Review: A year on from the untimely demise of arguably the most influential British musician of the last fifty years, and on the eve of what would have been his seventieth birthday, here we have the opportunity to view his whole jaw-dropping career across the course of two slabs of wax. From the cosmic dread of 'Space Oddity' all the way to the reflective melancholy of 'I Can't Give Everything Away', it's a magnificent testimony to a restless muse that never stopped moving into unchartered territory in search of new adventure. These songs will outlive us all.
Review: Surely not even the most ardent Bowie fan saw any of this coming. Yet to offset the justified grief and mourning at the most otherworldly and mercurial of all musical icons departing our realm, he's left us with one of his greatest albums to date and certainly his best in a full quarter century - one that returns him spiritually to the dizzying collision of bracing experimentation and melodious drama that typified the so-called Berlin trilogy of the '70s yet transplants that ambience to a new more complicated age. Jazzy inflections, electronic filigree and stark soundscapes collide elegantly amidst that stentorian voice, and whether or not Bowie put this together as a farewell, he couldn't have done it better if he'd tried. We'll truly never see his like again, alas.
David Bowie/The Rebels - "Revolutionary Song" (4:42)
Marlene Dietrich - "Just A Gigolo" (3:34)
Review: Here's something to get Bowie fans hot under the collar: a first worldwide pressing of the Thin White Duke's "Revolutionary Song", his only contribution to the soundtrack of 1978 West German flick "Just A Gigolo", in which he also starred alongside silver screen legend Marlene Dietrich. The song was recorded with a local band of musicians hastily dubbed "The Rebels" and sees Bowie in classic crooner mode, adding his distinctive vocals to a jangly, largely acoustic number that's effectively a folksy take on waltz. Over on side B there's a chance to enjoy one of Marlene Dietrich's last ever recordings: an atmospheric cover of 1930s cabaret standard "Just A Gigolo" which ended up being the movie's title track.
Review: Legend has it that David Bowie was so lost in a vortex of cocaine and ego during the making of this record to such a degree that he now can't remember anything about its creation at all. Typically of the Dame though, in the midst of all this madness he created a masterpiece, and arguably his greatest album of all. With a hint of the funk of influence of 'Young Americans', yet filtered through a glacial European sensibility, it's a genre-transcending tour-de-force of boundless scope and imperious swagger. Forty-one years on, this record still sounds like the future.