A man who can do everything. A man who changed his style everytime before the world changed. A man who changed the world.
David Bowie (real name David Robert Jones) was born on the 8th of January 1947. He listened to quite some jazz albums in his youth and therefore learned to play the saxophone. He joined some bands and became familiar with the world of pop music. His first record which really charted was Space Oddity, a number 5 hit in the UK. In 1971, Bowie released his first album, The Man Who Sold The World. From this album, it is immediately recognizable that Bowie would change the world: some claim that glam rock started with this album! Hunky Dory (with Life On Mars and Changes) and The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars followed. It became clear that David Bowie not only sung about a character: he WAS the character. It brought big success, in which he managed to release Aladdin Sane (photo) and the controversial Diamond Dogs.
David Bowie became more interested in the American music styles. These influences can be heard in, of course, Young Americans, but also Fame, which he wrote with John Lennon. Station To Station followed, in which the influence of the German writer Bertold Brecht and electronic music become more important. It was a sign for the next move: the Berlin Period.
Experimenting with sound and surrealistic items were the main themes. Low was the first to be produced in this period. The grey, black and white style, together with angled forms, became clear in the second album of the Berlin Period: Heroes. The title track was hugely inspired by the Berlin Wall and the division of the country. Lodger closed this period.
The eighties began, which brought a lot of activity: Scary Monsters was released, and Bowie worked together with Queen on the song Under Pressure. In 1983, he worked together with Nile Rodgers, to produce the (disco-influenced) album Let’s Dance. In the years that followed, collaborations became more frequent: with the Pat Metheny Group (This Is Not America), Tina Turner (Tonight) and Mick Jagger (Dancing In The Street). The nineties meant an electronical period, partly looking back on his career, but no big hits followed anymore. Bowie seemed to be gone from the big pop scene.
And then, suddenly, when everyone thought we would never hear of David Bowie again, there was the album The Next Day in 2013. The world was excited: David Bowie was back! Everyone thought The Next Day would be his last, as he looked back upon his life. They were wrong: Blackstar was released on the 8th of January 2016, his 69th birthday. On the 10th of January 2016, Bowie died, suffering from cancer.
In a nutshell:
Must have album: Heroes
Number 1 hits: Space Oddity, Fame, Ashes To Ashes, Under Pressure, Let’s Dance, Dancing In The Street
Other great songs: Golden Years, Ziggy Stardust, Changes, Where Are We Now