Blackstar
David Bowie

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Lazarus Video Review (A video like no other and must see - the cupboard, the bed, the blanket, the desk & the bandage)

Blackstar Video Review (Ditto Lazarus - a 10 minute epic)

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David Bowie autographs, photographs and more @ ebay.com (direct link to photographs) - just checked and a bigger selection than i have seen everywhere else




David Bowie ~ Blackstar


david bowie black star cd


Type: Audio CD (8 Jan. 2016)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: ISO / Columbia


Item Details


Blackstar

Subliminal messages from the subliminal mind of our generation.

My personal journey with David Bowie starts with the Berlin trilogy, the otherness of the 1976 movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth, finds the disquitening discord of Fripp on Scary Monsters and years later finds a return to sublimeness with Eno and Outside. Blackstar sits with all these wonders from the past hand in glove.

So much can be read into it. One wonders if it can ever be seperated from Bowie's death and gather a life of its own. I think it will: it's that good.

These are soundscapes that remind me of another time. Of West Berlin of the late 1970s. Of Low, Lodger and Heroes. It reminds me of feint, crackling radio sounds of voices in foreign tongues from somewhere far away, somewhere I've never been to like an East Germany far behind the Wall.

Plight & premonition.

Throughout the album there is atmosphere in spades. I can hear jazz and I can hear slickness but most of all I can hear Bowie embracing his My Way moment more skillfully than anyone I can think of. Everything is as Bowie demands it to be for his goodbye to this world and hello to the next. A final curtain, a final cupboard.

Every track is strong but like all great music it takes time and repeated listening to really get the most out of it. Stay with it; it will grip you as surely as the Mainman knew it would.

I think from a musical point the best recommendation you can give to anyone approaching Bowie for the first time is that this and The Next Day prove that right up to the end of his life an artist of his stature was trying to make music that was revelant, that he never stopped trying to re-invent himself.

Can you name another artist of his iconic magnitude who has done the same? I can't think of one.


Facts:

On January 8th, 2016, Bowie turns 69. He releases Blackstar the same day. On January 10th he dies after an 18 month battle with cancer, leaving son Duncan (44), daughter Alexandria (15) and wife Iman (60).

Blackstar: The title track is 10 minutes long and steeped in death. There is a resurrection of sorts. Black Star is the name of a song by Elvis Presley.

Dollar Days: Soft and wistful, mentioning the 'English evergreens' and declaring an ambivalence to seeing them again. In a 1999 interview with the BBC's Jeremy Paxman he talked about returning to the UK as 'a given'. Apart from visits including in 2014 to the home he grew up in, it didn't happen.

Lazarus: This is the title track of the musical written by Bowie and Enda Walsh, which opened off Broadway in December 2016. The video finds Bowie in a hospital bed, clutching the sheet in fear. A second, healthier Bowie appears, agitated, upset even, frantically taking notes. Only Johnny Cash's Hurt video is as disturbing to view, like it is talking to each and every one of us about our own impending deaths

I Can't Give Everything Away: The final track and as elusive as can be, perhaps the way Bowie wanted the end to be for those on the outside looking in on his life.

Is it his final album? Is there more? I wouldn't bet against it.

The last person that the DavidBowieReal official Twitter account followed before the singer died was God (@TheTweetofGod).

Tony Visconti said: "His death was no different from his life - a work of art."


Track Listing:

1 Blackstar 9:57
2 'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore [Explicit] 4:52
3 Lazarus 6:22
4 Sue (Or In a Season of Crime) 4:40
5 Girl Loves Me [Explicit] 4:51
6 Dollar Days 4:44
7 I Can't Give Everything Away 5:47
Video: Blackstar (Video) [Digital Version Only]
Digital Booklet: Blackstar

Blackstar sounds and looks even better on vinyl than CD, in my opinion. Available ebay.co.uk (direct link to Vinyl)

Buy CD


Lazaras Video

View video at YouTube

I think each individual takes their own pieces from the video. On its basic level, it is a man dying, a life ending as the past envelops him, passing from the here and now and into the in-between (that corridor between life and death which I hope has glimpses of the bluest clear skies, vast mountains and the deepest valleys) and, finally, onto the journey to the Great Beyond.

It is unsettling first viewing. But 'unsettling first viewing' will turn into Art soon enough. It is a masterpiece waiting to be recognised by all and one as such, the crowning glory of a career of the greatest highs. People gasp at it now but those gasps will turn to wonder at its poetic beauty the further away we move from the events.

Time is a healer, they say. Whatever - time is our companion on the road to death, a kind of Samuel Beckett old tramp found to hold your hand on the road to the inevitable.

To me, and maybe it's just me, it is a German Expressionistic triumph. The cupboard, the bed, the desk, the stark lighting, the Thin White Duke as thin and striking as Conrad Veidt's somnambulist in Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920) ... it is Ufa for the 21st century. A Fritz Lang or FW Murnau would have been proud to have directed such a piece.

This is Bowie dying from cancer, the immortal mortal after all. Cancer is acute cruelty words cannot reach. It is pain beyond description ... until now. lazarus is Bowie as we have never seen him before: vulnerable, shielding behind a blanket from the onslaught of Death that we all must face one day. That is why it is so unsettling for so many as, deep down, we fear this journey or, rather, the uncertainty of the journey.

Life is Death. A bed, a blanket, a bandage wrapped around the eyes with two tiny metal slits to peer out onto a terrifying world, a desk to jot down the journey to Death, and finally the cupboard to return to, a kind of waiting room on this mortal coil for the place beyond the skin and the bone. Life is the preparation for that journey to Death. It is all a rehearsal for how we cope with that moment, that time. Nothing more; nothing less.

The 'moment' is what defines a life. Few if any can define it with the clarity of Bowie.

The video makes me think of dying, of the title of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, a book Bowie was familiar with. So many questions. Do we take the Soul with us when we slip the skin, and use it as a kind of passport in whatever the After Life is? Ghost in the shell, where does our Soul go to? And is there any relationship with Life on Earth? Is it a parallel universe, existing behind the mirror reminiscent of Jean Cocteau's Orphee? Is there a currency? Hope not but if there is one what is it? Or is there nothing? Nothingness. A forever forest? Blackness? An abyss?

And what about Faith? Was Bowie's Faith strong enough to belive in Lazarus? Is my Faith strong enough? Is yours? I've envied people with strong Faith in something as, to me, that makes that Life is Death question easier to manage. Or is that too glib?

- Paul Page, 2016

"I was in the depth of despair in those days. My father died and a week later I had a hit record. The juxtaposition was like a pantomime. A tragi-comedy" - David Bowie, April 1971, from Bowie in His Own Words Book.


Blackstar Video

View video at YouTube

A near 10 minute epic.

Lordy, you have to take a lie down after watching this. So much imagery, so much symbolism. So much of a life. Bowie's life, but more importantly, the poetry of a life.

I don't begin to make sense of it - I just let it wash over me.

The astronaut, the skull inside the astronaut - Major Tom truly gone. And the jewels. Landscapes shot with the colours of Heaven similar in power to Jack Cardiff's blinding light of Heaven from films like Black Narcissus. Hints of M.C. Escher buildings which I recall were similar in Labyrinth. The eye bandage is still there and figures gyrating in time; gyrating as I suppose they would if they came from the pages of a Beckett play.

A candle. Abook seemingly rotting in the hand. There's decay but it's dwarfed by the heavenly beauty of it all. What does it mean? Bowie is way beyond me now. I can't reach him.

He is gone. Gone to earth.

- Paul Page, 2016

"When my father died I was in one of my moods. I have these terrible moods, and when I'm in one I don't feel anything concerning other people. When my father died I hardly felt anything for weeks, then it suddenly hit me..." - David Bowie, 1972, from Bowie in His Own Words Book.


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  • Price: Sold Out

    'Sold out' sounds rather grand as truth be told I only had a handful to begin with and I haven't got round to getting any more in. But Blackstar can be found at a variety of places below and, I guess, will be readily available while the demand is there. So let's keep Bowie at the top of the charts for as long as we possibly can.

    Available:

    Blackstar CD and Badge (direct link to product @ ebay.co.uk)

    amazon.co.uk (direct link to CD & Vinyl)

    amazon.com (direct link to CD & Vinyl)

    ebay.com (direct link to CD & Vinyl)

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    Blackstar.

    Buy    Details    Gallery

    Lazarus Video Review (A video like no other and must see - the cupboard, the bed, the blanket, the desk & the bandage)

    Blackstar Video Review (Ditto Lazarus - a 10 minute epic)

    Bowie Rarities Index

    Bowie Rarities Index - Top of Page

    Shop Introduction

    Books & Magazines

    Calendars    Cards & Postcards

    CDs, Promo CDs, CD Boxsets, Cassettes

    Dvds    Patches    Photos

    Posters    T Shirts

    Videos    Vinyl

    Bowie Biography

    South East London Years

    Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab

    Gallery    Record/CD Price Guide

    Search Site    Top of Page

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