I don’t really know what it means to lose interest in music; it’s like becoming apathetic about air.
Unlike my friend, I’ve never been a Bowie freak. I’ve never listened to Low or Lodger – he is baffled at this.
70s Bowie meant nothing to me either. Or (thankfully) Tonight, Never Let Me Down or the Tin Machine albums. His 90s albums also passed me by and I’ve never seen him live.
When I hit my formative Music Absorption Years of the 80s and 90s, Bowie was either too adult for my tastes or already a heritage act. Like the Beatles or the Stones, Bowie is an act steeped in a reverence that is no doubt well deserved. I’ve just never felt the need to check him out for myself.
Yet as my friend drifted away from music, tweeny me loved the sexy funk of singles I was exposed to in the 80s such as ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘Sound And Vision’ and ‘Golden Years’ without having to be weighed down by his mighty canon. The dreamy, urgent ‘This Is Not America’ has a huge playcount in my iTunes. I liked the angular ‘Black Tie White Noise’ and how he let Pet Shop Boys mess about with ‘Hallo Spaceboy’. All of these tracks I guess were not dependent on his glorious 60s/70s past.
I wasn’t a real fan; I was content with the Best of Bowie.
And yet this 66-year-old’s new album has been on repeat all day round these parts. It’s a vital, swaggering, kickass, melodic, exciting thing. It doesn’t trade on former glories yet it rocks like a bastard (check the guitars on ‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘The Next Day’, ‘(You Will) Set The World On Fire’ and more).
He’s in fine voice too; the weary fragility of ‘Where Are We Now?’ isn’t much in evidence elsewhere. In fact, he makes such a Big Noise on this album that people must be twitching for live dates.
Interestingly on hearing ‘Where Are We Now?’, the first single from a few weeks back that caught everyone on the hop, my friend is once again captivated by Bowie and has had his music appreciation gene reactivated.
Me? I think I’ve finally become a Bowie freak.
The Next Day is currently streaming on iTunes.