David Bowie "Ashes to Ashes"
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
You don't need me to tell you that David Bowie was a master at art rock, and for the iconic and influential "Ashes To Ashes" video, we saw the return of his Major Tom character, in which, Bowie wears a space suit, which in one scene appears to be connected to a life support system.
Costing an eye-watering £250,000 to make, at the time, this was the most expensive music video ever made, and features a pseudo-solarization technique, giving it a pink tone. The video also featured the New Romantic icon Steve Strange of Visage, and some of the Blitz kids (including Strange's fashion designer Judith Frankland) marching in front of a bulldozer. For much of the video, Bowie wears a Pierrot costume.
Released on 8th August 1980 as the lead single from his 14th studio album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), "Ashes to Ashes" was David Bowie's second hit single of the 80s, and it gave him his first UK chart-topper since "Space Oddity" in 1969. Many have described the song as the sequel to "Space Oddity", and it's quite spooky that both reached the No.1 spot.
Other songs released from the album were (in chronological order); Fashion (UK #5, US 70), Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (UK #20) and Up The Hill Backwards (UK #32).
A different sleeve where Bowie holds his show to his ear