Today David Robert Jones, known to his fans as David Bowie, celebrated his 65th birthday
Here’s a quick recap of some of the master craftsman’s high and lows of his many decades in showbiz
Bowie’s breakthrough came in the form of ‘Space Oddity’ a top 5 hit which was released to coincide with the Apollo 11 launch in 1969
David had always wanted to go into space and in 1971 he finally got his chance. ‘Life on Mars’ was later made into a BBC TV show starring John Simm as David Bowie.
Although they’re wrong, a lot of older people think Bowie’s best work was when he dressed up as a gay alien called Ziggy Stardust and did glam rock. Anyway it was still good and here he is performing ‘Suffragette City’ in Aylesbury in 1972
Bowie waved goodbye to England and glam rock, moved to America and started to realise black music was where it was at. After hanging out with John Lennon in New York one week, he recorded ‘Fame’
It was during this period that Bowie was high as a kite, locking himself away in darkened hotel rooms in between recording and doing weird things. Here he is slightly drunk miming to ‘Golden Years’ on the legendary American TV show ‘Soul Train’ in 1975
The Berlin Trilogy of ‘Low’, ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lodger’ saw Bowie at a creative peak. A massive hangover that included krautrock inspired instrumentals like ‘Speed of Life’ and arguably his best ever song ‘Heroes’. He also hooked up with Iggy Pop for the album ‘The Idiot’, an album Ian Curtis apparently committed suicide to.
In 1977 Bowie was surprised to be asked to duet with Bing Crosby. Bing, perhaps unaware of Bowie’s wild antics praised him as a “clean-cut kid”. He promptly passed away a month later
Bowie started to miss his flamboyant costumes as the 1980’s drew closer and decided to dress up as a clown for his single ‘Ashes to Ashes’. His plan worked and it got to number one, the first phase of David’s transition from cult star to world domination…
Bowie embraced the 80’s and the 80’s embraced him. He scored another number one with ‘Under Pressure’ with Queen and his album ‘Let’s Dance’ sold shed loads. However as the stadiums filled and the money rolled in the music gradually went downhill as the decade progressed. Notably some awful duets with Tina Turner and Mick Jagger
He did however make the film ‘Labyrinth’ with Jim Henson and some friends
David had always liked to experiment with different musical styles however his dabble with drum and bass in the late 90’s was probably his most ambitious
Sadly in 2004 Bowie suffered heart problems while on tour in Germany. He returned on stage a year later with the Arcade Fire however has vastly reduced his output since