David Bowie Announces First Album in a Decade, Drops New Single and Video

David Bowie

This week David Bowie celebrated his 66th birthday (January 8) with gifts for his fans: news of his first album in a decade, The Next Day, with images of its cover and a track listing, the iTunes release of the record’s melancholy initial single, “Where are We Now?”, and that single’s oddball video.

Co-produced with his longtime collaborator Tony Visconti (an arranger on 1969’s Space Oddity, a producer on 1970’s The Man Who Sold the World), The Next Day comes with stark black and white cover art that’s a take on his Heroes album, and features 14 tracks on its standard issue and 17 on its deluxe version. The Next Day, Bowie's 30th studio effort, will be released on March 12 in the United States, and one day earlier on March 11 for the rest of the world.

The first single from The Next Day is "Where Are We Now?”, a slow and stately song with a world-weary sounding Bowie recalling his time in Berlin in the mid-70s. The single’s video, directed by multimedia artist Tony Oursler (with whom Bowie’s worked before), is just strange enough to keep you up at night. As for the song itself, between the elegantly unsteady piano, the crack in his pensive voice and the chorus' question that is the song’s title - it was enough to bring tears to my eyes. After the single's release, Bowie’s producer Visconti stated (in the Guardian) that the rest of The Next Day is rocking and brash, a mix of classic Bowie and innovative Bowie.

Perhaps my tears came from the fact that Bowie is healthy and well and making music on his own terms rather than just shuffling out material on a contract basis or stroking his ego. Bowie’s had a hold on me since the 70s and the days of Ziggy Stardust. I’ve sat with him in studios where he’s made music, hung out backstage at his shows, tried dying my hair orange a la Ziggy (not a good look for me), and smoked Gitantes when I spied him smoking them during his Station to Station tour.

One of my finest interviews ever was a face-to-face, taped sit-down with Bowie in Manhattan (for Magnet Magazine, in 2002) where we had a frank and funny discussion of his past and present, music I’ve loved and some that I hated (much to his dismay,) and the state of art. During the meeting I gifted Bowie and his wife Iman with gorgeous semi-precious stone necklaces handmade for them by my jewelry designer wife Glamorosi (also a lifelong fan) to which he complimented, “She’s not fucking about, is she.” Two years earlier on our wedding day, our first dance as husband and wife was to Bowie’s version of "Wild is the Wind".

To say that David Bowie has been a part of every aspect of my life would be an understatement.

The Next Day track list:
1. The Next Day
2. Dirty Boys
3. The Stars (Are Out Tonight)
4. Love is Lost
5. Where Are We Now?
6. Valentine's Day
7. If You Can See Me
8. I'd Rather Be High
9. Boss of Me
10. Dancing Out in Space
11. How Does the Grass Grow?
12. (You Will) Set the World on Fire
13. You Feel So Lonely You Could Die
14. Heat

Bonus tracks:
15. So She
16. I’ll Take You There
17. Plan

David Bowie Photo: Jimmy King
Video ©2013 ISO Records / Columbia Records

Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2013 11:55 AM