie fan, although I very much liked some of his output in the early seventies, and some later tracks like Ashes To Ashes, Heroes and Boys Keep Swinging. I certainly regard David Bowie and T. Rex as two of the most iconic music machines of the early seventies, when the extraordinary creative explosion of the 1960s was all but spent, and something very different was needed to take music forward.

There are some minor coincidences here.

Bowie and T. Rex were both made giant-sized with the help of producer Tony Visconti. And Visconti was, for ten years till 1981, the husband of Mary Hopkin, who featured in my post yesterday. And Marc Bolan was the subject of a new 2012 autobiography by Lesley-Ann Jones - see http://www.marcbolanmusic.com/LesleyAnnJones.aspx - whom I saw at the Appledore Book Festival on 4 October last.

It just shows how all life is interlinked. Somewhere there will be a common connection, trivial or important. Maybe more than one.

David Bowie looked a little careworn and unsmiling, I have to say. I'll be on the lookout for any in-depth TV interview he may give. Meanwhile I hope he doesn't suffer the lethal fate of John Lennon, who in 1980 also came out of the shadows in a brief flowering of new energy and mature wisdom, and with the dream of love still intact.

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