MUSIC idol David Bowie broke years of silence and speculation today to release his first new single in a decade – with an album to follow.
The star surprised fans by suddenly releasing a new recording, Where Are We Now?, on his 66th birthday. The single sleeve is an upside-down black and white picture of the star in his “Thin White Duke” days in the 1970s.
The track appeared on iTunes at 5am with the accompanying atmospheric video premiering on his website. Bowie’s last album of new material, Reality, was released in 2003 and after touring the songs he largely withdrew from the public eye, concentrating on his family life as he lived in New York. Unsurprisingly, 10 years since he was last heard, Bowie’s voice sounds older and more world-weary. The melancholic song sees him reviewing his time in Berlin – where he created some of his most groundbreaking music in the 1970s – as he lists some of his haunts with the repeated line “just walking the dead”.
And in the video directed by Tony Oursler, with the musician’s pensive face projected on to a puppet, he appears to be almost biting back tears as he looks back on his life. Where Are We Now? was written by Bowie and recorded in New York. It was produced by long-term collaborator Tony Visconti, who has worked on many of his most famous albums, beginning with 1969’s Space Oddity.
David Bowie’s first new album in ten years and his 30th studio recording, THE NEXT DAY is also available as a pre-order on iTunes with a wide release scheduled for March. January the 8th is of course David Bowie’s birthday, a timely moment for such a treasure to appear as if out of nowhere.
Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie despite his extraordinary track record that includes album sales in excess of 130 million not to mention his massive contributions in the area of art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary. It goes without saying that he has sold out stadiums and broken ticket records throughout the world during this most influential of careers.
In recent years radio silence has been broken only by endless speculation, rumor and wishful thinking ….a new record…who would have ever thought it, who’d have ever dreamed it! After all David is the kind of artist who writes and performs what he wants when he wants…when he has something to say as opposed to something to sell. Today he definitely has something to say.
Produced by long term collaborator Tony Visconti, ‘Where Are We Now?’ was written by Bowie, and was recorded in New York. The single is accompanied by a haunting video directed by Tony Oursler which harks back to David’s time in Berlin. He is seen looking in on footage of the auto repair shop beneath the apartment he lived in along with stark images of the city at the time and a lyric constantly raising the question Where Are We Now?
“The moment you know, you know you know” resonates from the new single’s lyric. Now we all know…David Bowie has been in the recording studio…just when we least expected it!!
Bowie has not performed live since 2006 when he appeared alongside David Gilmour at London’s Royal Albert Hall and a few months later on the bill of a charity concert in New York. Bowie, who is known for the constant reinvention of his look and sound, particularly in the 1970s. His re-emergence today quickly caused a buzz online with many praising the single. Boy George said: “Just bought David Bowie’s new single Where Are We Now? – bloody gorgeous. New album coming. How happy am I?”
The Next Day tracklisting
01. The Next Day 3:51 / 02. Dirty Boys 2:58 / 03. The Stars (Are Out Tonight) 3:56 / 04. Love Is Lost 3:57 / 05. Where Are We Now? 4:08 / 06. Valentine’s Day 3:01 / 07. If You Can See Me 3:16 / 08. I’d Rather Be High 3:53 / 09. Boss Of Me 4:09 / 10. Dancing Out In Space 3:24 / 11. How Does The Grass Grow 4:33 / 12. (You Will) Set The World On Fire 3:30 / 13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die 4:41 / 14. Heat 4:25
Total (Approximately) 53:14
Deluxe Version: Bonus tracks:
15. So She 2:31 / 16. I’ll Take You There 2:44 / 17. Plan 2:34