Farewell David Bowie: Taking his final Bow
Our resident Kiss92 DJ/journo bids a fond farewell to David Bowie, rock's grand, glorious alien vampire-elf
David Bowie's final album Blackstar was released on his birthday last Friday.
He died two days later at the age of 69.
He'd been battling cancer for 18 months and passed away surrounded by his family.
If you've got to go, this seems like the way to do it.
Make one last masterpiece and then drift peacefully into the darkness.
Bowie's parting gift to his fans is a meandering, opaque opus featuring seven lengthy tracks filled with decadence, ennui and a longing for love, if not the light.
There are songs of death (Lazarus) and bad romance (Girl Loves Me).
None of it is what you'd call catchy, but Blackstar is hypnotic and rewarding for those willing to dive deep.
It's the album of a brilliant old man, a dark wizard who's long since given up music for magic.
It's actually hard for me to feel sad for the English entertainer, probably because I never considered him quite human. He'd always seemed better than us.
LEGACY: David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, was released on his birthday last Friday, two days before his death.
A lot of arty types try to cultivate an air of superiority, but Bowie is one of the very few who could pull it off convincingly.
Remember him as the alien in The Man Who Fell To Earth? As the vampire in The Hunger? As the elf king in Labyrinth?
He seemed most himself when he was playing some immortal creature.
These otherworldly movie roles were a natural fit for him.
Of course his greatest role was the one he played for nearly half a century: rock god.
His music is the place where he really let his fey flag fly.
His fanciful lyrics didn't always make sense, but they evoked intriguing images and powerful emotions.
He was arty without ever being self-indulgent. He never gave up on catchy melodies or pretty harmonies or the basic structure of pop music.
His songs sounded like songs -strange songs but awesome songs.
His best album, for me, is Hunky Dory (1971).
Just for starters, this record included Changes, Life On Mars and Queen Bitch.
Then there are somewhat lesser-known gems such as Kooks, Quicksand, Andy Warhol and The Bewlay Brothers.
As for his greatest singles, there are too many to list: Space Oddity, Heroes, Rebel Rebel, Under Pressure, Wild Is The Wind, Young Americans, Cat People (Putting Out Fire), Let's Dance, Modern Love, China Girl and This Is Not America.
He also did a killer version of The Little Drummer Boy.
The only time I ever saw Bowie in concert was in the mid-80s, during his Glass Spider Tour.
I don't remember much about the show except for a giant arachnid that loomed over the entire stage.
Its legs, each at least 10 metres long, were lit up in red, blue, yellow and green. It was impressive and kind of humbling.
Here was a guy with a gargantuan, multicoloured spider at his beck and call.
No mere mortal, obviously.
I said earlier that I'm not sad for Bowie and I meant it. I just honestly can't believe he's dead.