Hastings District Libraries

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Bowie : the illustrated story by Pat Gilbert

So I confess, I am a fan - Bowie's music was and will always be the soundtrack to my life. My wife was thinking of buying this book for me for Christmas but lately there seems to be have been a large number of books on Bowie coming out, and it turned up in the library, after all.

The research that has gone into this book is immense but it is still very readable, all the more so by being the illustrated version.

David Bowie had the usual rockstar problems: problem mangers, record companies not happy with his albums and cocaine usage. He could have retired long ago and had the quiet life but he would continue to reinvent himself many times over and find many new listeners. Ask anyone what their favourite Bowie song is and they will all be different, yet with great meaning to the person involved.

He chose to be different, to make different albums, to try acting and collaborate with different people. His willingness to do different things made him many friends, however he would also drop long standing associations if they who didn’t fit into his new plans.

Bowie was cleverly in tune with trends especially when MTV and then the internet came along. Music videos allowed him another way to further showcase his talents and enlarge the story of the song. He was one of the first artists to have music videos and as such they ended up on high rotation on MTV. This certainly helped the sales of his albums.

This book is large format with lots of photos and insights into a complicated and charming man. If you want to see more photos of David Bowie try Pinterest.

It’s sad to think that there will be no more exciting albums or challenging collaborations from Bowie.As the ad said, “There’s old wave, there’s new wave and there’s David Bowie”. May his songs go on forever.

Posted by RobM

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