David Bowie new single causes media storm

Journalists have got lazy. Want to report the daily activities of an en vogue celebrity? Check their Twitter, facebook, Instagram or Google+ account and there they are, eating breakfast. So how rude of David Bowie to release his new single without a tweet or poke in sight.

[caption id="attachment_102" align="aligncenter" width="646"]David Bowie - Best of Bowie album cover Have we yet seen the best of David Bowie?[/caption]

There are very few artists manage to maintain their mystique, presence, integrity and cool across a generation. Well, unless they die early, immortalising their legendary status at the age of 27 as so many have.

[Sir] Paul Weller has managed the transition; so did Freddie Mercury. Elton John, Metallica and The Charlatans have likewise seemingly become cooler. These, along with David Bowie, are the few to stand out as ticking all of the above boxes.

David Bowie releases single on 66th birthday

Many thought, after his heart attack in the summer of 2004, the odd one-off performances we've seen since might be it from Bowie. Indeed, rumours concerning his health have been rife. But haven't they always?

It's been almost a decade since David Bowie released anything. Perhaps, then, music journalists can be forgiven for turning off their Ziggy-radars.

Especially considering he was the only star to turn down the opportunity of performing at the closing ceremony of last year's London Olympics. This added more fuel to said health fire.

Then from nowhere, on his 66th birthday, up pops the new David Bowie single, Where are we now? Not just on the David Bowie website, but simultaneously on the iTunes store. If ever there was a case for a musical Drop the Dead Donkey, this was it.

The David Bowie bandwagon was hauled out of the knackers yard. No sooner had the musical obituaries and official discographies been scrapped and "David Bowie for beginners" guides posted, the Ziggy express was ready to run Station to Station again.

Is "Where Are We Now?" any good?

As it turns out, David Bowie has not only been working on his new single, but there'll be an album in March, too (The Next Day - CD released [UK] 11/03/2013 - available on Amazon.co.uk pre-order @ special £9.00 price [price right as @ 13/1/13]). Similarly, this has been done without creating a ripple on the surface.

And it's been recorded in New York, of all places. You fart in public, someone's uploaded the outburst on YouTube a minute later. Your methane is then cast upon the winds of eternity and infamy - that's New York today.

But Bowie's new single is reflective of an earlier era. References to a time when the world was basking in the afterglow of The Summer of Love and Bowie was working with Iggy Pop pock the track.

The mood is sombre, too. Does it mark a change of direction? No. As befits his age, it's a bit of a crooner. Melancholic, yearning for the Golden Years of youth, even.

It will, without a shadow of a doubt, please the patient, frustrated fans. But, irrespective of the David Bowie wikis we might see as a consequence, there'll be few new fans convinced enough to wait another decade for the follow-up, should it not be forthcoming from the new album.

Have Your Say:

  • What do you think of the new single?
  • Is it a reflective swansong or is the best of Bowie yet to come?

photo credit: PianoPiano via Flickr under CC 2.0 attribution license