David Bowie (Born David Jones, 8.1.1947) was an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame in the 1970s and remained active in the music business for five decades. He passed away on the 10th January 2016.
Childhood: David Bowie (then Jones) was born in Brixton, London. His mother was Irish and his father was a Yorkshireman. The family moved to Bromley, in Kent, when David was six. As a child, David was fascinated by the records his father brought home, of Fats Domino, and Little Richard, among others. His half-brother Terry also introduced him to the likes of Charles Mingus and John Coltrane.
Music: In 1962, Bowie formed his first band, the Konrads. He later went on to perform under the name Davie Jones, or Davy Jones. To avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees, he chose the stage name David Bowie. His first, eponymous album was released by Deram Records, an offshoot of Decca. However, it wasn't until the 1969 release of 'Space Oddity', which coincided with the first moon landing, that Bowie hit the big time.
In 2000 he made his second appearance at Glastonbury festival after, 30 years since his last performance
He accepted a Grammy in February 2006 for a lifetime achievement award.
In 2014 he won a Brit award for Best British Male, this made him the oldest recipient of a Brit award and it was accepted by Kate Moss on his behalf.
Key Albums: Originally released in 1969, the Space Oddity album became one of Bowie's best-known and most popular albums. It's follow-up, The Man Who Sold the World (1970) saw Bowie, with the help of Mick Ronson, venture into rockier territory.
Hunky Dory spawned singles such as 'Oh You Pretty Things' as well as homages to Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.
In 1972, Bowie adopted the androgynous persona of Ziggy Stardust and released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. Many tracks from the album have since been hailed as classics, including 'Suffragette City', and 'Moonage Daydream'.
The album Aladdin Sane is as notorious for its songs (including 'Jean Genie' and 'Let's Spend The Night Together') as it is for its iconic cover, depicting Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, with a lightning bolt painted diagonally across his face. The album also featured Bowie's cover of The Rolling Stones' track 'Let's Spend The Night Together'.
In 1974, David Bowie was the UK's best-selling act, with his album Diamond Dogs going to number one in the album charts and its single 'Rebel Rebel' reaching number five.
Bowie's first US number one, 'Fame', was co-written by John Lennon (who sang back-up vocals) and Carlos Alomar. The track was taken from his album Young Americans (1975), which provided his own take on the Philadelphia soul sound. The album also features vocals from Luther Vandross.
Another of Bowie's many personae came to light with his album Station to Station (1976). The 'Thin White Duke' was considered to be an amplification of the character that he played in the film The Man Who Fell to Earth, Thomas Jerome Newton.
In the late 1970s, Bowie moved to Berlin in an attempt to rekindle his waning success. During this time, he worked extensively with Iggy Pop and released three of his own albums, known as the 'Berlin Trilogy'. Low, Heroes and Lodger were inspired by Krautrock bands such as Kraftwerk and Neu!
Bowie's 1980 album, Scary Monsters featured guitar work from a number of high profile musicians such as Pete Townsend , Tom Verlaine and Robert Fripp.
In the late 1990's, David Bowie experienced a rejuvenated music career, with the release of Earthling, his well-respected foray into the world of drum 'n' bass. This success continued in the early 21st century, with the dark electronica of Heathen.
In 2013 he released another album The Next Day which was his first studio album in over a decade. This album debuted at no.1 on the UK album chart and at the time was the fastest selling album of 2013.
In 2016 Blackstar his twenty- fifth and final studio album which was released two days before his death, producer Tony Visconti revealed that this album was a ‘parting gift’ for his fans as he knew that he was dying.
Tin Machine: In 1989, Bowie formed the band Tin Machine with Reeves Gabrels, Tony Sales and Hunt Sales. The debut album, Tin Machine, released in 1989, went to number three in the UK charts but Bowie became frustrated when his ideas were altered or turned down by the rest of the band. After the comparative failure of Tin Machine II and the live album Tin Machine: Oy Vey, Baby, David decommissioned the band, in favour of working on his own material.
Film Career: David Bowie has appeared in a number of successful movies, including Labyrinth, The Man Who Fell to Earth and Absolute Beginners.
Personal Life: In 1970, David Bowie married his first wife, Angela. They had a son, known as Zowie, but officially named Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. Angie and David were divorced after eight years of marriage.
David's second marriage was to the Somalian model, Iman Abdulmajid, in 1992. The pair have one child, daughter Alexandria Zahra Jones.
Bowie has also admitted to drug use in his career but claimed that he stopped using after he got custody of his son, he also wishes that he had never took them at all as they took a hold of his life without him even knowing.
David died on the 10th January 2016 after battling with liver cancer for the past 12 months, he did not make his illness public and was said to have faced it with both courage and dignity.
On the fifth anniversary of it's release we celebrate the masterpiece that is David Bowie's 25th and final album, 'Blackstar'.
Five years ago, on the day of his 69th birthday and two days before his death, David Bowie released his 25th, and final studio album, Blackstar. The album's release came as somewhat of a surprise to all but a select few and was his first for almost three years.
David Bowie-Hammersmith Apollo 2002: Photo credit - Myung Jung Kim PA Images.
Long term collaborator and producer Tony Visconti once again worked with Bowie on what was to be his final album. As ever Bowie wanted to bring in new and different elements to his latest material and so enlisted the help of a bunch of local, very talented, Jazz musicians to bring something fresh to his constantly developing sound. Having heard them play at 55 Bar in Greenwich Village Bowie decided it would prescient that they play his music as Jazz musicians rather than his usual choice of band trying to play Jazz.
Continue reading: Album Of The Week: The 5th Anniversary Of David Bowie's Blackstar
David Bowie poses difficult questions about lack of racial diversity on MTV.
It's coming up to the 5th anniversary of the death of David Bowie and as usual this week his fans are reflecting on some of his most iconic moments during his lifetime. One memory doing the rounds feels extremely appropriate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement; a 1983 interview where we see him quizzing MTV's Mark Goodman on the channel's lack of racial diversity.
David Bowie in 1983 / Photo Credit: Globe Photos/Zuma Press/PA Images
The Let's Dance singer asked Goodman if he could ask some "punishing questions" after his own interview, though it was obvious that he and other MTV staff were completely unprepared for just how uncomfortable those questions may be... No matter how politely they were posed by the ever eloquent Bowie.
On the shortest day of the year you don't have time for elaborate prog rock epics, you need quick fire hits to help the day pass more easily and we've assembled the best of the bunch here just for you.
When time is of the essence and you need a quick fix you require some succinct songs to get you through the day. On the shortest day of the year your time is precious but you don't have to forego anything, you just need to scale it down. When daylight is scarce and the temperature is dropping a short sharp super-charged dose of high octane music is just the ticket. To help you through the day we've put together a playlist of some of the best short songs we could think of. Our top ten has all you need and it comes in at less than 19 minutes in it's entirety.
The White Stripes - Fell In Love With A Girl.
As the UK and Europe near the end game in the Brexit negotiations we bring you ten songs that capture the essence of the long drawn out goodbye.
As we reach the death throws of the protracted Brexit negotiations between The United Kingdom and Europe we thought we'd compile our own little playlist to mark the occasion. Break-ups can be messy affairs in all walks of life and Brexit has not been an exception to that rule. The squabbling may be over who should get the fish instead of who should get custody of the pets but it's been no less acrimonious. With neither side wanting to cave in to the other's demands it's inevitably the kids who will suffer and most of them didn't even vote for it. So, with tongue firmly in cheek, here are the top ten songs that we've chosen to represent the agonisingly long, painful goodbye that is Brexit.
Jeff Buckley - The Last Goodbye.
Continue reading: The Long Goodbye: A Brexit Inspired Playlist.
We take a look back at five of our favourite, once banned, music videos to see what made them so controversial.
It's thirty years ago this week that MTV banned Madonna's Justify My Love video. Back in 1990 it was deemed that chicly shot, arty portrayals of men and women enjoying a bit of casual BDSM in the luxury of a hotel room were all a bit too much for Joe Public to appreciate. Fast forward three decades and we're post Fifty Shades, still amidst a pandemic of none too subtle, highly suggestive twerking in almost every Hip-Hop video and nearly every new gritty drama worth it's weight seems to feel the need to throw in a vivid sex scene, full frontal nudity or even self-abuse. Obviously there is an issue of age ratings and watershed times to be considered when certain platforms make their decisions but we thought it high time we took a look back at five of our favourite, once banned videos.
David Bowie - The Next Day.
Continue reading: Banned Music Videos: What's All The Fuss About?
How poetry has influenced musical pop culture.
Poetry and music have always gone hand in hand, and some of the greatest musicians in the world can also be called fantastic poets. But time and time again artists are inspired by iconic poems; either in fleeting lines, entire verses or the subject matter itself. Here are just a few of our favourite songs which have been influenced by universally adored poetry.
1. The Man Who Sold the World - David Bowie
While the title track from his 1970 album reflects Bowie's struggle with self-identity, the opening verse of the track is based on the opening verse of the 1899 poem Antigonish by Hugh Mearns, from his play The Psycho-ed. The poem is about a ghost that wanders a haunted house, which makes for a startlingly profound thematic comparison between the poem and Bowie's song.
Continue reading: Our Favourite Songs Inspired By The Words Of Poets [Playlist]
The 90s was the greatest decade for movie soundtracks. Change our minds.
The 90s feels like a hundred years ago now, but the movies and music of the decade still stick in our minds, and we still revisit them year after year with a stronger and stronger sense of nostalgia. We're celebrating seven of the most memorable soundtracks of 90s cinema.
1. Lost Highway (1997)
David Lynch movies have never disappointed with their accompanying soundtracks, but Lost Highway has got to be the best. Produced by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, the tracklist features some great alternative tunes as well as original music by Reznor, Angelo Badalamenti and Barry Adamson. Highlights such as David Bowie's I'm Deranged and a unique rendition of I Put a Spell on You by Marilyn Manson make it one of the heaviest and most haunting soundtracks on our list.
Continue reading: Seven Greatest Movie Soundtracks Of The 90s
When music and the cosmos collide.
The truth is out there... and what better way to get your nerd on than by getting in the alien mood with our World UFO Day playlist? Artists have been singing about space and other worlds for decades, and these are just seven of our favourite interstellar tunes.
E.T. - Katy Perry ft. Kanye West
Continue reading: World UFO Day: The Alien Soundtrack To Your Life
Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.
This Friday marks four years since the death of a legend, and the music world is still feeling the terrible loss. Today (January 8th 2020) though, we celebrate what would have been David Bowie's 73rd birthday by putting together a playlist of the greatest songs he's ever released. It's by no means exhaustive, but there are plenty of favourites.
1. Life on Mars?
It's one of his most iconic songs of all time, and we're still not entirely sure what some of the lyrics even mean. Still, it's a masterpiece of songwriting and by far one of the greatest pieces of music to come out of the 70s. It featured on his 1971 fourth album 'Hunky Dory', but was later released as a single to huge popularity.
Continue reading: The Legend Of David Bowie: The Birthday Playlist
Diamond Dogs was released on this day (May 24) in 1974.
We celebrate 45 years since the release of the late David Bowie's masterpiece eighth studio album Diamond Dogs through RCA Records; a record that may be old, but it's artistically and thematically timeless, particularly amid the uncertainty and prejudice that surrounds the current political climate.
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
There isn't a single album by David Bowie that isn't an iconic piece of art, but Diamond Dogs was special in that it was a politically-charged piece of visual theatre - without the visual. Though it wasn't for lack of trying...
Continue reading: Album Of The Week: The 45th Anniversary Of David Bowie's Diamond Dogs
Shown: David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve - - Tuesday 8th October 2013
Ray Lopez , Jimmy Steinfeldt - The VIP preview event for the new book 'Mick Rock: Shooting for Stardust, The Rise of David Bowie & Co.' held at the Taschen Gallery at Taschen Gallery - Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 9th September 2015
Chris Hadfield - Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has created his own version of David Bowie's 1969 hit Space Oddity. In the cosmic video, pieced together during his six-month stay on The International Space Station, Hadfield can be seen effortlessly floating between hatches and playing his guitar to the camera. However, the song's actual recording process of was made a little closer to home, down here on Earth. Hadfield has posted his clip on YouTube.com. - The International Space Station - Sunday 12th May 2013
David Bowie Monday 2nd November 2009 walking in Soho while carrying a black messenger bag New York City, USA
Date of birth
8th January, 1947
Date of death
10th January, 2016
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