Friday, July 2, 2010

Bowie: The Man Who Sold the World

"Bowie: A Biography shows us how the man has transcended his nihilistic the story continues, it's obvious to the reader that Bowie has attained a certain artistic dignity and a vision of something profound." Larry Cordola, Vintage Rock Book Review

David Bowie. One of the most protean figures inrock music, he remains a source of perennial fascination to his considerable fanbase, even when he's lying low. What is the state of his health? Is he working on a new album? Will he tour again?

The story of his life, from south London beginnings, is one of amazing and tireless self re-invention. From the sixties musical outsider to the androgynous, white-faced waif of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, the techno-composer in Berlin and subsquently the raucous racket-making aberration of his Tin Machine phase. This is alongside becoming a distinguished film actor in such porductions as The Man Who Fell to Earth and Mr Lawrence.

One thing is for sure: this succession of alter egos has always been symptomatic of a restless musical creativity and an endless quest for innovation. His astonishing run of canonical albums, from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust through Young Americans and Low to Scary Monsters, and countless classic tracks span psychedelia, glam-rock, 'plastic soul', electronic and industrial influences to disco, pop and even heavy metal.

It is fifteen years since the last comprehensive biography, and now Marc Spitz has talked to those who know or have worked with Bowie to produce an even-handed, thoroughly researched and quirkily readable portrait of anenigmatic and elusive individual, for whoese recent musical silence we are all the poorer.

A must have for Bowie fans, this book is long enough tocover every aspect of his life, but certainly not on oversize product of obsession, this is a readable quirky, assiduous book. Marc Spitz is the author ofa book about the US West Coast punk scene. He writes for all the major music magazines and lives in New York.

David Bowie: A Biography is available at

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