David Bowie has released a single!
In a stroke of media brilliance David Bowie has returned on his 66th birthday with a great brooding single in which he sings about his life and with which he managed to swerve the whole of the news media.
In these times where everybody knows everything about everything else (or thinks they do) and Twitter has the news before it’s news Bowie has done a Stone Roses by suddenly reappearing into the middle of the music debate with a single that is better than anything else he has done for years.
Working in New York with Tony Visconti, who was repsonsable for his great work in his seventies, the single sings about his time in Berlin and other key moments in his life in a track that is reminscent of his ‘Low’ period. the song is brooding and dark and has a certain world weariness to it as it builds to its climax.
Bowie’s new 17 track album, The Next Step, is due in March.
The glam-rock legend has released the recording as a download. It will be followed by a new album, ‘The Next Day’ in March.
Bowie has not performed live since 2006 and has rarely been seen in public since then.
The new track was recorded in New York and produced by the singer’s long-time collaborator Tony Visconti.
The single’s appearance online was “a genuine surprise”, said John Wilson, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.
“He’s a proper artist. He doesn’t release records because it’s time for another record. He releases records when there’s something for him to say.”
Where Are We Now? is a simple, unfussy ballad – Bowie singing mournfully over a piano motif that slowly builds to an understated crescendo.
The song includes several references to the city of Berlin, where Bowie and Visconti produced a critically-acclaimed trilogy of albums – Low, Heroes and Lodgers – in the 1970s.