David Bowie: The Next Day - review (2023)

WWhen David Bowie decided to break a decade of silence by releasing a single,Where are we now?on his 66th birthday, dissent was hard to find among the cries of people eager to welcome him back. Some said the noise was part of the problem: it drowned out music that might not have been worth the raucous excitement it caused. They suggested that the reason people were so happy to see Bowie back was because of the music he was making in the 70s. But where are we now? there was no Heroes or Sound and Vision. It was a rather lovely, brittle ballad. Indeed, it was no different from the things he said just before retiring, when - probably inflamed by a mixed reaction to his impetuous attempts to capture the zeitgeist or dabble in the 1990s avant-garde decades earlier - Bowie opted for a simpler and more comfortable form of classicism. Where are we now? they suggested that the 2004 release would have been much more muted. People welcomed the exciting, distant memory of Bowie than reality.

They were right, but where are we now? it still contained intriguing possibilities for the next album. In the song, Bowie wanders nostalgically around his former adopted hometown of Berlin, hinting that perhaps that rare thing is The Next Day, an autobiographical work by an artist whose naked autobiographical songs can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Such speculation was reinforced by the self-referential artwork of both the single and the album: the former featured an inverted photo of a skeletal Bowie on stage in 1974,the latter with the 1977 cover of Heroes titled editedand a white square covering the famous image of the singer in a pose modeled on the painting by Erich Heckel. Perhaps, an excited suggestion was made, Bowie has spent the last decade reflecting on his past and is now releasing an album rather than a memoir.

May not. There are certainly some well-known sonic references to Bowie's earlier works. If You See Me has an incredibly sped-up vocal effect found in the 1970sAt lastand the top of Hunky Dory'sBewley Brotherswhile You Feel So Lonely You Could Die ends with a repetition of the introduced drum beatFive years, the opening track of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. And there are times when you wonder if some of the characters in The Next Day songs aren't based on personal experiences: yes, the protagonist of Love Is Lost - called "the voice of youth", stranded abroad, pampered with luxury but anxious and paranoid, "thinking like crazy" - seems unusual as a pen portrait of a poor, cocaine-ridden soul in this inverted photo. But elsewhere, The Next Day offers what might be called the Bowie Index of Obsessions.

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Only in the first 10 minutes will you feel the horror of living in a dystopian dictatorship teetering on the brink of the apocalypse; a wild gang of vaguely homoerotic juvenile delinquents who smash everything; the numbing isolation of stardom, and the suggestion that the stars themselves may be some kind of alien lifeform "sucking up our primitive world". The mutual respect between Bowie and Scott Walker is well documented -generous 50th anniversary tributethe elusive ex-Scott Engel brought Bowie to tears live on Radio 1 - and Walker's latest work resembles much of The Next Day, at least in the sense that the lyrics are so dense and eloquent that you need to have a set every now and thenYork notesto go through it.

The current writer spent an alternating illuminating and rather trying few hours unraveling the lyrics of I'd Rather Be High. Perhaps the reference was the mention of "Clare and Lady Manners" drinking and gossiping about politics during the warCoterie, the next decade's equivalent of the brilliant young men of the 1910s - male membership was finally decimated in the trenches - in which Lady Diana Manners played a leading role. Or maybe it was a reference toOfficers and gentlemen, the second novel in Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honor trilogy, in which a character based on Lady Diana Cooper (née Manners) tries to pull strings for Ivor Clare, a character accused of desertion. This seems more likely - among the later lyrical references to the futility of conflict, there is a mention of Egypt where Officers and Gentlemen are partly set - in which case the general message of the song can be summarized as: Waugh - huh! - what is it good for? But what do Officers and Gentlemen – or rather The Coterie – have to do with Vladimir Nabokov's reference to Vladimir Nabokov's life in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s? Pause for a moment to consider whether there is any cultural richness here that you simply won't find, say, in the Vaccines' work, or whether Bowie deserved a high profile where cultural wealth is considered something you'd want to throw away Usually as a painful pretense - and it should be noted that both are very impressive - the current writer gave up and decided to just enjoy the music.

This, it must be said, is relatively child's play. Producer Tony Visconti has suggested that The Next Day is a 1979 episodeTenantand, as on this record, Bowie spends most of The Next Day experimenting with his vocals, including a peculiar nasal hum on the title track and a fatal, anguished roar reminiscent of Walker - again him - on close Heat. A dense network of screaming feedback that ends Where does the grass grow? resembles a peakThe guys move onwhile the fantastic If You Can See Me has something of Move On's relentless drive, though it's worth noting that the last track was about the exhilarating freedom of travel, while here the heroes can't escape the dark forces that control their lives, no matter what on how far they will run: "if you can see me, I can see you," he repeats the refrain in Big Brother style. Also, the comparison to Lodger may be a bit exaggerated. It may be Bowie's least appreciated album of 1970s original material, but that says more about the astonishing quality of the records that preceded it than it does about Lodger himself. If there are any intriguing musical decisions in The Next Day - the trumpeting baritone saxophone that gives the wild Dirty Boys gang an oddly swaying, clumsy gait; an Apache of the Shadows vocal rendition that forms the hook of Where Does the Grass Grow?, Heat's ominous, fretless, bass-embellished shudder - there's nothing of Lodger's unbridled experimentalism, nothing as genuinely bizarre asJassasynzAfrican night flight.

What The Next Day has that Lodger may not have is something more mundane. Whatever else he's been up to, it's clear that at least part of the last decade has been carefully crafted into unquestionable melodies. A melody that goes from weary sigh to frenzied anguish, I'd Only Be High is extraordinarily beautiful; The Stars (Are Out Tonight) confirms his thesis that Brad-Pitt is an alien fantastic refrain, all the more powerful because it takes forever to get there; Valentine's Day is so deceptively sweet that the darkness of the subject - another tyrant, determined to crush the world with his heels - goes unnoticed at first glance.

Despite its lyrical density, The Next Day's success is based on simple pleasures, not a term you'd ever use to describe Lodger or Station to Station. It can be said that the opponents are still right. For all the clues it offers in this direction, The Next Day falls short of Bowie's 1970s work: but a man himself could reasonably argue: what is it? Perhaps it is to be remembered more for the unexpected way it was announced than for its content. It doesn't seem like a fair fate for an album that is thought provoking, weird and full of great songs. As you listen to The Next Day, you hope it's not a one-time thing that its comeback is swift: no small feat, because listening to a new album from most of its peers makes you want them to play their greatest hits.


What was David Bowie's net worth before he died? ›

Although there has been some controversy over the exact amount that this musical icon was worth when he died in 2016, it has been reported that Davis Bowie's net worth was around $230 million making him one of the richest people on earth before he died.

What is the fastest David Bowie song? ›

1. “Magic Dance,” 106 BPM (beats per minute). Every '80s kid will remember being alternately thrilled and chilled by Bowie's evil performance in the movie Labyrinth. And this song's catchy beat is perfect to warm up to, especially because you are the babe with the power!

Why is David Bowie considered so good? ›

Having released a mass of 27 studio albums in his lifetime, Bowie created a wealth of music that weaves together truth and imagination, and still resonates with the world today. Beyond his role as a musician, he also explored other forms of artistic expression, including drawing, sculpting, and writing.

What are David Bowie fans called? ›

David Bowie's true acolytes were the fans who embraced his multiple identities and transformed along with him.

Who owns the rights to David Bowie's estate? ›

David Bowie: Singer's estate sells rights to his entire body of work to WCM. David Bowie's estate has sold the publishing rights to his "entire body of work" to Warner Chappell Music, including hundreds of songs such as Space Oddity, Changes and Let's Dance.

Who owns the Bowie Estate? ›

In fact, all of David Bowie's songs are now owned by the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group. The company made an estimated $250 million deal with Bowie's estate. Who owns the estate? Most of the late rocker's estate is in the hands of his wife, Iman, and his two children, Duncan Jones and Alexandria Jones.

Which song is David Bowie's biggest selling hit? ›

David Bowie's Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Downloads
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Jan 11, 2016

What was Bowie's first hit to hit No 1? ›

Below, here's a scanned image of the Billboard Hot 100 for the Sept. 20, 1975-dated frame, the week David Bowie earned his first No. 1 hit on the chart with the funk foray “Fame.” (Note that immediately below “Fame,” it's a different stylistic story, with country and folk songs occupying the Nos.

What was David Bowie's most popular hit? ›

1. "Space Oddity" No, not 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. We're talking about Bowie's breakout 1969 hit "Space Oddity." This thing is a truly magical experience.

Why did David Bowie have two different colored eyes? ›

What Bowie actually suffered from is called anisocoria: namely that one pupil was bigger than the other. It means that the iris - the coloured bit - can't react to light in the same way as its fellow, so the area appears to be darker. This means it looks like one eye is a different colour to the other.

Was David Bowie intelligent? ›

He was ridiculously articulate, intelligent and well-read (“on a good week I'll get through three or four books”), but his long monologues on Russian politics or German art would be reined in with a self-effacing chuckle when you reminded him you needed to talk about the new album, or Ziggy, or The Thin White Duke.

Was David Bowie good at singing? ›

In his Junior School (Elementary School) choir, David's voice was rated as “adequate” and though vocally agile as an adult, Bowie was never known for great pitch accuracy. However, with his theatrical bent and fearlessness, David Bowie's ability to create memorable and emotional vocal stylings was of the highest order.

What did David Bowie call Elton John? ›

During an interview with Rolling Stone in 1976, Bowie had admitted to the magazine that he had called John “the Liberace, the token queen of rock.” Considering that the two of them, and Marc Bolan of T-Rex, used to frequent gay clubs together, perhaps John was a little disappointed in this public shaming.

Who was David Bowie's idol? ›

In short, the point is that even heroes have a hero, and it is a beautiful thing indeed that when it came to Scott Walker and David Bowie, the feeling ran mutually. While Bowie declared that Walker had been his “idol since [he] was a kid,” Walker also glowingly shared his adoration for Bowie throughout his career.

Did Michael Jackson like David Bowie? ›

MJ was something of an occasional admirer of David's, having attended one of Bowie's famed Diamond Dogs shows in Los Angeles in 1974, accompanying his Jackson 5 brothers and Diana Ross.

How much money did David Bowie leave his children? ›

In his will, Bowie left half of his assets to his surviving wife, and the remaining half split equally to his children. He also left $2 million to an assistant and $1 million to a nanny.

Who did David Bowie leave his money too? ›

David Bowie left an estate of around $100m to his wife, Iman, and his two children, and stipulated that he be cremated and his ashes scattered in Bali, according to his will.

Who received David Bowie's money? ›

According to ET, Iman received the majority of Bowie's estate — an estimated 50% of his net worth. As for his children, ET revealed that both received a $25 million inheritance. Additionally, Alexandria would get the family's upstate New York home when she turned 25.

How much did Warner Bros pay for David Bowie? ›

In the latest blockbuster catalog deal, Warner has agreed to buy David Bowie's songs for about $250 million, bringing nearly all of the star's work under one corporate roof.

How much is David Bowie's catalog worth? ›

David Bowie's Music Catalog Reportedly Sold For $250 Million.

What is the oldest house in Bowie MD? ›

Belair Mansion, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers a look at Bowie's earliest history. Built circa 1745 for Provincial Governor Samuel Ogle and his wife, Anne Tasker Ogle, the Mansion later became one of the homes of William Woodward, noted American horseman of the 20th century.

What is David Bowie's most streamed song? ›

David Bowie: Most streamed tracks (EAS)
  • Under Pressure [Orphan] – 1,155,000. ...
  • Heroes [Heroes] – 425,000. ...
  • Let's Dance [Let's Dance] – 323,000. ...
  • Space Oddity [David Bowie (1969)] – 309,000. ...
  • Starman [The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars] – 287,000. ...
  • Rebel Rebel [Diamond Dogs] – 286,000. ...
  • Life On Mars? [
Mar 21, 2022

What was David Bowie's last big hit? ›

"Lazarus" is a song by English rock musician David Bowie. Released on 17 December 2015 as a digital download, it was the second single from his twenty-sixth and final studio album, Blackstar (2016). It is Bowie's last single to be released during his lifetime.

What was David Bowie's first hit in the US? ›

His first hit on the US singles chart was in 1972 with Changes.

What is the oldest song to hit number 1? ›

The use of her song “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)” in the series has shot it up the charts in a way it didn't even when the song was released in 1985! In fact, it's the oldest song to EVER reach No.

How many #1 songs did David Bowie have? ›

But, of those 61 singles, five made it to number one and they all came in a ten year period between 1975-1985. First up was Space Oddity, originally released in 1969 but was re-released in 1975 and stayed at number one for two weeks. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

Who was the youngest singer to have a number one hit? ›

She was 16-years and one month old at the time. The youngest person ever to top the US charts is Stevie Wonder, who was 13 when he hit Number One with 'Fingertips Pt 2' in 1963. Lorde releases her debut full-length LP, 'Pure Heroine', on October 28.

What is David Bowie's best selling single? ›

David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and "Fame" lead his all-time top 20 biggest hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Did David Bowie have a favorite song? ›

In order of how Bowie played them on BBC, here is the full list of Bowie's favorite songs, circa 1979: “Love Street,” The Doors. “TV Eye,” Iggy Pop. “Remember,” John Lennon.

Is David Bowie one of the best singers? ›

David went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide and Rolling Stone has named him one of the Greatest Artists of All Time.

What is the rarest eye color in the world? ›

Violet or Red Eyes: The Rarest Spectrum

This eye color is often associated with albinism, a genetic condition that results in the absence of melanin, the pigment responsible for coloring hair, skin, and eyes.

What were David Bowie's last words? ›

"'It has been my doorway of perception and the house that I live in. '" While it is not clear these were his official last words, this is the last sentiment we heard from David, spoken through his friend after his death.

Can Bowie see out of both eyes? ›

The injury led to four months of hospital treatment and a permanently dilated pupil. Doctor's concluded that he would no longer be able to see clearly again out of this eye. Well, despite what it seems, David Bowie did not have different eye colors - both of his eyes were blue.

How charming was David Bowie? ›

David Bowie was famously charismatic: incredibly funny, charming, attentive, full of great stories, able to make men as well as women fall in love at first sight.

What did David Bowie suffer from? ›

On 10 January 2016, English musician David Bowie died at his Lafayette Street home in New York City, having been diagnosed with liver cancer 18 months earlier. He died two days after the release of his twenty-sixth and final studio album, Blackstar, which coincided with his 69th birthday.

How many personalities did David Bowie have? ›

While there isn't a definitive number of characters that Bowie has – as previously stated, the lines are often blurred between them – Bowie had at least five different characters.

How many octaves did David Bowie have? ›

Bowie is reported to have had a vocal range of over three and a half octaves. In songs like 'Sweet Thing', he would employ distinctive falsetto flourishes and ornaments taking the voice even higher (up to soprano top Fs, apparently). In some songs he double-tracked his own vocal melodies in two different octaves.

Did Elton John like David Bowie? ›

"David and I were not the best of friends towards the end" Elton said, admitting that he thought David believed he was "above" the 'Your Song' icon. Sadly, the pair never buried the hatchet before Bowie lost his battle with cancer in 2016. But Elton was full of admiration for David in the wake of his death.

Who was David Bowie's best guitarist? ›

Mick Ronson's work with David Bowie in the early 1970s changed the world of popular music forever.

Who inherited all of David Bowie's money? ›

In his will, Bowie left half of his assets to his surviving wife, and the remaining half split equally to his children. He also left $2 million to an assistant and $1 million to a nanny.

How much was Bing Crosby worth at death? ›

Bing Crosby was raking in the money when he died of a heart attack after playing 18 rounds at a golf course outside of Madrid, Spain. What is this? He was worth an estimated net worth of $50 million.

How much did David Bowie estate sell for? ›

In the latest blockbuster catalog deal, Warner has agreed to buy David Bowie's songs for about $250 million, bringing nearly all of the star's work under one corporate roof.

What was Prince's net worth? ›

Prince's estate is finally settled after a six-year court battle. The late singer did not leave a will regarding his $156 million estate. After the singer died in 2016, his six half-siblings were named his legal heirs.

Who owns David Bowie's music catalog? ›

Warner Music Group's publishing unit has bought late British rock star David Bowie's entire catalog spanning six decades, including hits such as “Heroes” and “Let's Dance.”

How much are David Bowie's paintings worth? ›

Numerous key galleries and museums such as Brooklyn Museum of Art have featured David Bowie's work in the past. David Bowie's work has been offered at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging from 34 USD to 982,880 USD, depending on the size and medium of the artwork.

What was Rosemary Clooney's net worth when she died? ›

Rosemary Clooney net worth: Rosemary Clooney was an American singer and actress who had a net worth of $20 million at the time of her death in 2002. Rosemary Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky in May 1928 and passed away in June 2002. She was a pop and jazz vocalist who released many albums and singles.

How much was Dean Martin worth when he died? ›

What was Dean Martin's Net Worth at Death? When the world lost Dean Martin in 1995, the beloved singer, actor, and comedian was worth a whopping $30 million. What is this? How Much is the Dean Martin Estate Worth in 2023?

What was Joe Jackson's net worth at the time of his death? ›

Fired as a manager by his children and accused of abuse and cruelty by several of his kids, Joe Jackson died without much in the way of money or an estate. At the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at $500,000, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

What was David Bowie's best selling single? ›

David Bowie's Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Downloads
36 more rows
Jan 11, 2016

How much did Duncan Jones inherit from David Bowie? ›

David Bowie Estate

Duncan received 25% of his father's estate. The other 25% (plus a mountain retreat in New York State) went to a trust for David's underage daughter Alexandria Zahra Jones.

Who sold Bowie's Back catalogue? ›

According to US entertainment outlet Variety, the deal between WCM, the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, and the Bowie estate was worth more than $250 million - the equivalent of £185 million.


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