Take A Tour Through The Decades Of David Bowie’s Career
David Bowie live in 1973 - redsails2008 / Youtube
Just as we celebrated David Robert Jones’s, known professionally as David Bowie, 75th birthday last January 8, it’s an obligation to take a look at the 50+ years of legacy that the icon left for us. He was the definition of a rock legend: embracing innovation, hard work, and obscenity, all while picking what’s truly the best for him; he was never the “average” guy you’d think of. It’s hard to summarize a career so legendary as Bowie’s, but in honor of his efforts in the industry, we’ll try and outline the 6 decades that demarcated the musician’s career.
David Jones was an ambitious young man who was left paying his dues first. The 60s were a tough call for him success-wise since his contemporaries were known to define the whole new age of rock n’ roll: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. By then, he swore he’d never imitate another man’s style and focused on formulating his own as he began to study folk and theatre. Jones changed his name to David Bowie and hit the jackpot when he released “Space Oddity,” a track that was ahead of its time.
The 70s were a game-changing time for Bowie, who found massive success thanks to his Ziggy Stardust persona. This androgenic star paved the outlines for glam rock that defined a generation. By 1973, he was done with being Ziggy and dramatically retired the fictional character to go and explore other areas of music. Soul and R&B were two of his go-to, as observed in the album Young Americans. His iconic song “Fame” is the result of his collaboration with former Beatle John Lennon, after becoming friends with him.
The rise of MTV created Bowie an opportunity he cannot miss. Always one step ahead, he took the opportunity to create “Let’s Dance,” a catchy track that became Bowie’s biggest hit to date. What seemed to be a fantastic performer turned into a commercial pop star overnight. Fans of his kept wanting more of him.
Still actively releasing albums but nowhere near commercial success, Bowie wasn’t bothered since the decade was his busiest in terms of creative experimentation. Actively taking risks, he was also known to have launched his internet service provider—at a time when people are too afraid to explore the web. BowieNet allowed users to access the musician’s material and other nitty-gritty.
New millennium, new opportunities. But Bowie grew tired of the fame, only releasing two albums for the whole decade, and performed his final concert in 2006. Only on rare occasions can we witness Bowie participating in any events. Back in 2001, he had also created an unreleased album named Toy, which was only unearthed and launched last year.
After being off the radar in album release for a decade, Bowie surprised everyone with his release of his 2013 The Next Day LP. 3 years after, his final album Blackstar was released, which was controversial due to its numerous interpretations. Just 2 days after, Bowie died from cancer, which he had been struggling with for a long time. Blackstar was his way of saying goodbye.