Like many teenagers in the early 1960s, David Bowie was inspired by American jazz and blues music. He took up the saxophone and guitar and formed a string of bands that played blues and rock covers for parties and local entertainment. As a keen student of graphic design, art (and mime!), his Mod beginnings transformed over the years as his ever-changing work explored areas of musical and theatrical production that we can now recognize as era-defining (60s Mod, poet, 70s glam, soul, experimental, electronic, dance, 80s pop, 90s alternative, cyber punk, jungle, etc). Bowie stayed in the fast lane for forty years, releasing albums and pursuing his acting career, until a heart attack on stage in 2004 made him take stock. Bowie now enjoys the life of a stay-at-home dad for his eleven-year-old daughter, and for the quieter life-long pursuits of reading and following the Art world. He is currently writing Bowie Object, an art book that will chronicle his process and career through 100 images and reflections. BBC radio is broadcasting Mark Goodier's 2000 documentary, Golden Years, but listen quickly while the chapters are still available for streaming. For a space-age Bowie celebration, check out Spy Vibe's post, Space Camp. The British music publication, Uncut, has released an iPad APP version of its Bowie album-by-album guide, complete with embedded music and videos. David Bowie is 65 today- many happy returns, David!
For Spy Vibers who have never explored the fascinating career of David Bowie, you have a lot to look forward to! Although it is difficult to choose a short list of his work, here is our essential Bowie. Check out the Uncut iPad APP to read reviews and preview songs. If you are a fan of the more cabaret theatrics of Bowie's music, check out the remastered edition of his original Deram album from the mid-1960s and the Baal album.
Movies: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), The Hunger (1983), Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983), Labyrinth (1986), Basquait (1996), The Hunger (tv/1999-2000), The Prestige (2006).
Concerts/Videos/Docs: The Best of Bowie, Ziggy Stardust, Reality Tour, Storytellers, Under Review 1976-1979 The Berlin Trilogy.
Albums: Space Oddity (1969), The Man Who Sold the World (1970), Hunky Dory (1971), Ziggy Stardust (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), Pin Ups (1973), Station to Station (1976), Low (1977), Heroes (1977), Baal (1981), Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), Bowie at the Beeb (2000), All Saints (2001), VH1 Storytellers (2001), Heathen (2002). Also, check out Bowie's song collaboration with John Lennon, Fame. A collector's edition of Bowie's 1999 album Hours will be released on January 31st.