The following is really just a love letter to one of my all time favorite artists and performers, David Bowie. I’m a metal head. I routinely listen to Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Saxon, Motorhead, Mercyful Fate, Celtic Frost, Dio, Saint Vitus, Candlemass, Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Deep Purple, Venom, Death… but if there’s one guy who rocks my head without the aid of corpse paint, blast beats, thrash riffs, or heavy distortion it’s got to be David Bowie. He’s not for everybody. I get that. Hell, he’s so over the map musically that it’s perfectly reasonable to love 1 thing he does and think the very next thing he does is the worst thing you’ve ever heard. Me, I evaluate each piece of work he produces for what it is. There really is no other way to process Bowie, because as I mentioned a few lines back, he’s everywhere musically. His early work is somewhat reflective of the British Invasion rock popularized by the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. Then there’s The Man Who Sold the World, which was his statement on early heavy metal. It’s a delicious mixture of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Hawkwind. The follow up, Hunky Dory is a blend of folk, rock, and pop. Then there’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spider’s from Mars, a classic glam rock record that laid the path for Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, Poison, and Cinderella. Through the years he’s changed sounds many times. He’s been rock, metal, folk, blues, soul, glam rock, art rock, dance pop, electronica, industrial, heavy metal, jazz, trip-hop, ambient, experimental, pop, and progressive rock.
Each album, apart from having different musical styles, was an aesthetic reinvention for the artist. Bowie always changed his face and clothing to reflect the mood of the record he was supporting. He’s at times been rather plain looking with a suit and tie. Other times he’s played up the gothic/alternative/industrial type appearance. During most of the 70s he featured strange brightly colored hairdos, bushy inconvenient shoulder pieces, striped frayed pants, albino white skin, oddly colored eye contacts, glitter, and blush. Essentially, he was Lady Gaga years before her mom and dad combined DNA.
Today I have posted pictures of Mr. Bowie throughout the years. Just scroll through these images and you will see a human being (an artist) evolve before your eyes. If you’re a fan of his music it should be an even greater pleasure. Then I have posted samples of different eras of his work musically. If you haven’t explored his back catalogue and its barrage of different sounds, then let this be an introductory course to one of the world’s greatest musicians. One of the few people who have truly inspired me and my work. One of the few peoples whose voice and reason has kept me from committing suicide via chainsaw in my darkest hours. Ladies and gentleman, Mr. David Bowie.
David in 2013 (Age 66)