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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets

David Bowie

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David Bowie
Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

“I pour out what has already been fed in. I merely reflect what is going on around me.” David Bowie, July 1973.

David Bowie was the most charismatic popular musician of his generation, a cultural polymath and style icon whose artistic breadth also took in theatre, film, video, fashion, mime, fine art criticism and prose writing. Though hugely admired by vast numbers of fans throughout the world, he often seemed uncomfortable with mainstream recognition and throughout his long career made a habit of stepping back to experiment with genres of music and cultural expression unlikely to find commercial acceptance. By refusing to rest on his laurels and – apart from a misstep in the eighties when he courted the mass market to excess – recording a series of peerless albums at various times in his life, he maintained a consistent level of critical acclaim enjoyed by very few of his contemporaries.

Born David Robert Jones in Brixton in 1947, Bowie paid his dues in a number of groups and guises until his breakthrough in 1969 with the hit single ‘Space Oddity’, perfectly timed to coincide with the American moon landing that same year. The song’s theme of alienation and impending doom would be, a recurrent motif of Bowie’s work, alongside a sense of otherworldliness on the part of its creator, as if David Bowie really was from another world, an alien being on a higher astral plane than mere mortals, someone who simply knew more than the rest of us.

The new decade brought a change in his business affairs with Bowie, perhaps frustrated by his lack of progress after two early albums, abandoning his dependable but old school manager Kenneth Pitt in favour of the more flamboyant but slightly Machiavellian Tony De Fries. Together they founded a company called Mainman and staffed it with colourful characters whose loyalty to David was never in doubt but whose spending habits would later come back to haunt him. De Fries encouraged his new client to act like a star before he actually was one, thus creating an illusion around Bowie that he was happy to go along with so long as it advanced his career. It turned out to be a Faustian pact but for the time being everyone was delighted with the new arrangement and, if nothing else, the Mainman crew certainly enlivened the London rock scene.

Nevertheless, Bowie’s rise to stardom was not immediate. Though acclaimed by critics, his 1971 albums The Man The Who Sold The World, the cover of which saw him in a ‘man’s dress’, and Hunky Dory sold respectably if not spectacularly. An instinctive rather than virtuoso musician, Bowie played saxophone, guitar and keyboards but his greatest skill was in composition and finding the right collaborators to help realise his vision. During the making of these records he recruited a key early ally in guitarist Mick Ronson who joined his stage group shortly before Bowie renamed them The Spiders From Mars, its leader now restyled as Ziggy Stardust, the ensemble designed to perform his 1972 album named after themselves. This saw lift-off with Bowie as Ziggy, presenting himself in concert as an androgynous being, his spikey hair carrot red, his clothes more and more colourful, outré and revealing, his whole demeanour screaming ‘star’ from the highest pinnacle.

Ushering in glam rock but always maintaining a rather aloof presence above the genre’s less cerebral acts like Slade, Sweet and his friend Marc Bolan’s T. Rex, Bowie’s elaborate costumes were all part of the same package, in hindsight a work of art in itself. Consciously or not, everything he did from that point onwards became part of his art and his life as an artist. Amongst his greatest achievements, therefore, was what he saw when he looked at himself in the mirror.

Crucially, he represented the outsider, positioning himself on the side of those ill-suited for conventional society. His lyrics, often elliptical, spoke to misfits and loners, the timid and the disconnected, enabling them to cast off inhibitions and paving the way for a less macho style of rock performer and performance. A skilled interviewee, he was quick to realise that absolute truth was of less significance that the effect his words might carry. When he did speak to the press he usually made headlines, not least in January 1972 when he announced, without foundation, that he was gay or, at the very least, bisexual. Similarly, on a musical level he positioned himself outside the tried and tested bluesrock formula typified by The Rolling Stones or more supercharged contemporaries like Led Zeppelin, his chief rival during the seventies. While songs such as ‘The Jean Genie’, ‘Suffragette City’ and ‘Rebel Rebel’ certainly rocked with the best of glam’s full-tilt explosions, others, like ‘Changes’, ‘Life On Mars’ and ‘Starman’, reflected a more ethereal quality, the latter borrowing Harold Arlen’s octave climb from ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ to startling effect. ‘Ziggy Stardust’ itself, of course, was assumed to be autobiographical.

By the end of 1972 Bowie was the biggest solo rock star in the UK, not to mention the most visually striking and controversial, and though America’s ingrained conservatism resisted him at first, the US fell the following year. He even found time to revive the careers of Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Mott The Hoople. Aladdin Sane (1973) attracted advance orders of 100,000 in the UK and was in many ways Ziggy Part II, another huge success, its striking cover of Bowie as Ziggy with a blue thunderbolt etched across his face solidifying his surreal image. Then, just as it seemed as if Bowie would eclipse all before him, he abandoned Ziggy completely, memorably making the announcement from the stage at Hammersmith Odeon, shocking fans and, so word had it, even his own group, and returned to the drawing board. It would not be the first time that Bowie would abruptly change tack, a career strategy that he maintained until the very end.

The patchy covers album Pin Ups (1973) was a holding manoeuvre but with Diamond Dogs (1974), and perhaps more importantly its concurrent stage show, Bowie invented rock theatre, a style of presentation that paid no lip service whatsoever to conventional rock concerts and instead relied purely on dramatic effect and elaborate stage props. The following year he discovered blue-eyed soul with Young Americans, its funked-up US No. 1 hit single ‘Fame’ collaboration with John Lennon that savaged his relationship with manager Tony De Fries. He then stepped back from music to appear in Nicolas Roeg’s sci-fi film The Man Who Fell To Earth. It was astute casting, Bowie’s starring role as an extra-terrestrial sent to earth to save his own planet serving only to ramp up the impression of Bowie as a creature from beyond the stratosphere.

Bowie was on a roll though by his own volition it wasn’t to last. Station To Station (1976), which merged black funk with the emerging European electronic school, is widely regarded as his best album ever, as timeless as it is flawless; yet, after a thrillingly successful world arena tour, it would presage Bowie’s second retreat from the commercial sphere. Destabilized by a financially calamitous fall out with De Fries – henceforth he would largely manage his own business affairs in tandem with lawyers and personal assistant Corinne ‘Coco’ Schwab – and an enervating cocaine habit, he wisely relocated to Berlin to work with producer/auteur Brian Eno on a trilogy of introverted experimental albums, thus not only avoiding the need to compete with punk rock but setting himself up as a genuine innovator. Although many tracks on these now highly acclaimed records were instrumental in character and perversely un-commercial, the Berlin period produced the stirring majesty of ‘Heroes’, a meditation on the futility of the Berlin Wall that is arguably the finest song he ever wrote and certainly the most popular.

After emerging from his German retreat for another arena tour, Scary Monsters (1980) saw Bowie move to more conventional ground, its most affecting track ‘Ashes To Ashes’ a revision of the Major Tom saga from ‘Space Oddity’. By this time videos – short films to promote singles – had arrived and few benefited more from this development than Bowie whose acting experience gave him the jump on less imaginative fellow travellers. The video for ‘Ashes To Ashes’, with Bowie in Pierrot costume, not only lit the touch paper beneath the New Romantic movement but ushered in an era when he consistently led the field in this new art form. As if to prove the point, his next move, again unexpected, was to appear on stage – bravely and with distinction – in Chicago and on Broadway in New York as the severely deformed John Merrick in The Elephant Man, a role that required him to contort his frame throughout the play’s duration.

A switch of record labels then saw Bowie pocket a reputed $17 million advance and move back into the musical mainstream, this time on his own terms. With EMI’s promotional muscle behind him, Let’s Dance (1983), produced by Nile Rodgers, became his best-selling album ever, its funk-driven title track a big hit with an even bigger hook. He was looking different now too, more mature and smartly turned out in stylish pastel suits, business-like yet as attractive as ever, his neatly coiffured blonde hair and easy smile as appealing as the sheen of Let’s Dance tracks like ‘Modern Love’ and ‘China Girl’. The Serious Moonlight tour that followed saw Bowie ever more accomplished on stage, his gift for presentation now executed with effortless panache, a crowd-pleasing spectacle of light, sound, movement and mime, all to accompany a catalogue of wonderful songs played by top class musicians led by guitarist Carlos Alomar. It was this vision of Bowie that in 1985 seduced a worldwide audience of millions at Live Aid, his four-song set during Bob Geldof’s all-star charity extravaganza a highlight of the event and a triumph of mass communication.

The momentum, however, was not to last. Tonight (1984) failed to match the sparkle of Let’s Dance, presaging an artistic decline that lasted for almost a decade, exacerbated by the disappointing Never Let Me Down (1987), which in the fullness of time Bowie himself would resoundingly disparage. The global success of the new ‘normal’ Bowie, and the less-than-radical musical soundtrack that accompanied this new model, proved to be his undoing. In distancing himself from the cutting edge, he fell between two stools, alienating both the new and less critical post-Let’s Dance audience that recoiled at his theatricality while at the same time disaffecting the more discerning long-term fans who were drawn to his visionary zeal. Matters weren’t helped by contractual obligations to a hungry new record label.

Bowie’s solution to this dilemma was to form a group, Tin Machine, in which he would claim to be ‘just another member’, an optimistic prospect to say the least. If nothing else the two heavy-handed Tin Machine albums in 1989 and 1991 and subsequent live recording a year later moved Bowie away from the spotlight to lick his wounds. His commercial stock was now at its lowest point since before the Ziggy era but he surprised the world again, not with music but by marrying the Somalian model Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid. Iman clearly inspired the romanticism of Black Tie White Noise (1993) and seemed to finally settle Bowie’s restless spirit and curb his occasional lapses into hedonism.

Thereafter Bowie’s muse would fluctuate across a series of thoughtful, occasionally acclaimed albums that were never quite as illustrious as those that preceded them but at the same time restored his reputation and sustained it for two further decades. There were tours in which he was never less than immaculately turned out, with favourite songs from the past judiciously blended with newer material and, like many of his peers, he made announcements to the effect that he would no longer play the hits, only to renege on the pledge a year or two later. How could he not perform songs that had become touchstones in so many lives? Some of these later records, Earthling (1997) in particular, were on the experimental side while others, notably Hours (1999) and the enjoyable Heathen (2002), were designed for mass consumption, as was the less successful Reality (2003).

To promote Reality Bowie undertook a huge world tour that stretched from 2003 into 2004 but in June of ’04 was abruptly cancelled when he suffered heart problems at Scheeßel in Germany. It is understood that he underwent a heart bypass operation. After surgery, Bowie returned to New York, his home for the past decade and where he would continue to live in relative seclusion for the remainder of his life.

From that point on the public was told very little about what was happening in the world of David Bowie. He stopped giving interviews around 2006 and his official website remained silent for extended periods. It was reported that he had declined a knighthood. Although he made occasional guest appearances, notably with Arcade Fire, he was entering a long period of privacy during which rumours about his failing health – he’d been a heavy smoker for most of his life – proliferated. In the words of the noted music critic Charles Shaar Murray, we no longer knew who David Bowie was any more, even if we ever did.

Since presentation was so crucial to Bowie’s craft it is safe to assume that the reason the world henceforth saw so little of him was because he could no longer present himself on stage or elsewhere in the manner he would prefer. Bowie would no sooner appear as a shadow of his former self than reassume the character of Ziggy Stardust so, rather than appear as someone who no longer resembled the David Bowie that was universally adored, he chose not to appear at all. Age, it seemed, was the great leveller, even for David Bowie. Nevertheless, his absence created a vacuum in which his star continued to shine brightly: the exhibition of his stage outfits and other memorabilia at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in 2013 attracted record crowds and would tour the world.

That same year Bowie’s silence was broken dramatically with the unexpected release of The Next Day, which took fans and everyone else completely by surprise. In what in hindsight can be seen as another superb piece of media manipulation, as impressive as any in his entire career, its unheralded arrival was a front-page news story in itself, Bowie deriving more publicity by doing absolutely nothing than top flight acts receive from the massive advance promotion that is the norm in the 21st Century. A reflective, carefully crafted work, The Next Day won Bowie the Best British Male Solo Artist at the 2014 Brit Awards. The model Kate Moss, wearing one of Bowie’s original Ziggy costumes, picked up the award on his behalf while an enlarged 1973 photo of the real thing, in the identical costume, looked on beautifically.

Two years later, on January 8, his 69th birthday, came the elegiac, brooding Blackstar, a recording, which in hindsight seems to have been deliberately designed as a requiem. With lyrics that vaguely referenced his rapidly approaching demise, it will remain a moving, emotional epitaph, intentional in design, a unique and strangely appropriate climax to an extraordinary life.

David Bowie passed away from cancer of the liver two days later. He’d evidently been diagnosed 18 months earlier and only a tight circle of family and friends knew the extent of his illness. Remarkably, it remained a close secret, so the announcement came as a profound shock to the world and inspired tributes from the high and mighty, fellow musicians and – most notably – multitudes of fans for whom David Bowie represented much more than simply a great rock star but an ideal, a way of life, an incentive to live as you choose and not be cowed by convention. Within hours of the news, these fans, many of them with thunderbolts painted on their faces, gathered in their thousands to sing his songs at locations associated with Bowie’s life and career where hastily erected shrines spoke far more about his impact on this world than any of the clichés uttered by the great and the good.

In the second decade of the 21st Century, when performers from rock and roll’s pioneering era seem to pass away with the inevitability of the changing seasons, the loss of David Bowie can be compared only to the deaths of Elvis Presley and John Lennon. “I am not a rock star,” he would repeatedly tell journalists. He was right. He was much more than that; untouchable, perhaps comparable to stars in the old Hollywood sense of the term, perhaps in his daring and ambition beyond compare, shining as brightly as any star on a cloudless night, truly one of the brightest we shall ever see. He’s up there now, looking down on us, and maybe, if you glance skywards and catch a comet flashing across the heavens, you might see David Bowie riding its fiery slipstream, laughing, singing and waving bye-bye, the prettiest pop star of them all. “If we sparkle he might land tonight…”

Chris Charlesworth 2017. More from Chris at his music blog Just Backdated

We have a book! David Bowie – I Was There which contains over 350 eyewitness accounts from fans who saw Bowie live in concert and worked with him. Available in print and all digital formats.

David Bowie The Day I Was There

Important Dates In The Life Of David Bowie:

On this day in music
23 Aug 2023
American songwriter and record producer Bob Feldman died age 83. He wrote several hits with with fellow writers Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer including the 1963 hit 'My Boyfriend's Back' by The Angels. In 1964, in response to the "British Invasion", they formed their own group, The Strangeloves, who had a hit with 'I Want Candy'. With Goldstein and Gottehrer, Feldman also co-wrote 'Sorrow', first recorded by The McCoys and later a hit for both The Merseys and David Bowie. The three also produced the McCoys 1965 hit 'Hang On Sloopy'.
3 May 2023
English singer, songwriter and musician Linda Lewis died age 72. As well as a solo career Lewis also provided backing vocals for other artists, including David Bowie, Al Kooper, Cat Stevens, Rick Wakeman, Rod Stewart, Joan Armatrading and Jamiroquai.
11 Aug 2022
David Bowie was named Britain's most influential artist of the past 50 years in the Sky Arts list for his ability to transcend music, film and fashion. Other musicians in the list included the Spice Girls, Sir Elton John, Stormzy and Boy George.
14 Jan 2022
American country musician and songwriter Dallas Frazier died aged 82. Frazier's 1957 song 'Alley Oop', taken to No. 1 in the US by The Hollywood Argyles, became his first hit, (The lyric from 'Alley Oop' "look at that caveman go" is referenced in David Bowie's 'Life on Mars'). He wrote 'There Goes My Everything', a big hit for Jack Greene in 1966 that earned him a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. His tunes were recorded by George Jones (who recorded an entire album of Frazier's songs in 1968), Diana Ross, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Charley Pride, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Elvis Presley.
23 Jun 2021
British engineer and composer Peter Zinovieff died age 88. In the late 1960s, his company, Electronic Music Studios (EMS), made the VCS3, a synthesizer used by many early progressive rock bands such as Pink Floyd and Krautrock groups as well as more pop-orientated artists, including Todd Rundgren and David Bowie.
15 May 2020
Phil May, the frontman of The Pretty Things, died aged 75 after suffering complications from emergency hip surgery. The Pretty Things were cited as an influence by a wide range of artists from David Bowie to Jimi Hendrix to Kasabian.
17 Apr 2020
English bass guitarist Matthew Seligman, best known as a member of The Soft Boys, died aged 64 due to complications of the coronavirus. Seligman was also a member of the Thompson Twins, and was a sideman for Thomas Dolby and backed David Bowie at his performance at Live Aid in 1985.
2 Feb 2020
Czech-born American musician, filmmaker, record producer and singer-songwriter Ivan Král died age 71. He played bass with Blondie, Patti Smith and Iggy Pop. His songs have been recorded by such artists as U2, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, Simple Minds and John Waite, among others.
28 Oct 2019
Musician Stephen Morris appealed for the return of his £250,000 antique violin after leaving it on a train. He forgot the 310-year-old instrument, in a white case, when he got off the train in London with his bike. Morris who has played on Bond film scores and recorded with David Bowie said: "It’s devastating to lose it. I was really only its custodian and had hoped to pass it on to another violinist eventually".
3 Sep 2019
Sir Elton John was featured on a new set of Royal Mail stamps in the UK to celebrate his contribution to music. The singer-songwriter became only the second individual music artist to be given such an honour, after David Bowie was featured on a set in 2017.
17 Aug 2019
Tool's 'Fear Inoculum' entered the US Hot 100 at No. 93, becoming the longest song ever to hit that chart. Running at 10:22, it outran David Bowie's 'Blackstar,' which clocks in at 9:57. 'Fear Inoculum' dropped off the chart the following week.
16 Aug 2019
A bandstand where David Bowie played soon after the release of his first hit single 'Space Oddity' was given a Grade II listing. The singer performed from the stand to a small audience in Croydon Road Recreation Ground on 16 August 1969. The bandstand was the centrepiece of a one-day festival, which Bowie helped to organise and later inspired him to write the seven-minute song, ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’.
11 Jul 2019
Toymakers Mattel announced a new collectable David Bowie doll inspired by his signature Ziggy Stardust fashion. Dubbed Barbie as Bowie, the doll is dressed as the late singer's glam-rock alter ego, complete with a pair of red platform boots and topped with his fiery-red mullet.
25 Feb 2019
British publicist and talent manager Kenneth Pitt died age 96. He managed the career of musicians including David Bowie in the late 1960s (Pitt managed Bowie at the time of his first hit, ‘Space Oddity’ in 1969), and was responsible for publicising American musicians and bands touring the UK, including Frank Sinatra, Duke Ellington, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
13 Aug 2017
David Bowie made a posthumous appearance in the TV series Twin Peaks: The Return. The late singer, who made a cameo appearance as a deranged FBI agent in the cult classic's 1991 prequel, Fire Walk With Me, was supposed to return for the show's revival but died before filming. Director David Lynch used archive footage from the movie to bring Bowie to life in the episode.
22 Feb 2017
David Bowie dominated the 2017 Brit awards. The star was awarded best British male and best British album, for his mournful swansong, Blackstar. Rag'n'Bone Man was the other big winner of the night taking home two awards - the critics choice award and best British breakthrough act. As well as honouring Bowie, the Brits paid tribute to George Michael, who died on Christmas day 2016.
12 Feb 2017
Adele was the biggest winner at The 59th Annual Grammy Awards with five trophies, including Album of the Year for 25, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year for 'Hello'. Adele also became the first artist in history to win all three general field awards in the same ceremony twice, previously winning all three categories in 2012. David Bowie won Best Rock Performance, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Rock Song and Best Recording Package for Blackstar.
3 Jan 2017
Vinyl sales topped three million last year, the highest UK total in 25 years. More than 3.2 million records were sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year, according to the BPI, which represents the music industry. David Bowie's Blackstar was the most popular album on vinyl, selling more than double the number of copies of 2015's biggest-seller, Adele's 25.
22 Dec 2016
Beyoncé's politically charged visual album Lemonade was the music critics' favourite album of the year. The record, which tackles themes of black empowerment and female identity, topped a "poll of polls" compiled by the BBC. It beat David Bowie elegiac swansong Blackstar, which was released two days before his death in January.
5 Dec 2016
A statue of David Bowie was set to go up in the town where he first performed as Ziggy Stardust following the success of a crowdfunding campaign. More than 650 people pledged sums totalling more than the £100,000 goal, 19 hours before the deadline. The statue would be put up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where Bowie unveiled his Ziggy character.
12 Nov 2016
Robbie Williams broke the record for the most No.1 albums by a British solo artist. The singer's latest album, The Heavy Entertainment Show, debuted at No.1 on this week's chart. It is his 12th album to reach the summit and pushed him ahead of David Bowie who has 11 No.1 albums to his name.
11 Nov 2016
The first day of an auction of art owned by David Bowie took £24.3m ($30.7m), more than double the pre-sale estimate. The 47 artworks sold at Sotheby's in London, England had been valued at between £8.1m ($10.2m) and £11.7m ($14.8m). The most expensive lot was Jean-Michel Basquiat's Air Power, which went for £7.1m ($9m).
9 Nov 2016
David Bowie's retrospective show at the Victoria & Albert Museum had enjoyed so much foot traffic it was now officially the most successful touring exhibition in the cultural institution’s 164-year history. According to the V&A’s over half a million people had visited David Bowie Is in sites across the globe, including the 312,000 visitors who saw the exhibition in London back in 2013.
12 Oct 2016
David Bowie and Prince were both new entries in the latest list of top-earning dead celebrities compiled by Forbes. Prince's pre-tax income from 1 October 2015 to 1 October 2016 was estimated at $25m (£20.5m) by the business magazine, putting him fifth in the list. Bowie, meanwhile, was ranked at 11th for an estimated income of $10.5m (£8.5m). Both, however, are dwarfed by Michael Jackson who topped the list once again with a record-breaking estimated income of $825m (£672.8m).
26 Jun 2016
An electric guitar owned by Prince and a lock of David Bowie's hair sold at auction in the US for a total of more than $150,000 (£110,000). The Yellow Cloud guitar, said to be one of Prince's favourites, was bought for $137,500. Bowie's hair, which sold for $18,750, came from a former employee of Madame Tussauds in London who had used it to recreate the music icon's 1983 hairdo.
25 Jun 2016
The Yellow Cloud guitar owned by Prince and said to be one of his favourites was bought at auction for $137,500 (£110,000), by the owner of the American Football team Indianapolis Colts. A lock of David Bowie's hair also sold for $18,750 at the same auction.
2 Jun 2016
The limited edition vinyl pressing of the David Bowie album ChangesOneBowie was at No.1 on the UK’s Official Vinyl Album Chart. Bowie had four other vinyl albums on the chart; Blackstar at No.14, Hunky Dory at No. 17, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars at No. 18 and Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best of David Bowie at No.23. Sales of vinyl records were up 32% to $416 million, their highest level since 1988, according to the RIAA.
4 Apr 2016
It was reported that David Bowie had dominated the UK album charts for the first quarter of 2016. Bowie had the most entries to the chart with six albums in the top 40, after fans sought out his music in the wake of his death in January with his final album Blackstar becoming the second best selling album of the year so far, (behind Adele's 25).
22 Feb 2016
Adele won four prizes including best British female solo artist and best album at this years Brit Awards, Coldplay won Best British group, making them the most successful band in the ceremony's history. The show also featured an emotional tribute to David Bowie, led by Annie Lennox and his friend Gary Oldman.
31 Jan 2016
David Bowie left an estate valued at about $100m (£70m), according to his will which was filed in New York. Half would go to his widow, Iman, along with the home they shared in New York. The rest was shared between his son and daughter. Bowie's personal assistant, Corinne Schwab, was left $2m and another $1m went to a former nanny, Marion Skene.
30 Jan 2016
David Bowie reached No.1 in the American album charts for the first time with Blackstar, released two days before his death on 10 January. His highest-charting US album previously had been The Next Day, which peaked at No.2 in 2013.
29 Jan 2016
Three weeks after his death, David Bowie lodged 12 albums in the UK top 40, equalling a record set by Elvis Presley in 1977. His last album Blackstar, spent a third week at No.1 with Best of Bowie, Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust all in the Top 10. Bowie's other albums in the top 40 include: Nothing Has Changed (5), Heroes (28), Diamond Dogs (30), Station to Station (32) and Scary Monsters (36).
24 Jan 2016
David Bowie was at No.1 on both the UK & US album charts with his twenty-fifth and final studio album Blackstar, Bowie's only album to top the Billboard 200 in the US. Bowie was the biggest-selling vinyl artist of 2016 in the UK, with five albums in the vinyl Top 30, including Blackstar as the No.1 selling vinyl album of the year.
15 Jan 2016
Nineteen of David Bowie's albums entered the UK album charts in the wake of his death. His new album, Blackstar, reached No.1, and in the top 40, Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best Of was at No.5, The Best Of 1969 / 1974 was at No.11, Hunky Dory, No.14, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, No.17, Best of Bowie, No.18, Aladdin Sane, No.23, The Next Day, No.25, Low No.31 and Diamond Dogs, No. 37. Thirteen Bowie tracks also entered the top 100, led by 'Heroes' at No.12. Also his songs were streamed more than 19 million times on services like Apple Music and Spotify.
11 Jan 2016
David Bowie topped the UK album chart with his latest release Blackstar less than 24 hours after his death. With sales of over 43,000 units the album outsold its nearest competitor, Elvis Presley's If I Can Dream, by 25,000.
10 Jan 2016
English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, and actor David Bowie died from liver cancer at his New York home two days after releasing the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday. His first UK Top 40 single was the 1969 'Space Oddity' which became a UK No.1 in 1975, plus over 50 other UK Top 40 hits including five No.1's. Bowie has also scored two US No.1 singles, the 1975 'Fame' and 1983 'Let's Dance'. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists.
8 Jan 2016
David Bowie released his twenty-fifth and final studio album Blackstar, coinciding with his 69th birthday and two days before his death. It became his first and only album to reach No.1 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US. At the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, the album won awards for Best Alternative Music Album; Best Engineered Album; Best Recording Package, and the title single won Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. The album was also awarded the British Album of the Year award at the 2017 Brit Awards.
7 Dec 2015
David Bowie made his last public appearance when he attended the opening night of the Lazarus production at the New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. Tickets to the entire run of the musical (which ran until 20th Jan 2016), sold out within hours of being made available.
12 Feb 2015
Welsh singer Steve Strange, (born Steven Harrington) lead singer of Eighties pop band Visage, died aged 55 following a heart attack in hospital in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. His band, Visage, formed in 1979 (with Rusty Egan and Midge Ure from Rich Kids, Billy Currie from Ultravox, and Barry Adamson, John McGeoch and Dave Formula from Magazine), and their breakthrough single, 'Fade To Grey', peaked at No.8 in the UK in 1981. Strange appeared in the video for David Bowie's No.1 hit ‘Ashes to Ashes’.
19 Feb 2014
David Bowie was named best British male at the Brit Awards in London, although he was not there in person to collect his award. Arctic Monkeys won both best group and best album for the third time - the first act to achieve that milestone. Ellie Goulding won best British female, while pop act One Direction were honoured for their global success for the second year running. Bowie's prize came at the expense of four much younger hopefuls - Jake Bugg, Tom Odell, John Newman and Mercury Prize winner James Blake.
19 Jan 2014
Bruce Springsteen scored his 10th UK No.1 album with High Hopes, putting him ahead of the likes of Abba, David Bowie and Michael Jackson. The achievement puts him on level pegging with The Rolling Stones and U2, who also have 10 UK No.1's. The Beatles lead the way, with 15, followed by Madonna on 12, while Elvis Presley and Robbie Williams both had 11 each.
20 Dec 2013
David Richards, a producer who worked with David Bowie, Queen, Iggy Pop, and others died. Included in Richards' lengthy discography are co-production credits on Bowie's 'Never Let Me Down', 'The Buddha of Suburbia', and 'Outside'. He also worked on Queen's last four albums, A Kind of Magic, The Miracle, Innuendo, and Made in Heaven. He also dealt with live music recording in such events as Montreux Jazz Festival.
24 Oct 2013
NME published their latest '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list. The top 5 read: 1. The Smiths - 'The Queen Is Dead', 2. The Beatles - 'Revolver' 3. David Bowie - 'Hunky Dory', 4. The Strokes - 'Is This It' and at 5. The Velvet Underground & Nico - 'The Velvet Underground'.
21 May 2013
Trevor Bolder, the bassist in David Bowie's legendary 1970s backing band Spiders From Mars, died from cancer at the age of 62. Bolder appeared on the studio albums Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), and Pin Ups (1973). He joined Uriah Heep in 1976, replacing John Wetton.
9 May 2013
David Bowie's latest video, which starred Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, was temporarily pulled from YouTube over its graphic content. 'The Next Day' featured heavy religious imagery, including Cotillard bleeding from stigmata marks. The video sees Bowie performing in a basement bar, surrounded by religious figures, while Oldman, dressed as a priest, punches a beggar before dancing with a prostitute, played by Oscar-winner Cotillard. YouTube admitted making the "wrong call" in removing the video, and reinstated it with an adult content warning.
18 Mar 2013
David Bowie's first album in a decade become the fastest-selling of the year, hitting the No.1 spot in the UK in its first week of release. Bowie took great pains to keep the recording of the album secret, requiring people involved in the recording to sign NDAs. Bowie had to change recording studios after one day when someone at the studio leaked the rumour that he was recording there. The Next Day was the 66-year-old's first No.1 since 1993's Black Tie White Noise and sold 94,000 copies in the first week.
30 Jan 2013
Mick Jagger was named the most stylish rock star of all time by lifestyle website Complex. Jagger lead their top 50 list ahead of Prince, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious and Keith Richards. Complex stated "Even today, he wears silk scarves and suits with more rakish appeal than most men – and he’s pushing 70."
18 Sep 2012
In a survey of more than 160,000 readers, British music magazine NME named John Lennon as Rock's ultimate icon. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was placed second, followed by David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner and late Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain.
27 Mar 2012
David Bowie's landmark album Ziggy Stardust was celebrated with a blue plaque in central London. Spandau Ballet star Gary Kemp, unveiled a plaque at the spot where the cover of the 1972 release was shot. The location in Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, is now a pedestrianised area brimming with bars and restaurants.
21 May 2011
Bob Dylan came out on top as both the most inspirational individual for poets and the dream collaborative partner, in a survey carried out by The Foyle Poetry Society. The extensive survey questioned poets asking which musician and which genre of music most inspired their writing. The young people, aged between 11 and 17, from countries throughout the world also voted for artists such as Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Florence and the Machine, Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and Pete Doherty.
8 Jan 2010
Jimmy Page launched a new set of stamps in the UK which featured classic album covers from the last 40 years including Coldplay, Power, Corruption And Lies, New Order, David Bowie and Parklife by Blur.
28 Feb 2008
Drummer Buddy Miles, who played with Jimi Hendrix in his last regular group, Band of Gypsys, died aged 60 at his home in Austin, Texas after struggling with a long-term illness. Born George Allen Miles in Omaha, Nebraska, Buddy's nickname was a tribute to his idol, jazz drummer Buddy Rich. Rich also played with The Delfonics, The Ink Spots, Wilson Pickett, Electric Flag, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Muddy Waters and Barry White. In the 1980s, he achieved a certain amount of notoriety in the US as the vocalist on the celebrated claymation California Raisins commercials.
29 Nov 2007
Control, the biopic about late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis scooped five prizes at the British Independent Film Awards. The black-and-white film, which featured The Killers, David Bowie and New Order on the soundtrack, was shot for just £3m.
31 Aug 2006
The Times ran a story on the demands of rock stars when on tour. Ozzy Osbourne insists on an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor at each venue. The Beach Boys require a licensed masseur, Meat Loaf a mask and one small tank of oxygen. David Bowie requests that the dressing room temperature is between 14c and 18c and Paul McCartney must have a large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies in his dressing room. Mick Jagger must have an onstage autocue with the lyrics to all the songs, it would also tell him the name of the city in which they were performing.
30 Jul 2006
British gay magazine Attitude listed the ‘Top 10 Gay Albums’ of all time. No.1 was Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters, 2, Arrival - ABBA, 3, Vauxhall and I - Morrissey, 4, Light Years - Kylie Minogue, 5, Older - George Michael, 6, Welcome To The Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 7, Erotica - Madonna, 8, I Am a Bird Now - Antony and the Johnsons, 9, Bad Girls - Donna Summer and No. 10 The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie.
1 Jul 2005
American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer Luther Vandross died at the age of 54 at the JFK Medical Centre in New Jersey, two years after suffering a major stroke. His 'Never Too Much', was a No.1 R&B hit, worked with Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey and David Bowie. Vandross had won four Grammys for his final album ‘Dance With My Father.’
27 May 2005
Robbie Williams was voted into first place beating Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie to be named the best live solo artist. A UK nation-wide survey of 5,000 people saw the former Take That star beat music icons including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Bob Dylan. U2 were named best live band, ahead of Queen and Oasis, in a poll by Carling to celebrate the UK's live music scene.
26 Aug 2004
US Cinematographer David Myers died after suffering a stroke. He worked of various music films including Woodstock, Elvis On Tour, The Last Waltz, the Grateful Dead Movie, Mad Dogs & Englishmen and Cracked Actor: A Film About David Bowie.
11 Jul 2004
The Darkness replaced David Bowie at this years T In The Park Scottish festival following his heart operation. Other acts appearing included Muse, Franz Ferdinard, Faithless, Scissor Sisters, Black Eyed Peas and Pink.
9 Jul 2004
David Bowie was forced to cancel a string of European shows after emergency heart surgery. The 57 year-old singer had an operation last month in Germany, where he was on tour, to treat "an acutely blocked artery". The star's cancellation last month of 11 European dates was originally attributed to a shoulder injury.
8 Jul 2004
Mark Purseglove known as the world's ‘biggest bootlegger’ was sentenced to 3 years 6 months jail by Blackfriars Crown Court. Purseglove had built up a £15 million pirate CD empire by bootlegging live concerts of some of the world's biggest stars including The Beatles, David Bowie and Pink Floyd
22 Dec 2003
The annual list of all-time music greats by the Guinness book of hit singles was again topped by Elvis Presley. The list based on the number of weeks spent on the UK singles chart looked like this; 1. Elvis Presley (1193), 2. Cliff Richard (1152), 3. The Shadows (771), 4. Elton John (623), 5. Madonna (606), 6. Diana Ross (560), 7. Michael Jackson (509), 8. Rod Stewart (477), 9. The Beatles (456) and 10. David Bowie (452).
18 Nov 2003
American composer and orchestral arranger Michael Kamen died of a heart attack in London aged 55. Worked with Pink Floyd, Queen, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, David Bowie, Eurythmics, Queensryche, Rush, Metallica, Herbie Hancock, The Cranberries, Bryan Adams, Jim Croce, Sting, and Kate Bush. Kamen co-wrote the Bryan Adams' ballad ‘(Everything I Do), I Do It for You.’
12 Nov 2003
American session drummer Tony Thompson died of cancer aged 48. He was most famous as the drummer with The Power Station along with Robert Palmer, and John Taylor and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran and Chic, whose single 'Le Freak' hit No.1 in the US, and No.7 in the UK. He also played on David Bowie's hit single 'Let's Dance'. Thompson also played drums with Led Zeppelin (along with Phil Collins) at Live Aid in 1985.
8 Sep 2003
David Bowie performed the first interactive concert when his performance was beamed live into 21 cinemas from Warsaw to Edinburgh. Members of the audience talked to Bowie via microphones linked to ISDN lines and took requests for songs from fans.
21 Jul 2002
Producer Gus Dudgeon, who worked with artists including Elton John, David Bowie, The Beach Boys, Kiki Dee, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Strawbs, XTC, and Joan Armatrading, was killed aged 59 in a car accident near Reading, together with his wife Sheila. They had been driving along the M4 motorway on their way home from a party when Gus fell asleep at the wheel of the Jaguar XK8 convertible, crashing down an embankment at speed and ending up in a ditch.
21 Oct 2001
Concerts at Madison Square Garden and the RFK stadium in Washington were expected to raise millions in funds for the victims of the Sept 11th attacks. Stars who appeared included Michael Jackson, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, and The Who.
28 Nov 2000
David Bowie was crowned the musician's musician. Bowie beat The Beatles and alternative rockers Radiohead in a survey by the NME that asked hundreds of top rock and pop stars to name their biggest musical influence.
15 Aug 2000
David Bowie and his wife Iman celebrated the birth of their first child a baby girl named Alexandria Zahra Jones.
8 Nov 1999
American jazz trumpet player and composer Lester Bowie died of liver cancer aged 58. He was a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 1993, he played on the David Bowie album Black Tie White Noise, including the song ‘Looking for Lester’, which was named after him.
9 Oct 1999
Eurythmics, George Michael, David Bowie, Robbie Williams and Bono all appeared at 'Netaid' an event to raise money for global poverty. The concerts in London, New York and Geneva were all broadcast live on the internet.
1 May 1999
The Paintings of Paul McCartney exhibit opened at the Lyz Art Forum, Siegen, Germany. The exhibit featured 70 paintings by the former Beatle, including a piece called 'Bowie Spewing' McCartney's representation of a young David Bowie.
29 Mar 1999
The David Bowie Internet Radio Network broadcast its first show for Rolling Stone Radio. The show was Bowie's favourite songs with Bowie introducing each track.
6 Oct 1998
A music industry poll was published by London Magazine 'Time Out', naming the top stars from the past 30 years. 5th place was Marvin Gaye, 4th; James Brown, 3rd; Bob Marley, 2nd; The Beatles and first place went to David Bowie
29 Nov 1997
'Perfect Day' performed by various artists including Elton John, Bono, Tom Jones & David Bowie went to No.1 on the UK singles chart. Originally written and recorded in 1973 by Lou Reed, this new collaboration of 29 major artists was a fund raiser for the BBC Children In Need charity.
1 Mar 1997
'Bowie Bonds' were issued on the US Stock Exchange. Linked to David Bowie's back catalogue albums with money earned on the bonds via interest from royalties, investors could expect to make an 8% profit in about 10 years.
22 Jan 1997
Scottish singer Billy MacKenzie from The Associates committed suicide aged 39 after he overdosed on a combination of paracetamol and prescription medication in the garden shed of his father's house in Auchterhouse, Scotland. The Associates debut single, a cover of David Bowie's 'Boys Keep Swinging', was released June 1979, just six weeks after Bowie's version hit the UK Top 10 in April.
9 Jan 1997
David Bowie performed his 50th Birthday Bash concert (the day after his birthday) at Madison Square Garden, New York with guests Frank Black, Sonic Youth, Robert Smith of The Cure, Dave Grohl, Lou Reed, Billy Corgan and Placebo. Proceeds from the concert went to the Save The Children fund.
19 Feb 1996
Winners at this year's Brit Awards included Paul Weller who won British Male Solo Artist, British Female Solo Artist went to Annie Lennox, Oasis won British Group, Best Album for ‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory' and Best British Video for ‘Wonderwall. British Breakthrough Act went to Supergrass, International Group was Bon Jovi, International Breakthrough Act went to Alanis Morissette and David Bowie was awarded Outstanding Contribution to music. Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker was arrested after a stage invasion during Michael Jackson's appearance, (who won Artist of a Generation). Cocker was accused of attacking children who were performing with Jackson; all charges against Cocker were dropped on March 11th of this year.
17 Jan 1996
David Bowie Tom Donahue, The Jefferson Airplane, Gladys Knight And The Pips, Little Willie John, Pink Floyd, Pete Seeger, The Shirelles and The Velvet Underground were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
18 Nov 1993
Nirvana recorded their MTV unplugged special at Sony Studios, New York. Nirvana played a setlist composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.
29 Apr 1993
Guitarist, producer, Mick Ronson died of liver cancer aged 46. Ronson recorded and toured with David Bowie from 1970 to 1973. Released the 1974 solo album 'Slaughter On Tenth Avenue'. Ronson co-produced Lou Reed's album Transformer, also part of Hunter Ronson Band with Ian Hunter. And worked with Morrissey, Slaughter & The Dogs, The Wildhearts, The Rich Kids, Elton John, Johnny Cougar, T-Bone Burnett.
17 Apr 1993
David Bowie went to No.1 on the UK album chart with his eighteenth studio album Black Tie White Noise. It was his first solo release in the 1990s after spending time with his hard rock band Tin Machine.
6 Jan 1993
It was reported that David Bowie had lost over £2.5 million ($4.25 million) in unpaid royalties to an Italian Mafia-linked bootleg fraud.
24 Apr 1992
David Bowie married Somali born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland. Iman first got married at the age of eighteen to a young Somali man, in 1977, she married American basketball player Spencer Haywood.
20 Apr 1992
'A Concert For Life' took place at Wembley Stadium as a tribute to Queen singer Freddie Mercury and for aids awareness. Acts appearing included; Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), David Bowie, Mick Ronson, James Hetfield, George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen, Axl Rose and Slash.
1 Dec 1990
Vanilla Ice started a four-week run at No.1 in the UK with the single 'Ice Ice Baby'. The track sampled the bass intro to the Queen and David Bowie No.1 'Under Pressure'. 'Ice Ice Baby' was initially released as the B-side to the rapper's cover of 'Play That Funky Music', and became the A-side after US DJ's started playing it.
23 Jan 1990
David Bowie announced his forthcoming Sound And Vision world tour, during which he would invite each local audience to decide on a 'greatest hits' running order, organised through local radio stations. The concert tour surpassed Bowie's previous Serious Moonlight (1983) and Glass Spider (1987) tours' statistics by visiting 27 countries with 108 performances.
31 May 1989
David Bowie's Tin Machine made their live debut at the International Music Awards, New York. Bowie stated that he and his band members joined up "to make the kind of music that we enjoyed listening to" and to rejuvenate himself artistically.
28 Nov 1987
David Bowie played the second of four sold-out nights during his Glass Spider Tour in Australia and New Zealand at the Kooyong Stadium in Melbourne.
29 Oct 1987
David Bowie played the first night of his 15 date Glass Spider Tour in Australia and New Zealand at the Boondall Entertainment Centre in Brisbane.
30 Jul 1987
David Bowie kicked of the North American leg of The Glass Spider Tour at the Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The tour's set, described at the time as "the largest touring set ever," was designed to look like a giant spider. It was 60 feet (18.3m) high, 64 feet (19.5m) wide. A single set took 43 trucks to move from each city.
7 Jun 1987
David Bowie played a concert in West Berlin in front of the Reichstag with the speakers pointing towards the nearby Berlin Wall where thousands of young East Berliners stood and listened.
30 May 1987
David Bowie kicked off his 87-date Glass Spider world tour at the Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam, Holland. The tour's set, described at the time as "the largest touring set ever," was designed to look like a giant spider. It was 60 feet (18.3m) high, 64 feet (19.5m) wide and included giant vacuumed tube legs that were lit from the inside with 20,000' (6,096m) of color-changing lights. A single set took 43 trucks to move.
6 Dec 1986
Europe were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Final Countdown'. They became only the second Swedish act to score a UK No.1. The song reached No.1 in 25 countries and the song's lyrics were inspired by David Bowie's song 'Space Oddity'
7 Sep 1985
David Bowie and Mick Jagger were at No.1 on the UK singes chart with their version of the Martha Reeves and The Vandellas 1964 hit 'Dancing In The Street.' The song had been recorded as part of the Live Aid charity appeal. The original plan was to perform a track together live, with Bowie performing at Wembley Stadium and Jagger at the JFK Stadium, until it was realised that the satellite link-up would cause a half-second delay that would make this impossible.
13 Jul 1985
At 12.01 Status Quo started the Live Aid extravaganza, held between Wembley Stadium, London and The JFK Stadium, Philadelphia. The cream of the world's biggest rock stars took part in the worldwide event, raising over £40million. TV pictures beamed to over 1.5bn people in 160 countries made it the biggest live broadcast ever known. Artists who appeared included Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, The Who, U2, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, Queen, Tina Turner, The Cars, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Hall and Oates, Lionel Richie and Led Zeppelin.
29 Jun 1985
David Bowie and Mick Jagger recorded a version of the Martha Reeves and the Vandellas 1964 hit 'Dancing In The Street' for the forthcoming Live Aid fundraising event. The single went on to become a No.1 UK hit. The original plan was to perform a track together live, with Bowie performing at Wembley Stadium and Jagger at John F. Kennedy Stadium, until it was realised that the satellite link-up would cause a half-second delay that would make this impossible unless either Bowie or Jagger mimed their contribution, something neither artist was willing to do.
6 Oct 1984
David Bowie scored his sixth UK No.1 album with 'Tonight', featuring the single 'Blue Jean'.
14 Sep 1984
David Bowie won Video of the year for 'China Girl' at the first MTV Video awards. The song co-written by David Bowie and Iggy Pop during their years in Berlin, first appeared on Pop's album The Idiot released in 1977.
23 Jul 1984
The Cars released 'Drive' from their Heartbeat City album as a single. Upon its release, 'Drive' became The Cars' highest charting single where it peaked at No.3 on the US chart. The song is associated with the 1985 Live Aid event, where it was performed by Benjamin Orr during the Philadelphia concert and previously, the song was used as the background music to a montage of clips depicting the contemporaneous Ethiopian famine during the London event, which was introduced by David Bowie.
12 Nov 1983
Bob Dylan's Infidels album reached its highest position when it peaked at No.9 in the UK chart. Dylan's 22nd studio album was co-produced with Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler. Dylan had also approached Elvis Costello, David Bowie and Frank Zappa as possible producers.
1 Oct 1983
A David Bowie world convention was held at The Cunard Hotel in London. The event had the largest collection of Bowie merchandise ever assembled.
6 Aug 1983
Avant-garde musician and former backing singer with David Bowie Klaus Nomi died at the age of 39 of Aids in New York City aged 38. Nomi was one of the first celebrities to contract AIDS.
28 May 1983
The four day US Festival '83' took place in California, featuring The Clash, U2, David Bowie, The Pretenders, Van Halen, Stray Cats, Men At Work, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson. INXS, Joe Walsh, Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne. Over 750,000 fans attended the festival.
21 May 1983
David Bowie went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Let's Dance', featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was Bowie's first single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic. The music video was made by David Mallet on location in Australia including a bar in Carinda in New South Wales, featured Bowie playing with his band while impassively watching an Aboriginal couple’s struggles against metaphors of Western cultural imperialism.
23 Apr 1983
David Bowie started a three week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with the Nile Rodgers produced 'Let's Dance', featuring the title track which made No. 1 on the US and UK singles chart and 'China Girl.'
9 Apr 1983
David Bowie was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the title track from his latest album 'Let's Dance', his fourth UK No.1 and featuring blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. The song introduced Bowie to a new, younger audience oblivious to his former career in the 1970s and was a US No.1 hit, Bowie’s first single to reach number one on both sides of the Atlantic.
25 Dec 1982
David Bowie had a No.3 UK hit with a duet with Bing Crosby, 'Peace On Earth - Little Drummer Boy.' The single became one of Bowie's best selling in his career, with total estimated sales over 400,000 in the UK alone. The Christmas song was written in 1941, while the 'Peace on Earth' tune and lyrics, written by Ian Fraser, Larry Grossman, and Alan Kohan, were added to the song specially for Bowie and Crosby's recording.
21 Nov 1981
Queen and David Bowie were at No.1 in the UK with Under Pressure. They recorded the song together when both acts were working in a Swiss recording studio. It was David Bowie's first released collaboration with another recording artist.
3 Jan 1981
David Bowie made his final appearance as the Elephant Man at The Booth Theatre, Broadway in New York City.
27 Sep 1980
David Bowie scored his fourth UK No.1 album with his fourteenth studio album Scary Monsters (And Supercreeps). The album's lead single, 'Ashes to Ashes', revisited the character of Major Tom from 'Space Oddity' and was promoted with an inventive music video, at the time the most expensive music video ever made.
23 Aug 1980
David Bowie was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Ashes To Ashes' his second UK No.1. Taken from the Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album, the song continued the story of Major Tom from Bowie's 'Space Oddity'. The video for 'Ashes to Ashes' was one of the most iconic of the 1980s and costing £250,000, it was at the time the most expensive music video ever made.
8 Feb 1980
The divorce became final between David Bowie and his wife Angie. He won custody of their son Zowie, (now known as Joe), Angie received a £30,000 ($51,000) settlement.
5 Jan 1980
David Bowie appeared on Saturday Night Live Live from New York City performing 'The Man Who Sold the World', 'TVC 15' and 'Boys Keep Swinging' with a specially prepared backing group, including Blondie's Jimmy Destri (keyboards) and Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias (backing vocals).
31 Dec 1979
David Bowie performed an acoustic version of 'Space Oddity' on the UK TV 'Kenny Everett New Year's Show'. Bowie was also seen on the Dick Clark TV show in the US on this date, on his Salute To The Seventies.
23 Apr 1979
American bassist Doug Rauch died of a heroin overdose in San Francisco, at the age of 28. He was most famous for his work with Carlos Santana during his jazz fusion period in the early 1970s and had also worked with Carly Simon, John McLaughlin and David Bowie.
11 Nov 1978
David Bowie played the first night of his 8-date Low / Heroes tour of Australia and New Zealand at The Oval in Adelaide. This was Bowies first ever show in Australia.
9 Oct 1978
Belgian singer songwriter Jacques Brel died of cancer aged 49. Artists who recorded his songs include, Ray Charles, Scott Walker, Alex Harvey, Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie, Nina Simone and Terry Jacks.
29 Mar 1978
David Bowie kicked off his Low / Heroes 77-date World Tour at San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego, California.
25 Jan 1978
After changing their name from Warsaw, (inspired by the song Warszawa on David Bowie's Low album), Joy Division made their live debut when they played at Pips Disco in Manchester, England.
14 Oct 1977
David Bowie released his twelfth studio album Heroes, the second installment of his Berlin Trilogy with Brian Eno (the other releases being Low and Lodger). Heroes continued the ambient experiments of Bowie's previous album Low (released earlier that year) and featured the contributions of guitarist Robert Fripp. The album was later named NME Album of the Year.
23 Sep 1977
David Bowie released 'Heroes' as a single. Co-written by Bowie and Brian Eno, the track features King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp and has gone on to become one of Bowie's signature songs.
11 Sep 1977
David Bowie recorded a guest appearance on 'Bing Crosby's 'Merrie Olde Christmas' TV show duetting with Crosby on 'Peace On Earth - Little Drummer Boy. The track became a UK No.3 hit five years later in 1982.
9 Sep 1977
David Bowie appeared on Marc Bolan's ITV show, Marc, singing ‘Heroes’ as well as a duet with Bolan, ‘Standing Next To You’, which was prematurely terminated when Bolan fell from the stage, much to Bowie’s amusement. After the show the pair recorded demos together which were never finished because Bolan was killed in a car crash a week later.
3 Sep 1977
Studio engineer Keith Harwood was killed in a car crash shortly after he left a recording session with The Rolling Stones. Harwood was noted for his work at Olympic Studios with David Bowie (Diamond Dogs), and The Rolling Stones albums It's Only Rock 'n' Roll and Black And Blue. He also engineered a number of Led Zeppelin albums, including Houses Of The Holy, Physical Graffiti and Presence. The Rolling Stones dedicated their album Love You Live to the memory of Harwood.
13 Mar 1977
Iggy Pop kicked off a the North American leg of The Idiot World Tour at Le Plateau Theatre, Montreal, Canada (with David Bowie in the band playing keyboards and backing vocals). Blondie were the opening act on this leg of the tour.
11 Feb 1977
David Bowie released 'Sound and Vision' as a single, which was taken from his latest album Low. 'Sound and Vision' was used by the BBC in the UK on trailers at the time, providing considerable exposure, much needed as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself, and helped the song to No.3 on the UK charts.
14 Jan 1977
David Bowie released his eleventh studio album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno termed the "Berlin Trilogy". The track 'Sound and Vision' was released as a single and used by the BBC in the UK on trailers at the time, providing much needed exposure, as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself, and helped the song reach No.3 on the UK charts.
3 May 1976
David Bowie played the first of six sold out nights at Wembley, on his Station To Station tour, his first UK gig in three years.
27 Apr 1976
Customs officers on a train at the Russian/Polish Border detained David Bowie, after Nazi books and mementoes were found in his luggage. Bowie claimed that the material was being used for research on a movie project about Nazi propaganda leader Joseph Paul Goebbels.
21 Mar 1976
After a David Bowie concert at the Community War Memorial arena in Rochester, New York, Iggy Pop and David Bowie were involved in a drug bust at their hotel room where the police found 182 grams (a little over 6.4 ounces) of marijuana. The pair spent the rest of the night in the Monroe County Jail and were released at about 7 a.m. on $2,000 bond each.
23 Jan 1976
David Bowie released his tenth studio album Station to Station, which was the vehicle for his last great character, the Thin White Duke. The album was recorded after he completed shooting Nicolas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, and the cover artwork featured a still from the movie. The album made the top five in both the UK and US charts.
10 Nov 1975
David Bowie was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Space Oddity' the track was first released in 1969 to tie in with the Apollo 11 moon landing. Rick Wakeman (former keyboard player with Yes) provided synthesizer backing. Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Hallo Spaceboy' and 'Blackstar'.
8 Nov 1975
David Bowie made his US TV debut performing 'Fame', on the Cher CBS-TV show. Bowie who was living in New York at the time had written the song with John Lennon during a jamming session.
20 Sep 1975
'Fame' gave David Bowie his first No.1 in the US. The song was co-written with John Lennon. Lennon's voice is heard towards the ending of the song repeating the words: "Fame, Fame, Fame" from a fast track, through a regular track, to a slow track, before Bowie finished the lyrics.
3 Sep 1975
An all-star jam session took place at a party in Los Angeles for actor Peter Sellers’ 50th Birthday. The line-up for the group who named themselves the Trading Faces: Bill Wyman on bass, Ronnie Wood, Jesse Ed Davis, and Danny Kortchmar on guitars, Keith Moon organ and drums, Joe Cocker, vocals, Nigel Olsson, drums and David Bowie and Bobby Keys on sax.
12 Apr 1975
During an interview with Playboy Magazine David Bowie announced his second career retirement, saying, 'I've rocked my roll. It's a boring dead end, there will be no more rock 'n' roll records from me. The last thing I want to be is some useless f—ing rock singer.'
7 Mar 1975
David Bowie released his ninth studio album Young Americans. The album marked a departure from the glam rock style of Bowie's previous albums, showcasing his interest in soul and R&B music. Young Americans featured the song 'Fame' (co-written with Carlos Alomar and John Lennon), which gave Bowie his first US No.1 hit single.
26 Jan 1975
The BBC 'Omnibus' documentary 'Cracked Actor' a film about David Bowie was shown on UK TV. Filmed in 1974 when Bowie was was a cocaine addict, the documentary has become notorious for showing Bowie's fragile mental state during this period.
10 Jul 1974
David Bowie played the first of five dates at The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, the recordings of which made up the "David Live" album released later that year. The performance found the artist in transition between his Ziggy Stardust glam phase and the "plastic soul" era of "Young Americans."
8 Jun 1974
David Bowie started a four-week run at the top of the UK charts with his third No.1 album 'Diamond Dogs'. The cover art features Bowie as a striking half-man, half-dog grotesque painted by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid's genitalia. Very few copies of this original cover made their way into circulation at the time of the album's release.
24 May 1974
David Bowie released his eighth studio album Diamond Dogs. The cover art features Bowie as a striking half-man, half-dog grotesque painted by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. It was controversial as the full painting clearly showed the hybrid's genitalia.
23 Feb 1974
'Rebel Rebel' by David Bowie entered the UK chart, the single reached No.5 the following month. Originally written for an aborted Ziggy Stardust musical in late 1973, 'Rebel Rebel' was Bowie's last single in the glam rock style that had been his trademark. It was also his first hit since 1969 not to feature lead guitarist Mick Ronson.
16 Feb 1974
Winners in the UK music weekly Disc Readers Awards Poll; Top UK group went to Slade, Top musician, Roy Wood, David Bowie won UK and World male singer, Top single with 'Jean Genie' and album with 'Aladdin Sane', Top female singer was Lynsey De Paul and Brightest hope was won by David Essex.
13 Feb 1974
David Bowie turned down an offer from the Gay Liberation group to compose 'the world's first Gay National Anthem.'
3 Nov 1973
David Bowie scored his second UK No.1 album when Pinups started a five-week run at the top of the charts. The set contained Bowie covering his favourite 60s songs; his version of The Mersey's 'Sorrow' made No.3 on the UK singles chart, (first recorded by The McCoys in 1965).
19 Oct 1973
David Bowie released his seventh album Pin Ups. The album, which features supermodel Twiggy on the front cover, is a collection of cover versions of some of the singer’s favourite songs, including tracks by Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, The Who, The Yardbirds and The Kinks.
3 Jul 1973
After 182 Ziggy Stardust concert performances, David Bowie announced he was about to retire from live performing, although it eventually transpires that the stage persona is being retired and not Bowie himself. Only his guitarist Mick Ronson knew about the announcement, which came as a complete shock not only to the audience but the rest of Bowie's band and crew.
22 Jun 1973
David Bowie released the single 'Life On Mars', which peaked at No.3 on the UK chart. The track which was first released in 1971 on the album Hunky Dory, features guest piano work by Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman. The line "Look at those cavemen go" is a reference to the song "Alley Oop," a one-off hit in 1960 for American doo-wop band The Hollywood Argyles.
5 May 1973
David Bowie scored his first UK No.1 album when 'Aladdin Sane' started a five-week run at the top, featuring the single 'Drive In Saturday'. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, the name of the album is a pun on "A Lad Insane".
28 Apr 1973
David Bowie released 'Starman' as a single in the UK, which became his first hit since 1969's 'Space Oddity' three years before. The song was a late addition to the album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars included at the insistence of RCA’s Dennis Katz, who heard a demo and loved the track, believing it would make a great single. The lyrics describe Ziggy Stardust bringing a message of hope to Earth's youth through the radio, salvation by an alien 'Starman'.
13 Apr 1973
David Bowie released his sixth studio album Aladdin Sane, the name of the album is a pun on 'A Lad Insane"' Two hit singles included on the album preceded its release, 'The Jean Genie' and 'Drive-In Saturday'.
8 Apr 1973
During his Ziggy Stardust world tour, David Bowie played the first of three sold out nights at Shinjuku Koseinenkin, Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan.
6 Apr 1973
David Bowie released 'Drive-In Saturday' which became a Top 3 UK hit. The lyrics name-checked Mick Jagger 'When people stared in Jagger's eyes and scored', the model Twiggy 'She'd sigh like Twig the wonder kid', and Carl Jung 'Jung the foreman prayed at work'.
14 Feb 1973
David Bowie collapsed on stage during a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
25 Jan 1973
David Bowie finished a week of rehearsals at the Royal Ballroom, Tottenham, London, for the forthcoming UK leg of his Ziggy Stardust tour. Bowie had already played dates in North America and Japan, the tour saw the singer playing a total of 182 dates.
28 Dec 1972
David Bowie appeared at The Hardrock, Stretford, Manchester, England on his Ziggy Stardust tour.
24 Dec 1972
On the second UK leg of his 182 date Ziggy Stardust Tour, David Bowie played the second of two nights at the Rainbow Theatre, London. This tour had the classic Spiders From Mars line up of Mick Ronson on guitar, vocals, Trevor Bolder, bass and Mick "Woody" Woodmansey on drums.
6 Oct 1972
During sessions at RCA Studios, New York City, David Bowie recorded 'The Jean Genie', which became the lead single from his 1973 album Aladdin Sane. The track spent 13 weeks in the UK charts, peaking at No.2, making it Bowie's biggest hit to date. The line "He's so simple minded, he can't drive his module" would later give the Scottish band Simple Minds their name.
22 Sep 1972
David Bowie kicked of the North American leg of his Ziggy Stardust world tour at the Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio.
19 Aug 1972
David Bowie played the first of two nights at the Rainbow Theatre in England on his current 182-date Ziggy Stardust world tour.
6 Jul 1972
David Bowie appeared on the UK music show Top Of The Pops playing his new single 'Starman', his first hit since 1969's 'Space Oddity' three years before. The single peaked at No.10 and stayed on the charts for 11 weeks.
26 Jun 1972
During sessions at Olympic Studios, London, England, David Bowie recorded 'John, I'm Only Dancing', with Mick Ronson on lead guitar and Lou Reed on rhythm guitar. The track which was released and became a hit single in the UK in September of this year was not released in America, being judged too risqué by RCA Records. The original video directed by Mick Rock, featuring androgynous dancers from Lindsay Kemp's mime troupe, was banned by British music show Top Of The Pops .
16 Jun 1972
David Bowie released his fifth studio album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars a concept album telling the story of a fictional bisexual alien rock star named Ziggy Stardust. The album which reached No.5 in the UK and No. 75 in the US has been consistently considered one of the greatest albums of all time.
9 Jun 1972
Elvis Presley made entertainment history by performing four sold-out shows at New York's Madison Square Garden. George Harrison, John Lennon, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Art Garfunkel were among music stars that attended the shows. The shows were recorded and became the album 'Elvis as recorded at Madison Square Garden'.
26 May 1972
At the point of the band splitting up David Bowie offered Mott The Hoople two of his new songs, 'Suffragette City', which they turned down and 'All The Young Dudes', which they recorded. The song gave the group a No.3 UK and US Top 40 hit.
3 Mar 1972
Elton John released 'Rocket Man' as a single, (officially titled 'Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)'. The song was inspired by the short story "The Rocket Man" in The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, and echoes the theme of David Bowie's 1969 song 'Space Oddity'. Kate Bush released a cover of 'Rocket Man' in 1991 as part of the Elton John, Bernie Taupin tribute album Two Rooms.
10 Feb 1972
David Bowie appeared at the Tolworth Toby Jug, London, on the opening date of his Ziggy Stardust tour playing to around 60 people in the room. The character of Ziggy was initially inspired by British rock 'n' roll singer Vince Taylor. The Ziggy Stardust tour played a total of 182 dates.
4 Feb 1972
During sessions at Trident Studios, London, England, David Bowie recorded 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide', 'Starman' and 'Suffragette City', the last songs recorded for the The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album.
22 Jan 1972
David Bowie 'came out' as bisexual during an interview in the British music weekly Melody Maker.
7 Jan 1972
David Bowie released 'Changes' as a single in the UK. The track peaked at No.49 on the UK chart and later at No.41 on the US chart. This was the last song Bowie performed live on stage before his retirement from live performances at the end of 2006 when he joined Alicia Keys at the Black Ball fundraiser at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom.
17 Dec 1971
David Bowie released his fourth album Hunky Dory, which was the first to feature all the members of the band that would become known the following year as Ziggy Stardust's Spiders From Mars. Two singles were released from the album: 'Changes' / 'Andy Warhol' in January 1972 and 'Life on Mars' which was released late June 1973. Bowie himself considered the album to be one of the most important in his career.
14 Sep 1971
During a US tour Led Zeppelin appeared at Berkley Community Theatre, Berkley, California. Countless major acts have appeared here, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Van Morrison, The Kinks,  Bruce Springsteen, Genesis, Elvis Costello, The Clash, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
9 Jul 1971
David Bowie started recording sessions at Trident Studios in London, for what would become the concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. The character of Ziggy was initially inspired by British rock 'n' roll singer Vince Taylor, whom Bowie met after Taylor had had a breakdown and believed himself to be a cross between a god and an alien.
22 Jun 1971
The second Glastonbury Festival in England took place. Held over 5 days to coincide with the summer solstice, (the weather was, for a British 'summer' very good). Acts who appeared included: Melanie, Quintessence, David Bowie, The Edgar Broughton Band, Pink Fairies, Terry Reid - with David Lyndley and Linda Lewis, Gong, Hawkwind, Arthur Brown, Brinsley Schwarz, Fairport Convention, Family and Traffic. Over 7,000 fans attended the event.
7 May 1971
'Moonage Daydream' was released as a single by Arnold Corns, a band, formed by David Bowie the name of which was inspired by the Pink Floyd song 'Arnold Layne'. This was one of Bowie’s side projects and something of a dry run for Ziggy Stardust. The song later reappeared on Ziggy Stardust in a new version with updated lyrics.
27 Jan 1971
David Bowie arrived in the US for the first time; he couldn't play live because of work permit restrictions, but attracted publicity when he wore a dress at a promotion event.
15 Jan 1971
David Bowie released 'Holy Holy' as a single in the UK which failed to chart. A more frantic version of the song was recorded in 1971 for The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars but was dropped from the album, and subsequently appeared as the B-side to 'Diamond Dogs' in 1974.
4 Nov 1970
David Bowie released his third studio album, The Man Who Sold the World in the US - the first with the nucleus of what would become the "Spiders from Mars", backing band. The album was released in the UK in April the following year.
26 Aug 1970
A party was held to celebrate the official opening of 'Electric Ladyland' studios in New York City, New York. Artists who went on to record at the studio include: Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, AC/DC, David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa and  Guns N' Roses.
12 Jun 1970
David Bowie released the single 'Memory of a Free Festival', which featured guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer Mick Woodmansey's studio debut with Bowie's band, bringing together the line-up that would shortly record The Man Who Sold the World. The track also featured Marc Bolan on lead guitar and backing vocals.
10 May 1970
David Bowie was awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Song 'Space Oddity' which he performed that night accompanied by the Les Reed Orchestra. The event was transmitted live via satellite to venues in America, France, Spain, Australia, Holland and Venezuela. Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Hallo Spaceboy' and 'Blackstar'.
20 Mar 1970
David Bowie and Angela Bowie were married at Beckenham Registry Office, London. The couple had one child, film director Duncan Jones. They divorced in 1980.
6 Mar 1970
David Bowie released the single 'The Prettiest Star' in the UK as a follow-up single to 'Space Oddity'. The track featured Marc Bolan on guitar, with whom Bowie would spend the next few years as a rival for the crown of the king of glam rock. Despite receiving good reviews, the single reportedly sold fewer than 800 copies, a major disappointment on the back of the success of 'Space Oddity'.
28 Feb 1970
Billed as David Bowie's New Electric Band (so new they haven't got a name yet), played at the Basildon Arts Lab experimental music club at the Basildon Arts Centre in Essex, England. Also on the bill were High Tide, Overson and Iron Butterfly.
22 Feb 1970
Appearing at The Roundhouse Spring Festival in Camden, London, David Bowie and the Hype, (their first live performance of the new band), along with Bachdenkel, Groundhog and Caravan.
5 Feb 1970
David Bowie recorded four songs at the BBC Paris Cinema, London, for the John Peel Sunday Concert radio show. This was guitarists Mick Ronson's first appearance with Bowie who went on to work with Bowie as one of the Spiders from Mars.
31 Oct 1969
David Bowie appeared at a Halloween night at the General Gordon, Gravesend, England. The gig lasted about 15 minutes, after Bowie sang 'Space Oddity' to everyone’s delight and then dragged a stool on stage, along with a huge book. He then sat and read poems and was booed off stage.
8 Oct 1969
David Bowie played the first of a 10 date tour supporting Humble Pie at Coventry Theatre, Coventry, England. Fronted by former Small Faces singer Steve Marriott and featuring Bowies old school friend Peter Frampton. Frampton’s father, Owen taught Art at Beckenham Technical School were Bowie was a pupil. Another of his pupils was George Underwood, who became a painter and designed three David Bowie album covers, Space Oddity, Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust.
11 Jul 1969
'Space Oddity' by David Bowie was released in the UK for the first time. It was timed to coincide with the Apollo moon landing but had to be re-released before it became a hit, later in the year in the UK (but not until 1973 in the US). Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Hallo Spaceboy' and possibly the music video for 'Blackstar'.
20 Jun 1969
David Bowie recorded 'Space Oddity' at Trident Studios London. The track went on to become a UK No.1 when re-released in 1975. Written about the launch of Major Tom, a fictional astronaut; Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Hallo Spaceboy' and 'Blackstar'.
20 May 1968
BBC 2 TV aired a short play 'The Pistol Shot', featuring a young dancer - artist called David Bowie.
24 Apr 1968
The Beatles new company, Apple Records turned down the offer to sign new artist David Bowie. (Apple later signed Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger and Billy Preston).
14 Jul 1967
David Bowie released the single 'Love You Till Tuesday' which failed to reach the charts. Bowie's 1969 showpiece film Love You till Tuesday took its name from the song, which also featured over the opening credits.
1 Jun 1967
David Bowie released his self titled debut studio album. Two singles were released from the album, 'Rubber Band' and 'The Laughing Gnome'. The album's failure cost Bowie his record contract with Deram Records who dropped him in April 1968.
14 Apr 1967
David Bowie's novelty record 'The Laughing Gnome' was released in the UK. The track consisted of the singer meeting and conversing with the creature of the title, whose sped-up voice (created by Bowie and studio engineer Gus Dudgeon) delivered several puns on the word 'gnome'. The song became a hit when reissued in 1973, despite it being radically different to his material at the time, the single made No. 6 in the UK charts.
2 Dec 1966
David Bowie released 'Rubber Band', his first single on the Deram label. It was part of a three-track audition tape Bowie's new manager Kenneth Pitt used to persuade the label to sign him. Despite some good reviews in the music press, the single was a flop, once more failing to break into the UK charts.
2 Jul 1966
David Bowie and The Lower Third appeared at The Lion Hotel in Warrington, England, (they were paid £30 for the gig). Also appearing was The Powerhouse which featured Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Steve Winwood and Paul Jones.
1 Apr 1966
Pye Records released David Bowie's first solo single, 'Do Anything You Say'. Despite featuring Bowie’s backing band at the time, The Buzz, the single was to be the first simply credited to David Bowie (which failed to chart). Bowie had previously recorded as David Jones and The Lower Third.
14 Jan 1966
David Jones changed his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from The Monkees, just in time for the release of his single, 'Can't Help Thinking About Me'. He would later say that he chose "Bowie" because he liked that "big American bear-killin' knife."
10 Dec 1965
18-year-old David Bowie recorded 'Can't Help Thinking About Me' at Pye Studios, London, England, which was later released as a single under the name David Bowie with The Lower Third. It became the first David Bowie record to be released in the US as well as the first time the name "Bowie" appeared under the songwriters credit.
19 Nov 1965
David Bowie and the Lower 3rd appeared at The Marquee Club, London, England.
20 Aug 1965
Davy Jones & The Lower Third released the single 'You've Got a Habit of Leaving' the last song that David Bowie (born David Jones), released before changing his name to avoid confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees, and the first of two singles that he recorded with The Lower Third after leaving his previous band, The Manish Boys.
8 Mar 1965
David Bowie made his TV debut with The Manish Boys on a UK program called 'Gadzooks! It's All Happening' when they performed their current single 'I Pity The Fool.'
5 Mar 1965
The Mannish Boys released their second single 'I Pity The Fool', featuring a young David Bowie. Produced by Shel Talmy, (who was also producing the early singles and albums by The Who and The Kinks). Jimmy Page was Talmy's regular session musician and played the guitar solo on 'I Pity the Fool'.
1 Dec 1964
The Who played the first of 22 consecutive Tuesday night gigs at The Marquee Club in London, the band were paid £50 for each gig. The Marquee Club saw the rise of some of the most important British artists in the 60s such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Cream, Manfred Mann, The Nice, Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and many others who all appeared at the club.
19 Jun 1964
Martha and the Vandellas recored one of Motown's signature songs 'Dancing in the Street' at Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, Michigan. Written by Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter the song reached No.2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No.4 in the UK. Many artists have covered the song including, the Mamas & the Papas, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, The Kinks, Grateful Dead and Little Richard.
14 Jun 1964
The Manish Boys, (featuring David Bowie) auditioned for the UK television talent show Opportunity Knocks.
5 Jun 1964
'Liza Jane' became the first recording to be released as a single by David Bowie (but under the name Davie Jones with the King Bees). Despite promoting the single on the television shows Juke Box Jury, Ready Steady Go! and The Beat Room, and receiving good radio coverage, the single sold poorly and the band was subsequently dropped from the label Vocalion Pop.
2 Nov 1963
The Konrads, featuring David Bowie appeared at Shirley Parish Hall, Shirley, Croydon, England.
31 Jul 1963
The Rolling Stones performed at Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, Middlesex. The island was the site of the Eel Pie Hotel on the River Thames, where many up and coming acts appeared including: The Who, The Yardbirds, Pink Floyd, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and David Bowie .
16 Jun 1962
The Konrads (featuring Dave Jay later to become David Bowie) made their live debut when they played at Bromley Technical School in Kent, England.
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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top