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£11.49

Pop/Rock - Released March 8, 2013 | Columbia

Distinctions 3F de Télérama - 5 étoiles Rock and Folk - 5/6 de Magic - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Say this for David Bowie: he has a flair for drama. This abiding love of the theatrical may not be as evident in the production of The Next Day as it is in its presentation, how Bowie sprung it upon the world early in 2013 following a decade of undeclared retirement. Reasons for Bowie's absence were many and few, perhaps related to a health scare in 2004, perhaps due to a creative dry spell, perhaps he simply didn't have songs to sing, or perhaps he had a lingering suspicion that by the time the new millennium was getting into full swing he was starting to be taken for granted. He had settled into a productive purple patch in the late '90s, a development that was roundly ignored by all except the devoted and the press, who didn't just give Hours, Heathen, and Reality a pass, they recognized them as a strong third act in a storied career. That same sentiment applies to The Next Day, an album recorded with largely the same team as Reality -- the same musicians and the same producer, his longtime lieutenant Tony Visconti -- and, appropriately, shares much of the same moody, meditative sound as its predecessor Heathen. What's different is the reception, which is appropriately breathless because Bowie has been gone so long we all know what we've missed. And The Next Day is designed to remind us all of why we've missed him, containing hints of the Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust within what is largely an elegant, considered evocation of the Berlin Bowie so calculating it opens with a reworking of "Beauty & The Beast," and is housed in an artful desecration of the Heroes LP cover. Unlike his Berlin trilogy of the late '70s, The Next Day is rarely unsettling. Apart from the crawling closer "Heat" -- a quiet, shimmering, hallucination-channeling late-'70s Scott Walker -- the album has been systematically stripped of eeriness, trading discomfort for pleasure at every turn. And pleasure it does deliver, as nobody knows how to do classic Bowie like Bowie and Visconti, the two life-long collaborators sifting through their past, picking elements that relate to what Bowie is now: an elder statesman who made a conscious decision to leave innovation behind long ago. This persistent, well-manicured nostalgia could account for the startling warmth that exudes from The Next Day; even when a melody sighs with an air of resigned melancholia, as it does on "Where Are We Now?," it never delves into sadness, it stays afloat in a warm, soothing bath. That overwhelming familiarity is naturally quite appealing for anyone well-versed in Bowie lore, but The Next Day isn't a career capper; it lacks the ambition to be anything so grand. The Next Day neither enhances nor diminishes anything that came before, it's merely a sweet coda to a towering career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 8, 2016 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
Rumors were rife: Definitive hibernation or even incurable disease - and then no - David Bowie made a blazing comeback in 2013 with the album The Next Day. Hardly time to fully digest this record and Ziggy is back already with the fascinating Blackstar, his 25th studio album published the day of his 69th birthday! 48 hours later, the shock is total as we learned of the death of the artist, carried away by a cancer after struggling against the disease for 18 months ... With Blackstar, once again we are tempted to say, Bowie surprises and amazes with a bold, and rather protean, experimental work (sometimes harking back to the likes of Station To Station/Low). A beautiful musical UFO that he designed with brilliant jazzmen in New York (including Maria Schneider and her orchestra but also guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Donny McCaslin) without forgetting the loyal Tony Visconti, ever behind the console to produce this beautiful black star. The star today is Bowie. Up there. Eternal and obviously immortal ... © CM/Qobuz
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Rock - Released November 1, 2013 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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When David Bowie's second album appeared in late 1969, he was riding high. His first ever hit single, the super-topical "Space Oddity," had scored on the back of the moon landing that summer, and so distinctive an air did it possess that, for a moment, its maker really did seem capable of soaring as high as Major Tom. Sadly, it was not to be. "Space Oddity" aside, Bowie possessed very little in the way of commercial songs, and the ensuing album (his second) emerged as a dense, even rambling, excursion through the folky strains that were the last glimmering of British psychedelia. Indeed, the album's most crucial cut, the lengthy "Cygnet Committee," was nothing less than a discourse on the death of hippiness, shot through with such bitterness and bile that it remains one of Bowie's all-time most important numbers -- not to mention his most prescient. The verse that unknowingly name-checks both the Sex Pistols ("the guns of love") and the Damned is nothing if not a distillation of everything that brought punk to its knees a full nine years later. The remainder of the album struggles to match the sheer vivacity of "Cygnet Committee," although "Unwashed and Slightly Dazed" comes close to packing a disheveled rock punch, all the more so as it bleeds into a half minute or so of Bowie wailing "Don't Sit Down" -- an element that, mystifyingly, was hacked from the 1972 reissue of the album. "Janine" and "An Occasional Dream" are pure '60s balladry, and "God Knows I'm Good" takes a well-meant but somewhat clumsy stab at social comment. Two final tracks, however, can be said to pinpoint elements of Bowie's own future. The folk epic "Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" (substantially reworked from the B-side of the hit) would remain in Bowie's live set until as late as 1973, while a re-recorded version of the mantric "Memory of a Free Festival" would become a single the following year, and marked Bowie's first studio collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson. The album itself however, proved another dead end in a career that was gradually piling up an awful lot of such things. ~ Dave Thompson
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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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Musical Theatre - Released October 21, 2016 | Columbia

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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Decca

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Rock - Released September 7, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released January 8, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released October 7, 2016 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released July 19, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released October 4, 2013 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

When David Bowie's second album appeared in late 1969, he was riding high. His first ever hit single, the super-topical "Space Oddity," had scored on the back of the moon landing that summer, and so distinctive an air did it possess that, for a moment, its maker really did seem capable of soaring as high as Major Tom. Sadly, it was not to be. "Space Oddity" aside, Bowie possessed very little in the way of commercial songs, and the ensuing album (his second) emerged as a dense, even rambling, excursion through the folky strains that were the last glimmering of British psychedelia. Indeed, the album's most crucial cut, the lengthy "Cygnet Committee," was nothing less than a discourse on the death of hippiness, shot through with such bitterness and bile that it remains one of Bowie's all-time most important numbers -- not to mention his most prescient. The verse that unknowingly name-checks both the Sex Pistols ("the guns of love") and the Damned is nothing if not a distillation of everything that brought punk to its knees a full nine years later. The remainder of the album struggles to match the sheer vivacity of "Cygnet Committee," although "Unwashed and Slightly Dazed" comes close to packing a disheveled rock punch, all the more so as it bleeds into a half minute or so of Bowie wailing "Don't Sit Down" -- an element that, mystifyingly, was hacked from the 1972 reissue of the album. "Janine" and "An Occasional Dream" are pure '60s balladry, and "God Knows I'm Good" takes a well-meant but somewhat clumsy stab at social comment. Two final tracks, however, can be said to pinpoint elements of Bowie's own future. The folk epic "Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" (substantially reworked from the B-side of the hit) would remain in Bowie's live set until as late as 1973, while a re-recorded version of the mantric "Memory of a Free Festival" would become a single the following year, and marked Bowie's first studio collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson. The album itself however, proved another dead end in a career that was gradually piling up an awful lot of such things. ~ Dave Thompson
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Rock - Released September 17, 2007 | Parlophone UK

It was probably David Bowie's record-company affiliation difficulties that kept the 1993 Buddha of Suburbia soundtrack to a British TV miniseries from being released in the U.S. until 1995, when it was slipped out in the wake of his new album, Outside. That's too bad, because The Buddha of Suburbia is an often engaging collection of songs and instrumental passages that recalls many previous Bowie albums, including such disparate efforts as The Man Who Sold the World, Aladdin Sane, and Low. It's not a major effort by any means, but in another context songs like "Strangers When We Meet" easily could become Bowie favorites. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Universal Music

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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released December 17, 2015 | Columbia

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Rock - Released January 1, 1995 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released June 9, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Artist

David Bowie in the magazine
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