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David Bowie January 20, 2016

Posted by sjroby in Music.
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bowielookI’ll try to keep this one fairly short. There’s been so much said already.

The first Bowie record I had was a 7″ 45 of “Space Oddity”/”The Man Who Sold the World.” I liked it well enough, back when I was listening to a lot of Queen and Electric Light Orchestra and Fleetwood Mac.

But in 1979, I was 16 and starting to listen more to new wave, punk, and electronic music, losing interest in top 40 MOR and light prog rock. So one night I was watching Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, a late night show with concert footage and music videos from before MTV, and they played three new David Bowie videos: “D.J.,” “Look Back in Anger,” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” They were perfect. Songs by someone familiar from the kind of music I was moving out of — but as adventurous and unique as the stuff I was getting into. Within a year or two I had Stage, Lodger, Low, Heroes, Scary Monsters, ChangesOneBowie…

It’d be a lie to say I stayed with Bowie from then on out. Like a lot of people I tuned out circa Tonight and didn’t tune back in until Outside, aside from going to see him on the Glass Spider tour. It took me a while to catch up with some of the pre-Station to Station albums, but I made up for it, especially over the last couple of years. And while I like The Next Day, it was… well… kind of ordinary rock music, a lot of it, with a misfire or two. When the news broke about Blackstar, it sounded like it would be more what I wanted from Bowie, more of what I discovered in 1979, something unique. And it is. But just as he shows the world he can still surprise us and impress us, he’s gone.

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