24 thoughts on “RIP, Legend.

  1. There aren’t that many genuine legends in Rock and Pop – Elvis, The Beatles, Dylan, Hendrix and James Brown all spring to mind but Bowie was undoubtedly one of them.

    These are the people that changed the music and made new things out of what had gone before.

    Bowie was a genuine great. To steal a phrase from Todd Rundgren, Bowie was A Wizard, A True Star.

    • That he was. All things considered, maybe the greatest.

      Was a shock to get up and see that headlining the papers. I expect to see, say, Keith Richard up there, but didn’t expect to see Bowie for a long time. A rock star that wasn’t an asshole either. I find myself bereft in a way i never expected be.

  2. I was never a fan, I confess – probably my aversion to showmanship – but I still feel shocked at the news.
    He was, as Carole says, a genuine great and one of those rare creatures who were able both to have stunningly original ideas and to make them a reality. Talent like that doesn’t come along very often.

    • I know what you mean, but he could pull off the showmanhip because he had the tunes to back it up. Like Liam said, it was the quality of the songwriting that was really the base for all that he did.

      This is one of my favorite comments from the NYT –

      “If you were 13-14 years old in ’73-’74, and living in Central Jersey suburbia, having David Bowie on the music scene was head-exploding. Blatant make-up, eye shadow and high heels did not a rock star make. But he was just so damn cool, and his music was so damn good, that you just accepted him.”

      Well, i actually was 13-14 years old in ’73-’74, and living in south Jersey suburbia. It wasn’t so much to persona(s) for us though, it was the barrage of first rate tunes coming out of FM radio from those early albums. (We also had Elton John and the Captain Fantastic thing at the time too. The tunes were pretty good too, but there wasn’t really art to Elton’s showmanship schtick.)

      (A popular comment in the NYT was – “Can you please remove Vanilla Ice from the article? Thanks.”)

  3. Already posted over on the R/R blog and on Facebook. The 21 songs playlisted and the names of the topics they were listed for. I think I have put them in roughly chronological order but almost certainly some blips.

    Come and Buy My Toys – Toys
    God Knows I’m Good – Deception
    The London Boys – Youth Cults
    Space Oddity – Songs Without a Chorus
    Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola – Foreign Language Versions
    Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud – Capital Punishment
    All the Madmen – Hospitals
    Changes – Change (2)
    Life on Mars? – Questions
    Kooks – Fathers
    Star – Celebrity
    Lady Stardust – Other Musicians
    Starman – Aliens
    Time – Stops and Starts
    Station to Station – Impressive Intros
    A New career in a New Town – Instrumentals
    Always Crashing in the Same Car – Cars
    Subterraneans – Indecipherable Songs
    Heroes – Obstacles
    Ashes to Ashes – Mistaken Identity
    Under Pressure (With Queen) – Duets


  4. Have to echo Carole, very few pop musicians really deserve to be labelled a “genius” but he absolutely does and his music touched everything in so many ways.

    I came a little late to him – growing up in the mid 80s, my first exposure to him came via his “Dancing in the Street” duet with Mick Jagger which to be honest, coloured my view of both of them, but luckily hitting my mid teen years I saw the error of my ways and Bowie particularly became a massive thing for me – I picked up a copy of Hunky Dory from a Record Fair in Liverpool for £2 and think I played it until the grooves ran smooth in the Summer of 1993 – the quality of the song writing is just stunning – Bewlay Brothers is a song that just sends a shiver down my spine and raises goose bumps, so emotionally charged.

    But but but…my favourite era of his music of all is the Visconti/Eno Berlin period, Low particularly is so inventive – Warszawa blows my mind every time I hear it.

  5. I love to have a good bop but not a fan of pop, so most times its dancing in spite of what’s actually playing. jean genie and several others have always been an island of great sound that made the night special .. don’t know if i’ll be able to move to them again without being in floods

    Sad to say, apart from Hunky Dory, I only know the singles and so have missed out on the sheer depth of his work
    Back in my early teens my best mate had all the Bowie while I had the rock, so I never had copies, but remember Ziggy and Alladin Sane blasting out so so often
    Then at Uni another mate had all the Low period which I like best of all

  6. What I find extraordinary about Bowie is he saw it all from the start of rock’n’roll to 2016 and he never lost his melody, hooks, lyrics and sense of musical adventure. He mines it all and his own history in Blackstar. Era closed. Closed perfectly.


  7. He’s the most intelligent, literate and articulate person I’ve ever heard speak about pop music and his involvement in it, it’s a sheer pleasure just to listen to him speak.

  8. I wrote something on FB too – something I never do, am still in shock.

    I’ve been in total Bowie mode for the last couple of weeks. On the day he died I was re-reading the “Bowie and the 70s” book, both record players in the house had Bowie albums on them from the morning/night before, I had the new record on the coffee table in the living room as I’d stayed up late reading through the lyric sheet (I’d love to say that I had picked up on the now completely obvious ones, but I’m afraid I didn’t) and I’d spent the day boring Mrs Panther by talking about how great the new album was and how he should do a record with Brian Eno next after two Tony Visconti ones.

    It’s difficult to say why it seems like such a shock. I wasn’t “there” in the 70s, I didn’t grow up a sexually confused misfit with Bowie as my only beacon of light….I don’t know, I just think the way that he wasn’t afraid to destroy his own success and take risks, making the underground the mainstream and normalising extremity in art. I love the fact that now thousands of people who haven’t bought any new music for a decade are going to go to Tesco and buy Blackstar and come home with an album of dark lyrics, experimental jazz and skittering drum’n’bass beats. And they’ll accept it because, well, because it’s David Bowie. It’s an amazing power to have.

    Working at home today, on my seventh Bowie album….hmm..Station to Station next I think….

  9. Not much good at eulogising, so I’ll endorse everything that everyone has said so far. Pulled this one out of the hat yesterday and it’s got it all – great song, crazy Japanese singing, inspired Robert Fripp guitar work. It’s off the wall, yet so accessible at the same time. Magic.

  10. I’ve avoided joining the posting frenzy on Facebook because I would feel a bit of a fraud: I too came of musical age during probably Bowie’s naffest period in the mid- to late 80s. See the aforementioned shuddersome version of Dancing in the Streets (“OK, Tokyo, South Americaaaa”) etc. Even now, my favourites of his include Absolute Beginners and his (frankly all-over-the-place yet still moving) theme song for Raymond Briggs nuclear holocaust cartoon When the Wind Blows (oddly, less of a hardy perennial than The Snowman). And subsequently, I’ve only really acquainted myself with the singles, the Young Americans album and sundry other well-known tracks.

    But what singles they were! I think Drive-In Saturday may be my ultimate favourite, but this runs it a pretty close second. Extraordinary to think that this is pushing 44 years old (much like myself – it was recorded three days after I was born, if wiki is to be believed). It still sounds thrilling and decadent and otherworldly and just plain sexy.

    (The less said about John, I’m Only Dancing Again the better, though.)

  11. I’ve always liked and respected Bowie, but Hunky Dory is the only album I own and love (bar the ChangesBowie compilation, which I’ve been playing to the girls on the school run this week). I’m not sure why that is. He’s obviously a towering talent, but I guess he’s never really felt like he belongs to me. (My first introduction was Tin Machine…)

    I think I may need to rectify this.

  12. It feels like the loss of my youth. I was mad on Bowie from the mid 70’s but left him from post – ‘Let’s Dance’ for musical pastures new … Until 2003, when I saw him live in Glasgow, 25 years since my 1st time, and was blown away. He was a consummate showman and what a back catalogue! Since then I’ve been going back through the ’70’s LPs – they’ve aged well, obtained the early ones that are just as good and now there’s Blackstar and this with the harmonica refrain from ‘New Career in a New Town’, seems a fitting sign-off.

    ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’

  13. I enjoyed/enjoy most of his work.
    Guess my favorite is Space Oddity

    Major Tom,
    “Planet Earth is Blue, and there’s nothing I can do…”
    ”…and may God’s Love be with you.”

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