David Bowie Drops 'Blackstar' Single and Video, Launches 'Lazarus' Musical

David Bowie
David Bowie

Starting with the preview of his art theater musical Lazarus at Off Broadway's New York Theater Workshop, David Bowie fans are having their best week ever. On November 19, Bowie will drop his new single, ★ (pronounced "Blackstar") and its accompanying video, both from the album of the same name that will be released on January 8 2016, his 69th birthday. November 19 is the same day that Blackstar is available for pre-order, something fans should jump on quickly as differing packages featuring clear vinyl, die-cut covers and lithographs all sold in limited editions will be available at davidbowie.com.

The sound and vision of ★ is filled with bleak images of dead fossilized astronauts and crucified scarecrow-looking beings before Bowie (with a new, spiky haircut) comes on screen and does his own brand of Bible thumping, moaning in tune and accompanied by music that's discordantly ambient (yet weirdly catchy) with a Middle Eastern lilt. The video will be available at VEVO starting 4:10 PM EST on November 19.

No word yet if the whole Blackstar album continues in such as spooky vein, but we do know Bowie and producer Tony Visconti relied on avant-garde jazz players such as saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Mark Guiliana, guitarist Ben Monder, pianist Jason Linder and Saturday Night Live house band bassist Tim Lefebrve.

This same ★ song is also being used for the title sequence to the upcoming BBC television series, The Last Panthers, whose director Johan Renck did similar duties for the video of Bowie's new single.

Last but not least, there will be new Bowie music in Lazarus, the avant-theater musical whose book he co-wrote with Irish playwright Enda Walsh (from Once). Directed by Belgian director Ivo van Hove and featuring actor Michael C. Hall, Lazarus is based on Walter Tevis' 1963 novel The Man Who Fell to Earth, whose film version Bowie starred in 1976 playing Thomas Jerome Newton – the same character Hall will play.

Photo by Jimmy King

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015