When this book came across our desk, I jumped at the chance at reviewing this. Having grown up in the 1980’s, I lived through Bowie’s commercially successful Let’s Dance years but soon found out that there was much more to the singer than the very popular “Modern Love” and “China Girl” that were dominating radio stations and MTV at the time. What was at first just my curiosity into what he did in the decades before, blossomed into a lifelong infatuation with one of the best and most innovative musicians of all time. Since then, I’ve meticulously listened through past albums and singles; from the excellent glam rock classic The Man Who Sold The World, through his iconic Ziggy Stardust and Thin White Duke years, to the Berlin trilogy in the late 70’s.
After listening to and following Bowie for nearly thirty years, I liked to think that I knew a lot about his career and his music. That is, until I read through the latest edition of The Complete David Bowie published by Titan Books. Not a typical, run-of-the-mill biography of the singer, this monster-of-a-tome lists and analyzes every conceivable facet of Bowie’s career – detailing his entire discography, discussing the historical significance of each album, describing every live tour with behind-the-scene anecdotes, plus chronicling all his music videos, acting gigs, and Internet work. This is definitely the most complete reference book on any one artist that I’ve ever read. It’s daunting to even think how the author managed to compile such an indispensable encyclopedia of all things Bowie but the end result is such an amazing accomplishment. For any Bowie-phile, this is a must-have for their library. You soon realize, after reviewing all the different music styles that were tackled and every persona he assumed, that this one man’s colorful and imaginative career had such an enormous influence on countless current and future musicians, by which many will try to emulate, but in the end, there will forever be only just one David Bowie.
Fortunately, for his fans all around the world, we’re being treated to something this year that no one really expected would happen. Bowie released his 30th studio album titled The Next Day, in North America today (the rest of the world was able to purchase it yesterday) and it’s his first in ten whole years. At the moment, it has already hit #1 in forty plus countries on iTunes. I’ve taken a listen to his new album and, frankly, it vindicates further his legendary status in the annals of modern rock and pop culture. To get a taste of what’s on the album, here’s the eerily memorable video of its first single – “Where Are We Now?”:
Paperback: The Complete David Bowie
Author: Nicholas Pegg
Publisher: Titan Books
Plus check out Bowie’s own wonderful site where you can also purchase the album – DavidBowie.com.