“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today” Lyrics from Major Tom
After an 18 month battle with cancer, one of the most influential musicians in modern history passed away overnight. David Bowie’s influence on music began in the late 60s and included dabblings in soul, pop, rock, punk. hard rock. He is considered the godfather of glam rock. He collaborated with John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, and of course Bing Crosby.
The tall, skinny kid with the different colored eyes ( the result of a schoolyard fight) hit the charts in ’69 with an album that ironically starred an astronaut. Man of Words, Man of Music, which featured “Space Oddity,” a poignant song about an astronaut, Major Tom, spiraling out of control.
In ’72 he crossed British mod with Japanese Kabuki and Rock. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was more of a rock story than an album. The album and the flamboyant Bowie alter-ego Ziggy Stardust hit the music market like nothing that had been seen at that time. Bowie, who had claimed to the press he was gay, painted his hair orange, and wore women’s clothing, and Ziggy received mixed reaction in the US, but was an overseas hit.
In ’75 ,Ziggy was left behind as Bowie went Dance/funk with Young Americans and his top 10 hit “Fame” which he collaborated with Lennon.
Bowie continued to see success into the 80’s with hits like : “Rebel, Rebel”, “Modern Love”, “Let’s Dance”, “China Girl”, “Life on Mars” and so many more. But it wasn’t just in the studio Bowie succeeded. From the big screen cult classic Labyrinth to his critically acclaimed lead on stage in The Elephant Man, Bowie transcended studio to stage with ease.
Bowie’s last album, Blackstar was released just 3 days ago. The album was written and recorded as a farewell by Bowie to his fans. Bowie had kept his battle with cancer secret from his fans and was only divulged to those close to him.