The Most Inventive Man In Rock Has Died And We’re Worse Off For It

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©HelenGreen – Bowie reinvented himself so often it was as though he was tired of his reflection.

The BIG UGLY C has claimed another soul. Only this time, it belongs to a beautiful alien.

David Bowie aka David Robert Jones, the terribly gifted musician and original multi-hyphenate (sorry, Justin Timberlake), submitted to cancer on Jan 10, 2016. He was 69.

A post on the Brit musician’s Facebook page confirmed the news.

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“Hey, it’s rude to stare at my eyes like that.” ©EMI Records

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

The Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer – who played a humanoid alien in The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) – spent the last five decades leaving indelible marks all over the entertainment world,  while shifting more than 140 million albums at the same time.

 

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Style For Decades: What could have been mistaken for high fashion editorial was actually the sickest mugshot ever of a man arrested for possession of pot in 1976.

I admired Bowie because he wasn’t basic. Mr Starman didn’t look at what was “trending” on the charts before sewing his richly diverse albums together.

The man worked independently of the labels’ commercial influence.  Bowie didn’t ride any bandwagons because he hand-built his own. The famous Capricorn pioneered image reinvention after reinvention, as though he was painfully bored of his reflection. Music today is sorely missing that appetite for artistic risk.

In other words, Bowie’s creative genius would weigh on Justin Bieber’s tattoos and Calvin Klein underwear like an albatross of shame. Eh, Sorry?

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Bowie prepares backstage in Aberdeen, Scotland, on May 16th, 1973 ©Mick Rock for The Rolling Stones

Bowie epitomised what it meant to be a rake. He personified style in the most natural way – by not caring. Throughout the early part of his career, he wore his teasing bisexuality like a badge, gently stirring the controversy like a pro. And because there is no such thing as bad press, he ended up with one of the hottest women on Earth, Somali-American model Iman.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s winning.

We’re merely scratching the surface of his legacy, but here are five Bowie tracks that changed the world.

Let’s Dance (1983)

I like how the song title is also a simple, uplifting instruction. And that guitar solo in the middle is one of the most underrated in rock music.

Heroes (1977)

Covered by everyone from Oasis to Bon Jovi to The Wallflowers, this is one of Bowie’s masterpieces and best-known anthems.

Fame (1974)

Exceptionally funky, progressive and stylish to a fault, the music could have influenced some of Prince’s stuff. What he wore in the video is still sartorial gold today.

Modern Love (1983)

Acidic yet sensitive, with a breezy melody that hints of self-loathing and conflict, this is a dance number that makes you wonder about the meaning of it all.

Thursday’s Child (1999)

One of Bowie’s modern classics, this was inspired by the autobiography of actress Eartha Kitt, when Bowie was 14. It’s a fitting ode to the towering intellect of this man.