Thursday, January 18, 2007

David Bowie Turns 60 Years Old

Believe it or not, "The Thin White Duke" is now a Thin Dude with White Hair. That's right, whether you call him by that name or Ziggy Stardust or his more common name, David Bowie, he turned 60 in the second week in January.

Although I've never owned any of his albums, I've been a fan of his music since I first heard it on a progressive-rock station in New York City in the early 1970s. Bowie stood out with his flamboyant glam-rock persona Ziggy Stardut, with heavy makeup, androgynous wardrobe, and flaming orange hair piled high on top of his head. I found the "Ziggy Stardust..." and "Diamond Dogs" albums captivating, but was turned off by his later success with more the mainstream pop effort "Young Americans."

Changing course again, Bowie then turned to a more minimalist approach with "Low" and "Heroes," which often reminded me of his work from the '70s updated for a new decade and greater maturity as an artist. I liked his "Scary Monsters" album too, and loved his single with Queen, "Under Pressure."

Another turnaround then occurred, and though "Let's Dance" was wildly successful on the charts, I was disappointed with its straightahead pop approach, which I found pretty middle of the road and unimaginative.

I lost track of Bowie's music after that, never really listening to the Tin Machine albums or getting into his "Earthling" and "Heathen" CDs. I thought maybe Bowie just wasn't of interest to me anymore. But I immediately loved his 2003 CD "Reality" the first time I heard it. Bowie had heart attack during his 2004 tour to support that album, but has recovered and is making music again.

So happy birthday, David Robert Jones. Thanks for all the great music; I hope you'll be creating more of it for many years to come.

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