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.
Bowie began 1977 with another change in direction and more new, groundbreaking, sounds on one of his best records - 'Low'
On the 14th January 1977 David Bowie surprised everyone yet again with one of his most extraordinary records when he released his 11th studio album, Low. Low arrived during what was, by anyone's standards, an incredibly creative period for the prolific artist. Less than a year before, in 1976, he had released Station To Station and less than a year before that he had shared the silky smooth and soulful, Young Americans. Low was also released exactly eight months to the day before his next shape-shifting release, Heroes, and appeared directly after he cut The Idiot with Iggy Pop.
Low, as well as introducing us to yet another aspect of Bowie's incredible career, also marked the start of his special relationship with Berlin and in particular, Hansa studios. David Bowie's 11th album is also one that is perfectly suited to the two sided vinyl format. It is quite literally an album of two halves; two distinctly disparate and radically different halves. Bowie eases us in with the brilliantly futuristic art-pop of Speed Of Life and immediately sets the tone of the 'A' side with a synth laden instrumental. This, and the close out track of side 'A' - A New Career In A New Town, share similarities with some of the 'B' side to the album but both have far more immediacy and more of a pop structure to them. Whilst pushing boundaries and being exploratory in their own right they signal what's to come without fully preparing you.
Continue reading: Album Of The Week: The 45th Anniversary Of 'Low' By David Bowie
Before The Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane or even Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie began to blossom on 'Hunky Dory'
Barely a year after he'd released The Man Who Sold The World, and only six months before he would release his seminal album - The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, David Bowie delivered his fourth full length studio album - Hunky Dory. Released on December 17th, 1971, Hunky Dory is somewhat of a transitional album. After lots of experimentation, different bands, different looks and a whole host of sounds Bowie began to find that extra level of self confidence and self belief that would drive him through an incredibly creative and fertile decade.
Hunky Dory may not be the very best of Bowie's 70's albums but it is largely considered to be where the journey started. After dabbling in Blues and Rock on The Man Who Sold The World, Bowie settled on more of a signature sound throughout the 11 tracks of Hunky Dory. Both this record, and the ones that followed, used the same definitive band line-up and the same producer. Bowie once again hooked up with his 'wingman' Mick Ronson as well as drummer Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey and bassist Trevor Bolder to produce an inspired album that brilliantly signposts the future for Bowie.
Continue reading: Album Of The Week: The 50th Anniversary Of 'Hunky Dory' By David Bowie
As 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars' turns 50, fans will be able to come together for the first David Bowie Convention
David Bowie fans across the globe have something very special to celebrate today as it has just been announced that the worlds's first David Bowie Fan Convention will take place in Liverpool next year. The three day event is scheduled to take place from Friday 17th June through to Sunday 19th June 2022 and will include guest appearances by many musicians who have played with the legendary artist.
The three day spectacular will be held just as Bowie's seminal album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars turns 50 and will also include a "glitzy" Bowie Ball. (Guests to the ball are urged to "spare no modesty or make-up and bring their favourite era of Bowie to Liverpool’s Saturday night streets".)
These chart-topping tracks are all about our love of dancing.
We're celebrating International Dance Day the only way we know how: By moving our feet to some of the greatest dance-themed songs of all time. From Whitney Houston to David Bowie, there's something for everyone on our latest playlist, and these seven tracks have all been chart-topping sensations at some point.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
1. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston
The rockstars who took to the silver screen.
With the news Iggy Pop has joined the cast of dark comedy Blue Iguana, directed by Jeremy LaLonde, we're reflecting on all the other rockstars who have embarked on acting careers, however brief.
Iggy Pop at the 2020 Grammys / Photo Credit: SIPA USA/PA Images
It's certainky not Iggy's first foray into acting; in the past he's had roles in Cry-Baby, Tank Girl, The Crow: City of Angels and, most recently, The Dead Don't Die. But what other movies have featured famous rockstars?
Continue reading: Iggy Pop And Seven Other Rockstars Who Dipped Their Toes Into Acting
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?
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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