REUTERS - Here is a look at British singer David Bowie’s career and some of his greatest hits as he launches his first new single and album in 10 years:
* During the 1960s David Bowie was part of various bands from whose shadows he emerged as a solo singer-songwriter. “Space Oddity”, the science-fiction single marked the real beginning of his career, reached the Top Ten in Britain in 1969 but did not become an American radio staple until some years later, though Bowie had timed its original release to coincide with the Apollo 11 Moon mission.
* His first major album, “The Man Who Sold the World” (1970), a hybrid of folk, art rock, and heavy metal, did not turn him into a household name. Not until “Hunky Dory” (1971) did he hit on the notion of presenting his chameleon-like stage persona as an identity rather than the lack of one.
* His rock-star fantasy “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” (1972) was closely followed by “Diamond Dogs” (1974) and the disco romanticism of “Young Americans” (1975) released less than a year apart. By 1977 Bowie had ditched his idiosyncratic version of the mainstream for the avant-garde austerities of “Low”, a collaboration in Berlin with Brian Eno. As music, Low and its sequels, “Heroes” (1977) and “Lodger” (1979), would prove to be some of Bowie’s most influential and lasting, serving as a blueprint for a later generation of techno-rock.
* In the 1980s, Bowie delivered “Scary Monsters” (1980) and “Let’s Dance” (1983), which produced three American Top 20 hits.
* Later albums “Never Let Me Down” (1987) and “Outside” from 1995 appeared just before Bowie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. His last album was “Reality” in 2003.
“Where Are We Now?”, produced by his long-term collaborator Tony Visconti, is the new single which will be part of the album “The Next Day” due out in March.
Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit