By now you have heard the news: David Bowie is dead.
It is a day to put all your favorites on repeat—Hunky Dory, Low, Ziggy Stardust, even Let’s Dance if that’s your poison. But give this a watch as well: “Blackstar,” the title track of what turns out to be Bowie’s final album, released on Friday, his 69th birthday. The album is without a doubt a conscious farewell; his death came at the end of an 18-month battle with cancer.
“His death was no different from his life – a work of Art,” producer Tony Visconti wrote on his Facebook page. “He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.”
Here’s the 10-minute video of “Blackstar”—a dark saga that pulls in a dead spaceman, a girl with a tail, and dancing, crucified scarecrows—posted to YouTube on November 19.
We fudged the title of this post a bit—there’s a video off the album that came out after “Blackstar,” and is more explicitly about death. It’s “Lazarus,” a song that starts “Look up here, I’m in heaven.” Bowie spends most of the video in a hospital bed. It’s moving, but doesn’t have the characters or storytelling that make “Blackstar” so good. Here it is: