2016 royally sucked, as we all know, taking away way too many of our beloved singers, songwriters and entertainers. One that most certainly hit the hardest was of course the passing of the Thin White Duke. Columbia Records surprise released the EP, billed as the Starman’s last ever recordings before his death.
The EP came out, by no accident, in perfect timing to celebrate what would have been David’s 70th birthday , alongside a music video for titular track ‘No Plan’. The featured songs were the magical concoction of the Blackstar sessions, created specifically for the musical Lazarus.
The video is directed by Tom Hingston; featuring a row of TVs in the window of Newton Electrical – an explicit nod to Bowie’s The Man Who Fell To Earth character, Thomas Newton. The video ends, fittingly, with visions of space travel, the perfect final salute from Bowie.
As well as Blackstar 10 minute triumph single ‘Lazarus’ (which has been cut to near the seven minute mark), the EP includes the bittersweetly melancholic ‘No Plan’, the ambient acid rock of ‘When I Met You’ that is reminiscent of 1995’s ‘Outside’ and the jazz infused rock of ‘Killing A Little Time’. All three new tracks form a fraction of the Lazarus musical production, with Bowie’s renditions featured on the cast album.
Also released (yesterday) to commemorate both Bowie’s birthday and the upcoming first anniversary of his death was BBC2 documentary David Bowie: The Last Five Years, which revealed, as a shock to many, that Blackstar may not have been intended as a farewell. The documentary informed viewers that Bowie had only discovered during the recording of the music video for ‘Lazarus’ that his cancer was terminal. The doc also told us that his last tour was his happiest, his break made him question his celebrity status and the discomfort he felt towards it, and that it was a teenage dream of his to write a Broadway rock musical.
Happy Birthday Bowie, we miss you every single day!
Check out the EP here: