So now, I was a bit naughty yesterday and didn’t get the time to add my daily entry for album number 6. Hence forth, today, you will be able to enjoy two entries starting with the aforementioned number 6 album.
Blackstar: released 8 January 2016
Highest U.K. chart position: 1
Highest US chart position: 1
He finally achieved his first number 1 US album with Blackstar, his final release before dying shortly after. Having previously come short at number 2 with 2013’s The Next Day, it was a fitting testament to an amazing career that Bowie should bow out on top of his game.
Now, I normally set strict rules when selecting album or song lists. The main focus is that, in my humble opinion, an album requires at least four or five years to sink into the public subconscious before one can truly begin to explore its merit and standing. Blackstar breaks all the rules and then some which is why it is sitting comfortably in the number 6 position.
From the opening bars of Blackstar’s title track which opens the album, you kind of get a strong feeling that you are in for one hell of a ride with no signs of abating as you progress through all seven tracks collected within. Something that strikes me with Blackstar is its sheer diversity and ambition. It’s an album not quite like anything else released in recent memory. Remember, we live in the digital age of safety nets, instant gratification and karaoke singing shows on television so it’s gradually becoming more and more difficult for artists to step outside the square.
Even before Bowie’s passing, Blackstar was already on track to top the charts in no less than a dozen countries which speaks volumes for its overall appeal. There is a dirty, funk driven sound that flows throughout leaving you a little puzzled as to how a man on the verge of his 69th birthday was ever able to record something so fresh and exciting.
The astute beauty of Blackstar is that there are many ways to interpret the lyrical content. The title track and Lazarus, both released as singles are in the same hemisphere as the content on Hunky Dory, an LP that contains The Bewely Brothers, Quicksand and Life On Mars? You can see where I am heading with this so I’ll leave the rest up to you.
One year on and Blackstar continues to excite and enthral every step of the way. It’s a beautiful parting gift from a man well and truly departing this mortal coil on top of his game.