Bowie’s Back – Blackstar Arrives 2016

Three years on from his last album The Next Day, music icon David Bowie returns with his (get this) 27TH STUDIO ALBUM!

Blackstar is the name of not only the album but also the lead single. The single itself will be released on November 20th, and the album will launch on the 8th January 2016 – the day of Bowie’s 69th birthday.

David Bowie’s Facebook page at the moment doesn’t go in to much further detail; only that the album is not part of his theater piece Lazarus.

The launch of Blackstar will be 49 years since Bowie’s self-titled debut, back in 1967. Since then, 8 of his 26 albums have gone on to reach #1 in the UK (including The Next Day), with 5 singles reaching #1 too: Space Oddity (1969), Ashes To Ashes (1980), Under Pressure (with Queen, 1981), Let’s Dance (1983) and Dancing In The Street (with Mick Jagger, 1985).

What made Bowie an icon is his ability to continually re-invent himself, even nearly 5 decades on. The most famous of these was the Ziggy Stardust character – an androgynous alter ego with shock value that “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture”, as biographer David Buckley said.


David Bowie from 1973 with a t-shirt of original Rolling Stones frontman Brian Jones.

Despite some massive hits in the 70’s such as Life On Mars (which would go on to become the theme tune to the TV show of the same name), The Jean Genie, Rebel Rebel and many more, Bowie wouldn’t achieve a #1 single throughout the entire decade – it wasn’t until 1980 that his 11 year wait would end with Ashes To Ashes (Yup, you guessed it – theme for the TV show of the same name again, which was related to Life On Mars). The 80’s would become his most successful decade, with four of his five #1’s being between 1980 and 85.

Following the last of these (Dancing in the Street, which would become a skit in the American adult comedy Family Guy where they played the entire music video before Peter Griffin mockingly says “that happened, and we all let it happen.”), Bowie would only reach the top 10 again three more times: Absolute Beginners (#2, 1986), Jump They Say (#9, 1993) and Where Are We Now (#6, 2013) – but the fact Bowie could still have this impact on the music industry even three decades on since last topping the chart is proof of his continued success with evolution.

Safe to say, we can’t wait to see what Blackstar holds for us.

Ashley Redman
Blog, they told me pa-rum-pa-pum-pum…

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