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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Bowie: The golden oldie returns

So David Bowie is back. To celebrate his 66th birthday, he has released a new single and we are promised an album will follow.

It’s a belated Christmas present for us fans – and long-awaited as his last release was a decade ago.

Typically, the new track Where Are We Now? was released without hype, warning of any pre-publicity at 5am UK time on iTunes on Tuesday morning.

The new album The Next Day will be available from March.

For me, Bowie has been the biggest and best influence on music since Elvis. He’s streets ahead of the Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

If it wasn’t for his imagination and willingness to experiment in his music, and his looks, we’d still be in a monochrome world of fashion and music.

And his comments on society and sexuality provoked a whole new approach to life in the grim and restrictive 1970s.

This was all his own making remember, it was not some grand scheme by his manager or his record company to mould him into some strange creature.

I’m not completely uncritical of the man. It’s true that his duet with Bing Crosby for The Little Drummer Boy was bonkers, embarrassing for both and sounded dreadful.

And after the shock and awe of his drum‘n’bass number Little Wonder, he’s done little to shout about.

The new single reveals a more fragile voice but it is a haunting ‘grower’ of a track, a graceful, fragile, reflective and introspective work that proves he still has the ability to craft a proper, original pop song at a time when so much music is mathematically produced and computer-generated product.

I’m really looking forward to his album and hopefully a live tour – a much more exciting prospect than the Rolling Stones doddering about on yet another ‘final’ cash-in at various stadiums.

Could he be the big name for Glasto this year?

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