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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

David Bowie - An Unexpected Return

Musical icon's new album was amazingly kept secret from everyone


I'm a big David Bowie fan. I'll admit, I haven't listened to most of his albums (I've started to) but he has produced some of the finest rock songs of the 20th century. If I were to be stranded on a desert island with only a handful of tracks, Life On Mars would most certainly be one of them. It's just perfect.

Even with the best will in the world, I had accepted the fact I probably wouldn't get the chance to see him play live. He hasn't made an album in 10 years and had rarely been seen in public in that time. Bar his brilliant cameo in Extras and playing Nikola Tesla in magician drama The Prestige, Bowie had seemingly turned his back on the media and his career. How wrong we were.

Everybody will have their own story of how they heard about the new track. I can imagine that for those who grew up with his music, it could be a potentially emotional experience.

Personally, I found out about through Twitter. More specifically, through Duncan Jones. For those of you who aren't aware, Duncan Jones was known as Zowie Bowie and has established himself as a talented new film director with his films Moon and Source Code

This is how he revealed the news of his father's new album:

"So who wants to know a secret?"
"So... First off, its midnight in NY. That means a HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY is in order to my very lovely, very talented dad!"
"Been ten years since his last album..."
"So you better go to itunes. ;)"

I quickly went to Youtube and typed "David Bowie" and selected for results from that day. 

And there it was. Where Are We Now?, the new David Bowie song.

It was a magnificent moment, truly unexpected.

Many musicians make album announcements, but the impact of the new Bowie album hadn't been softened by rumour. He had managed to avoid the media attention altogether and made the announcement on his own terms. There wasn't the endless hype which goes with so much of modern culture (though I'll admit, Bowie is in a near unique position where he doesn't need to build up hype). 

There were no photographs of him leaving recording studios, no interviews and no cryptic messages on social media outlets. Nothing... nothing... nothing... nothing... and then something.

Millions of fans shared that moment of unexpected joy and I was glad to be one of them.

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