January 8, 2014


Happy Birthday David Bowie! Like many teenagers in the early 1960s, David Bowie was inspired by American 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 he explored areas of musical and theatrical production that we can now recognize as era-defining (1960s Mod, poet, 1970s glam, soul, experimental, electronic, dance, 1980s pop, cyber punk, jungle, etc). If an artist is always in the state of becoming, Bowie has spent a lifetime trailblazing the outer limits and sending back transmissions of things to come. Collage illustration by IFAN BATES here. Video below of Mod-era 1965 Mannish Boys tracks (with Jimmy Page solo!).

David 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. There was a nine-year hiatus with few appearances, and it looked like the limelight had been traded for quality time as a stay-at-home dad. He surprised everyone in 2013, however, with an outstanding new album called The Next Day, which was released during a flurry of Bowie-related art shows and a massive retrospective at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The V&A exhibit celebrating his career in music, fashion, graphic arts, fine art, and set design was captured in the illustrated book David Bowie Is. Now Bowie is 67- many happy returns! If his health is up to it, I hope to see him back on stage and recording new material. Related Spy Vibe posts: Retrospective, Bowie Spies Berlin, New BowieSpace Camp, Andy Warhol Batman, Andy Warhol Box Set. Spy Vibe's Bowie-Art image archive here. Don't miss yesterday's short interview with designer Kevin Dart (Yuki 7) about working with Ringo Starr on the new Powerpuff Girls special here

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), Lodger (1979), Baal (1981), Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), Bowie at the Beeb (2000), All Saints (2001), VH1 Storytellers (2001), Heathen (2002), The Next Day (2013).

Recent Spy Vibe posts: Kevin Dart talks Ringo & Powerpuff GirlsSherlock ExhibitFu Manchu history panelAndy Warhol box set, Six-Million Dollar ManStriped Light NudeBuckminster FullerDylan at NewportJane and SergeThe Goldfinger VariationsMod Tales InterviewPete Seeger nominated for Grammy,Kraftwerk returns to US, Beatles BBC on Fresh Air, Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Atomic ArtModern Architecture LPJulius ShulmanShane Glines Batman, The Prisoner and Captain ScarletDiego Fortunato and Verner Panton, Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series, new Hercule Poirot novel, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute.

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Ian Fleming LettersErno Goldfinger, Ian Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book covers, Ian Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address, Spy Vibe's Ian Fleming image archive

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