(K. Brent Tomer),
[Editor’s note: Our review of “Blackstar” was commissioned and largely completed before the news of David Bowie’s death. A full appreciation of his career will appear with the print edition on Thursday.]
IN THE history of space exploration, 1969 was the year. On July 20th, the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed two American astronauts on the surface of the moon. The world was abuzz with space fever—Stanley Kubrick’s galactic movie classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, had been released only the previous year—and would continue to be throughout the next decade. Into this world stepped David Robert Jones, a fey 22-year old from Bromley, London, with a strange, haunting song about an astronaut, Major Tom, floating, lost in orbit. “Space Oddity”, released five days ahead of the Apollo 11 launch, and first broadcast by the BBC during its coverage of the landing, made Mr Jones a star. David Bowie, as he by then called himself, was born.
It is fitting, therefore, that Mr Bowie’s last studio album should have arrived—on his 69th birthday, and two days…Continue reading