David Bowie

David Bowie

This is Biography David Bowie was born on 8th January 1947 in Brixton (London) as David Robert Jones, recorded his first record in 1964, and lived for three years in small R&B groups. His popularity comes, unexpectedly, with the single “Space Oddity”, a science fiction song with a vaguely psychedelic arrangement. His real career began with the album “Hunky-dory” from 1971 (eleven months earlier there was “The man who sold the world” but the year of triumph was the following one, that of the album “Ziggy Stardust”, studded with songs like “Rock’n’roll suicide”, “Starman”, “Suffragette City” or “Five years”). In Great Britain, the album reaches the fifth place on the charts.

A charismatic and multifaceted, transformative and provocative figure, David Bowie was unique not only in a strictly musical sense but also for the way he presented himself on stage, for his use of theatricality and artifice and for his ability to mix very different musical, visual and narrative influences: from Japanese theatre to comics, from science fiction to mime, from cabaret to Burroughs.

In the history of pop music “Aladdin sane” (April 1973) is instead a transition album, judged by some to be a bit undertone even though it is embellished with songs like “Panic in Detroit”, “The Jean genie” and the splendid “Time”. In the same year also “Pin-ups”, an album of covers, was released.

In May 1974 the first of the changes, that of the epic “Diamond dogs”, a futuristic and decadent album, punctuated by apocalyptic post-nuclear visions and inspired by George Orwell’s novel “1984”. Memorable the title-track, “Rebel rebel”, “Rock’n’roll with me” and “1984”,after a “David live”, Bowie moved on to “Young Americans” in May 1975, another change.

And yet another one, with the epic “Low”, awaits him in January 1977. Halfway through the golden age of punk (summer 1976 – summer 1977) David Bowie came out with a gloomy, electronic album, recorded in Berlin, fractured, environmental before the term became in use twenty years later. “Low”, according to the most accredited critics, remains perhaps his last work of central importance with songs such as “Be my wife”, “Speed of life” or “Always crashing in the same car” as the backbone. The difficult work, certainly not within the reach of all ears, still earns second place in England.

The next “Heroes”, played on the same atmosphere but less claustrophobic, is a great success. By now it is considered a master of the genre and a safe name to bet on to achieve success with the quality label.

Even if some of his later works (for example “Let’s dance”) will sell even better than “Heroes”, the descending parable is, according to some (including the most hardened fans), now traced. Bowie’s turn towards dance, towards commercial music, seen as smoke in the eyes of historical fans, seems irreversible.

The parenthesis “Tin machine”, the band in which Dave Jones declares that he wants to perform for the rest of his life, makes a promising debut, but is archived about three years later. “Earthling”, with “jungle” deviations and trendy sounds, even if with good reviews, fails the attempt to bring it back among the artists most appreciated by the public.

The record decade ends positively with the album “Hours”, a reassuring return to the song in its most classic style.

The new millennium is represented instead by “Heathen”, a 2002 work by the “White Duke” (this is how the singer is often called, because of his elegant and detached bearing).

David Bowie at the cinema The multifaceted David Bowie has also distinguished himself for his positive participations in various cinematographic works, such as “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1988) by master Martin Scorsese, with Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel.

In 2006 she starred in Christopher Nolan’s film “The Prestige” (with Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Scarlett Johansson) playing Nikola Tesla.

But also “The man who fell to Earth” (his first film, in 1976), “All in one night” (1985, by John Landis), “Labyrinth” (1986), “Basquiat” (by Julian Schnabel, 1996, about the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat), “My West” (by the Italian Giovanni Veronesi, 1998), and the cameo in “Zoolander” (by Ben Stiller, 2001). In the last years, Bowie positively shocked the 1970s, survived the 1980s look, but in the 1990s he found a hostile decade against him.

In the following decades, he released three records: “Heathen” (2002), “Reality” (2003), “The Next Day” (2013). In January 2016 he released his last record called “Blackstar”, sick with cancer for over 18 months, he died in New York on January 10, 2016, a few days after turning 69.

Discography

1967 – David Bowie

1969 – Space Oddity

1970 – The Man Who Sold the World

1971 – Hunky Dory

1972 – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

1973 – Aladdin Sane

1973 – Pin Ups

1974 – Diamond Dogs

1975 – Young Americans

1976 – Station to Station

1977 – Low

1977 – “Heroes”

1979 – Lodger

1980 – Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

1983 – Let’s Dance

1984 – Tonight

1987 – Never Let Me Down

1993 – Black Tie White Noise

1995 – 1.Outside

1997 – Earthling

1999 – ‘hours…’

2002 – Heathen

2003 – Reality

2013 – The Next Day

2016 – Blackstar

With the “Tin Machine

  • 1989 – Tin Machine
  • 1991 – Tin Machine II

Live Albums

  • 1974 – David Live
  • 1978 – Stage
  • 1983 – Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture
  • 1992 – Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby (con i Tin Machine)
  • 1999 – LiveAndWell.com
  • 2008 – Live Santa Monica ’72
  • 2009 – VH1 Storytellers
  • 2010 – A Reality Tour
  • 2017 – Live Nassau Coliseum ’76
  • 2017 – Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74)
  • 2018 – Welcome to the Blackout (Live London ’78)
  • 2018 – Glastonbury 2000
  • 2019 – Serious Moonlight (Live ’83)
  • 2019 – Glass Spider (Live Montreal ’87)
  • 2019 – Ouvre le Chien (Live Dallas 95)
  • 2020 – Something in the Air (Live Paris 99)
  • 2020 – I’m Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74)
  • 2020 – No Trendy Réchauffé (Live Birmingham 95)

Soundtracks

  • 1980 – Christiane F. – We, the boys from the Berlin Zoo
  • 1986 – Labyrinth
  • 1993 – The Buddha of Suburbia
  • 2016 – Lazarus

Official website

Photo Gallery

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