David Bowie – Remembering a Legendary Artist by Stephen Couse
David Bowie’s passing has shocked the world today. The truly legendary artist has had an impact on us all, whether it has been directly with his ever-evolving and superb music or indirectly with the influence he has had on the music world. An innovator and a champion of the weird, he changed the landscape of music forever.
In the early hours of this morning, several hours before the news broke, I heard of a new single by The Last Shadow Puppets, and after listening to this I proceeded to listen to some of their back catalogue. A favourite of mine that I listened to for the first time in months was their cover of David Bowie’s ‘In the Heat of the Morning’.
Perhaps coincidental, but I feel this really underlines how much of an impact Bowie has had on the music world. He continues to inspire the bands of today, and continued to evolve his sound, right up until his death, with new album Blackstar released just three days ago. The meaning of this album was not immediately clear, but with his death, many critics and fans are claiming this was his farewell. With the video for ‘Lazarus’, it is hard to argue otherwise:
Bowie first rose to prominence with his single Space Oddity in 1969. The song referred to Major Tom, a fictional astronaut Bowie would revisit later, in another classic ‘Ashes to Ashes’. However, it is the mark of a true artist to constantly evolve, something Bowie excelled at. The 1980’s in particular saw a dramatic change in music style, with the immensely popular Let’s Dance the most prominent example:
As he released classic after classic in the 1970’s, he took on personas reflected through his albums. Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, Aladdin Sane, all with elaborate costumes.
The Victoria and Albert museum in London ran a David Bowie exhibition for several months in 2013, based largely on the fashion and set designs of Bowie. I visited this museum as a fan, but seeing his handwritten lyrics, his first guitar, the efforts he went to ensuring his style was unique, I felt immersed in the history of a true legend.
Bowie will be remembered for so much, you will have likely seen on social media that Bowie meant so much to so many, and in so many different ways. Whether it was for this childhood memory:
Or for his effect on the world of comedy:
Or for his incredible music:
Bowie will forever be remember as a legendary artist.