No one has ever fused the intersection of art and rock music like David Bowie. Not satisfied to ride the waves of rock trends, Bowie instead positioned himself as a force in the undertow of the rock world with a career marked by reinvention, musical innovation and visual presentation. In fact, for about a quarter century, it was safe to look around at the modern day trends only to see that Bowie was doing it about 5 years earlier and he had already moved on to something which we would not truly appreciate for years to come.
In the 1960s he was an art student turned coffeehouse soloist named David Jones who eventually adapted his stage name after the “Bowie knife” once The Monkees’ star Davy Jones broke through. He tried many different styles in many different groups and released many pop singles, all of which failed until he got his timely breakthrough with “Space Oddity” just days before the first man walked on the moon.
In the 1970s, he invented and destroyed many musical styles and alter-egos as he consistently moved his base of operations – from London to New York to Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Berlin – in an attempt to get the authentic feel of each location in order to translate it into a new form of blended music.
In the 1980s, he had his greatest pop success, becoming a top tier concert draw before swearing off all of his previous music and anonymously joining the group Tin Machine. Bowie returned for another fruitful decade as a solo artist between 1993 and 2003 before all but disappearing for the subsequent decade. In recent years, Bowie reemerged for his final two studio albums, The Next Day in 2013 and Blackstar, released just two days before his death two weeks ago.
Since the shocking announcement of his death, there have been many great tributes to this artist, none quite ample enough to cover all of his contributions to rock music, which would be nearly impossible to do anyway. With not much more to say, we direct you to some of these other works of tribute: