Five years ago, musician David Bowie unleashed his final career resurgence known as The Next Day. The last push was a reminder that Bowie’s contribution to rock wasn’t his voice. Instead, it was his ability to shock and awe.
Over the years, David Bowie worked hard to highlight one persona, remove the mask, and then showcase yet another mask underneath. When The Next Day hit shelves in 2013, it showcased an obliterated version of his last album on the cover.
The Next Day came out when everyone thought Bowie had already retired.
David Bowie And The Berlin Years
At first, The Next Day felt like a return to Bowie’s Berlin years. Back then, the performer was mainly trying to contextualize a period rather than embrace or categorize it for fans.
The title track on the album was somewhat like a slap in the face. It was somewhat similar to Bowie’s Station to Station persona, but a little more in-your-face. But the follow-up “Dirty Boys” was more like Brian-Eno nihilism.
Then, “I’d Rather Be High” shined a light on the “Space Oddity” years.
Slowly And Deliberately Morphing Into An Icon
Producer Tony Visconti collaborated with David Bowie on 11 albums from 1969 until 2003 (including the Berlin trio). The producer made sure to keep morphing the music over the years, which is what helped Bowie grow so much as an artist.
With The Next Day, there is an even bolder feel. The songs fit together a little more than some of the other albums. Perhaps it’s the wordplay but the lyrics are certainly the blueprint for the album as a whole.
Together, the singer and producer worked to create a shocking late-career resurgence until Bowie surprisingly died in January 2016. Either way, fans were lucky to see such a shocking and bold experiment at the end.
The outcome was worth the ten-year delay and it was perhaps the most Bowie ever was Bowie, whatever that meant to him and his fans.
What is your personal favorite album by the late and great David Bowie?