David Bowie

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David Bowie

David Bowie in 1987
Background information
Birth name David Robert Jones
Also known as "The Thin White Duke",
"Ziggy Stardust"
Born January 8, 1947 (1947-01-08) (age 68)
Origin Brixton, London, England
Genres Rock, glam rock, art rock, pop rock
Instruments vocals, guitar, piano, keyboard, saxophone, synthesizer, drums, percussion, harmonica, mandolin, koto, marimba, violin, cello, organ, vibraphone, stylophone
Years active 1964—present
Website www.davidbowie.com

David Bowie (born 8 January 1947), real name David Robert Jones, is a rock musician, and actor.

Biography[change | change source]

How David Jones became David Bowie[change | change source]

David Bowie was born in Brixton, London, England and grew up in Bromley, Kent. He played the saxophone, and was a singer in London blues bands. He uses the alias David Bowie because David Jones sounded too much like Davy Jones (of The Monkees). He took the name Bowie from Jim Bowie, who invented the Bowie knife.

He became known to the public with the 1969 song Space Oddity. This was released when men first landed on the moon. The song is based on the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick.

Ziggy Stardust[change | change source]

His album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was released in 1972. It is one of the best-known David Bowie albums. As a result of his performance, David Bowie became a leader of Glam rock.

Ziggy Stardust became David Bowie's second personality (alter ego). For a press-conference he would show up as Ziggy. Bowie let Ziggy Stardust come to an end during a live concert in the Hammersmith Odeon theatre on 3 July 1973. In 1983 this show was released as movie and soundtrack (Ziggy Stardust – The Motion Picture).

Los Angeles and Berlin[change | change source]

David Bowie settled in Los Angeles. He experimented with drugs, especially cocaine. A new second personality was The Thin White Duke. This was introduced on the Station to Station album in 1976. Some think this is his best album. The song Golden Years scored high in the pop charts.

After releasing Station to Station David Bowie moved to Berlin. He was interested in the German music scene, and wanted to end his drug abuse. In Berlin, he started to work with producer Brian Eno. David Bowie, in his turn, was producer for Iggy Pop. The Berlin Albums are Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979).

David Bowie in The Eighties[change | change source]

David Bowie left Berlin in 1980. The last album at that moment was Scary Monsters... And Super Creeps. In 1981 he had a big hit with Under Pressure, together with Queen.

Tin Machine[change | change source]

In 1989 David Bowie formed a new band. This was his first real band since the seventies. The band was called Tin Machine. With this band David Bowie recorded three albums: Tin Machine (1989), Tin Machine II (1991) and Oy Vey, Baby (1992).

From nineties to today[change | change source]

By the nineties, David Bowie had become more interested in soul, jazz and hip hop. This was first noticed on the album Black Tie, White Noise. In 2013 Bowie released his twenty-fourth album The Next Day. It was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards.[1]

Genres[change | change source]

David Bowie covers many genres including art rock, hard rock, glam rock, alternative rock, krautrock, protopunk, post-punk, electronica, Blue-eyed soul, New Wave, Industrial, Techno, Jazz, Dance music, Funk, Disco, Experimental rock, Folk, Instrumental, Ambient and house.

Albums[change | change source]

(* = Tin Machine)

Filmography (selection)[change | change source]

References[change | change source]