Author: Thomas Durkan
Today the world lost one of it’s greatest icons. David Bowie, a man who constantly challenged and changed the music industry whilst inspiring countless amounts of people, sadly passed away after an 18 month battle with liver cancer. He will be forever remembered around the world for his contributions to music and for touching so many of our lives. Here at Shoplifters Union we will be looking back at our 5 favourite Bowie moments from over the years. Of course, there are so many that inevitably we can’t mention everything and you might not agree with the 5 listed in this article. But if the thin white duke taught us one thing it is that everyone is different, so please read on subjectively.
If there was one thing David Bowie could do better than anyone it was reinventing himself. The late ‘70s had brought a series of critically well received but commercially limp albums and in 1983 it was time to change that. Bowie turned to Chic’s Nile Rodgers to help him deliver a ‘commercially buoyant’ album. Switching to a more funky style, whilst incorporating Texas blue guitar from Stevie Ray Vaughan, ‘Let’s Dance’ was a major success for Bowie with the title track reaching No.1 in the UK and the US.
When he wasn’t making music, Bowie could be found producing music or taking his artistic talents in to the world of painting. However, probably his biggest passion outside of music was acting. In 1986 Bowie made his most iconic role as Jareth, the Goblin King, in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. Although when it was released it was a commercial flop, since then it has become a cult phenomenon and proved that whatever the medium, Bowie leaves a lasting impression that affects people from all walks of life.
3. 2013 Comeback
Just when you think he’s gone and rode of into the sunset, Bowie comes back and stuns everyone. It had been a decade since his last album and the music world was missing Halloween Jack more than ever. On the 8/1/2013 he made his long awaited return. Between then and his untimely death he released 2 albums, ‘ The Next Day’ and ‘Blackstar’, both of which were critically acclaimed and the former was nominated for the Mercury Award. Even in his 60’s and after nearly 50 years in the industry, Bowie proved that he was still leaps and bounds in front of everyone else.
2. Ziggy Stardust
Bowie has held many different personas during his career, however non became as iconic and beloved as Ziggy Stardust. The main character from the album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’, some of the most lasting images of Bowie will be with red hair and a lightning bolt painted across his face. The album itself has received seminal status for its exploration in to sexuality, politics and drug use and spawned the classic single ‘Starman.’
Where better to finish our countdown then at the start of the legendary career. In 1969, Bowie’s self titled second album brought him hurdling into limelight with the hit song ‘Space Oddity’. ‘Space Oddity’, his first top 5 single, really set the standard for the rest of his career to come, introducing his distinctive voice and the way only he could tell a story were both showcased. It also gave us the first in his long list of characters, Major Tom.