Two years gone: Celebrate David Bowie

Can you believe it’s been two years since David Bowie passed away?

Bowie was the king of media in many forms. A lot has been published since he died that genuinely and tastefully celebrates his life and influence on fashion, music and freedom of the spirit. Here is just a taste:

Cover of BowieBowie

This book is by Pat Gilbert, who has also covered The Clash. Its an in-depth analysis of Bowie’s music; his influence on genres such as glam and punk rock, reinvention of his image and stagecraft itself. Richly balanced with concert and backstage images, posters and tickets.

Bowie Unseen

Gerald Fearnley is the brother of a bandmate from Bowie’s early days. He shot the sleeve images for his first album, David Bowie, in 1967. Fearnley’s portraits are published here for the first time, perhaps capturing the transformation from David Jones to Bowie.

Cover of David Bowie: a lifeDavid Bowie

Dylan Jones is a well respected biographer with quite a list of names behind him. In this biography includes interviews with around 180 people who knew, loved and worked with him. Many of these tales have never been told.

When Ziggy Played the Marquee

This book captures Bowie’s last performance as Ziggy Stardust, at the Marquee Club in Soho. The year was 1973. Celebrated photographer Terry O’Neill caught the behind stage action as well as the show. At the time, nobody knew that this was to be Ziggy’s last show.

Cover of The age of BowieThe Age of Bowie

Bowie didn’t follow fashion, he created it. This book looks at how David Bowie’s freedom of expression influenced society; breaking down gender barriers in fashion, the way he perceived the world could be, and especially ways he could make music – ultimately becoming a defining figure of his age.

Cover of Bowie A to ZBowie A to Z

One for the scrapbook keeper. I admit I had one once! Chock full of facts from Aladdin Sane to Z for Ziggy Stardust.

Bowie on CD – Try this list for some albums you might not have heard before. Notable are BRIT Awards 2017 and the New York stage show of Lazarus.

What’s your favourite David Bowie album?

My first and still firm favourite album is 1980’s Scary Monsters.

The industrial sound of this album reflected post punk experimentation, also used by the Cure in Seventeen Seconds. Fashion, of course, broke down barriers and sales records.

The album that gets played the most at my place is Changes Two. Some of the best songs on that one, from John, I’m only Dancing, to Wild is the Wind.

My personal favourite. A cover of Nina Simone’s also beautiful version.

Don’t feel sad on the 10th January. Get yourself some great Bowie media, light a candle and celebrate the Chameleon. Or Love the Alien?

More Bowie

David Bowie : The Man Who Stole the World DVD

On 10 January 2016 David Bowie died, leaving us his last album, Blackstar. The world as we knew it changed forever.

The Man Who Stole The World DVD is a tribute to the man “who stole the world and put it in a better place”, according to the narrator. The short documentary, the first to be released since his death, covers David Bowie’s life and music, looking at what made his albums so ground breaking; changing people’s perceptions of themselves, music and society.

I was worried, as a huge fan, that it would be corny and sensational. It isn’t. This is a moving account of the man’s life and incredible creativity. The DVD includes interviews with people who had a business or personal relationship with him, such as English DJ Paul Gambaccini and former NME photographer, Kevin Cummins. Some of the footage is new, and some you may have seen before.

Merry Christmas, David Bowie Fans

Christmas Tree, Central Library Manchester (Angel made by Kelly Davies)
Christmas Tree, Central Library Manchester (Angel made by Kelly Davies)

More music resources

Farewell to the Thin White Duke

David BowieDavid Bowie StyleThe Complete David BowieThe Man Who Sold the WorldBowieBowie on BowieStarmanWhen Ziggy Played GuitarMoonage Daydream

Read interviews with David Bowie and listen to the 1999 Interview by Chris Roberts at Rock Back Pages

Ground Control to Major Tom

Book cover of An Astronaut's guide to lifeGround Control to Major Tom…Ground Control to Major Tom…some sentences are impossible to say just once and thanks to David Bowie, Ground Control to Major Tom is one of them.

David Bowie isn’t the reason that song has been in my head recently though, it’s all thanks to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

Chris’s performances of songs in the International Space Station, beamed back to Earth culminated in a performance of Space Oddity in May 2013. Now he has released his autobiography – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything.

Chris mixes details of life on the International Space Station and his training as an astronaut with life lessons he believes have helped him achieve success in life and space.

Book cover of postcards from spaceThere has also been a simplified version of his biography published for kids – Postcards from space, which features a lot of beautiful photographs taken by Chris while he was in space.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth was featured in our October Science and Nature Newsletter, along with a lot of other great space reads including Neil deGrasse Tyson and Red Rover: inside the story of robotic space exploration.