So here it is, at last! Bowie's first new single since 2004, lifted from his forthcoming studio album The Next Day. It's a sad and haunting tale about his time spent in Berlin, and Bowie, once a heavy smoker, takes a brave move in showing his well-weathered face in all its glory in the video - good on him!
Everything about the song (the white duke's ageing voice works so well on this track) and the video has an appealing understatedness that is missing from a lot of music today - i love it!
David Bowie in the 80s
(With Official Videos)
Ashes To Ashes (1980)
Released on 8th August 1980, Ashes to Ashes was the first track to be released from the Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) album. It was also David Bowie's fourth hit single of the 80s. Both the single and album reached #1 in the UK, and the song's lyrics refer to Bowie's Major Tom character.
Other songs released from the album were (in release order); Fashion (UK #5, US 70), Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (UK #20) and Up The Hill Backwards (UK #32).
Let's Dance (1983)
Let's Dance was the lead single and title track from David
Bowie's third studio album of the 80s, and topped the charts in numerous
countries, including the UK, where it stayed at the top for three
weeks - replacing Duran Duran's Is There Something I Should Know? Released on March 17th 1983, the song attracted many new Bowie
fans, although many of his existing fans felt alienated, and hated the
commercial direction Bowie was taking.
The co-production by Nile Rodgers certainly gave the Let's Dance album a more commercial edge, making it more accessible to a wider audience. The fact that the songs have a strong chorus and tighter production, therefore, making them more popular, was bound to upset hardcore Bowie fans who wanted his music for themselves. This is an album that is always going to divide opinion, but it reminds me of the B-52's Cosmic Thing album. This too featured the production work of Nile Rodgers and also Don Was, giving the band a tighter, more commercial sound. It's always going to be a contencious issue!
The follow-up singles China Girl and Modern Love were also successful, both reaching #2. The track Without You was also released as a single in a number of countries - this includes America where it stalled at #73 - but was never released in the UK.
David Bowie is one of a minority of artists to have had hit singles
in five consecutive decades - from the Sixties to the Noughties.
David Bowie & Mick Jagger - Dancing In The Street (1985)
This awesome cover (with a very memorable video) of the original 1964 song by Martha and the Vandellas (which
was released on the Motown label) spent four weeks at No.1 in the UK
from 7th September 1985. It peaked at #7 in the U.S.
It was recorded for the Live Aid charity and originally Bowie and Jagger were going to record One Love by Bob Marley, but rejected the idea. Dancing in the Street was the last ever #1 single for Bowie and the only #1 for Mick Jagger in the UK.
This is one of those eighties songs that I never got around to buying, but truly wish I had done!
Day In, Day Out (1987)
Day-In, Day-Out reached #17 in the UK singles chart during April 1987. Although
not one of David Bowie's finest efforts, the song was still pretty memorable when
compared to some of today's meaningless nonsense.
This was the British singer/songwriter's 22nd
British single release of the 80s, and was released as the first track to the
then forthcoming album Never Let Me Down. The video was produced
by Julien Temple and was banned by some TV stations, and an alternative
version was often shown which had all the explicit bits edited out.
Apparently, the explicit version was shown on an episode of Top Of The
Pops on BBC1 in the UK.
Never Let Me Down was Bowie's last solo album of the 1980s, and came just before he started his Tin Machine project. However, before Tin Machine (who were underservingly slated by many critics), two more singles were released from the album which were Time Will Crawl (peaking at #33 in the UK) and the title track which peaked at #34.