David Bowie released an incredible 27 studio albums, beginning with his eponymous 1967 debut and ending with Blackstar, released just two days before his death in January 2016. Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians and performers of the previous five decades, Bowie demolished what were thought to be the limitations of stagecraft in rock music, as well as proving it possible for an artist to constantly–and successfully–redefine himself. As a result, Bowie has been credited with inspiring genres as disparate as glam and punk rock.
This sharply written and gorgeously designed retrospective follows Bowie’s career from the folkie baroque rock of his debut, to his breakthrough single “Space Oddity,” and on to his flamboyant glam rock alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. Author Pat Gilbert continues through Bowie’s soul phase, his electronic Berlin trilogy, his massive pop success in the 1980s, and his turn to electronica in the 1990s, as well as subsequent tours, notable performances, collaborations, and accolades.
Nearly every page is illustrated with stunning concert and candid off stage photography, including gig posters, 7-inch picture sleeves, concert ticket stubs, and more. The result is a fitting tribute to one of the most influential and admired stars in rock history.
This really is a fabulous book, full of superb photographs and very interesting accounts about Bowie’s rise to stardom. I didn’t realise how long, and how many attempts it took him to hit the charts, so it really was a fascinating read. There are numerous stories of his many different relationships, personal and professional, many I didn’t know about, and of course accounts of how he became the star we know today.
I was a late fan to his music, being very fortunate to see him in concert back in the 1980s, when he played in a open air venue in Paris on The Glass Spider Tour. I’m so glad I was able to experience his showmanship on a grand scale.
If you’re a fan or just interested in his life, personal and in the arts, I thoroughly recommend this fantastic book.
Thanks so much to NetGalley and Voyageur Press for my digital copy.