I fell in love with David Bowie in 2013. I was watching the trailer for Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha. It began with a fun jazzy tune, all charm and delight, when suddenly the protagonist tripped on her face in the streets of New York, and as she rose up new song played, Bowie’s “Modern Love.” I had heard of David Bowie before, I knew of “Ziggy Stardust” and his duet with Freddie Mercury, but beyond that he was just another musician. However, after seeing that trailer I immediately looked him up on Wikipedia, while simultaneously listening to his greatest hits on YouTube, and for the first time really heard his music, and became part of his legions of fans.
I am certainly not the only new member to his fan club. If you go to any Forever 21, H&M, or Hot Topic you’ll see clothing, backpacks, and mugs with one of David Bowie’s many alter egos plastered on it (and all the “Aladdin Sane” shirts are sold out, believe me I’ve checked). If you go to record stores finding a Bowie record is almost impossible. There are also other recent young adult films such as Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Adventureland that feature his iconic music. Not to mention the bizarre and amusing cult following he has as the Goblin King Jareth from the film Labyrinth. So what is it that makes David Bowie’s music capable of withstanding the test of time?
His music is timeless because it speaks to an age all humans encounter, which is adolescence. It’s universal, humbling, and timeless – just like his music. Think of the song “Heroes,” the lyrics go “We could be heroes, just for one day”. It speaks to a dream we all have when we’re young, this idea of being something greater than we actually are, even if it’s just for a single day. Or look at “Changes,” which states “time may change me, but I can’t trace time”. This discusses the struggle we face growing up and trying to define ourselves, as we tackle new parts of our lives. Bowie shows this very phenomenon in his own personal experience; his ever-changing musical personalities represent the many facets of our own lives, and our changing identities. Overall, what makes him last is that he’s authentic. He isn’t some factory made pop star following the trends. He’s a musician, singer, actor, playwright, and he creates whatever he feels. Speaking of…
On January 8, 2015 David Bowie’s newest album Black Star will release on his 69th birthday! It is said to contain material from the play he wrote titled Lazarus, which is based on the sci-fi alien flick The Man Who Fell From Earth, which Bowie played the lead in. The single from the album is also called “Black Star,” and will come out November 20th. This will be David Bowie’s 25th album release (wow).
In the mean time, if you’re dying for a sneak peak of his newest single check out the intro to the British television show The Last Panthers:
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