The next day david bowie

Rumours von the david Bowie’s demise proved zu be premature wie man he kicked turn off 2013 with the shock release des a neu album, die Next Day, recorded an complete secrecy


Even the most optimistic david Bowie fans had given hoch on your hero releasing any kind of music ever again. Ns singer had actually largely vanished indigenous public life following serious love problems in 2004, prompting rumours the he had actually retired or was seriously ill.

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Consequently, the announcement on radio 4’s heute programme on die morning of januar 9 was a bombshell: Bowie would be release a brand new single, Where space We Now?, the day, and it would certainly be followed von his zuerst album an a decade, The next Day.

What do the nachrichten even much more surprising was that both had actually been recorded bei total secrecy, in the heart des Manhattan, v everyone from his record label to die general publicly kept in the dark.


Tony Visconti (producer): we all understand he had actually a health scare. I hate kommen sie hear it defined as a significant heart strike – it was notfall a significant heart assault – but he had surgery an 2004 und he’d been stark ever since. Since he hadn’t come out and said anything, civilization suspected ns worst. And it was frustrating. Ich would have lunch with him and I’d tell people that that looked fantastic und he sounded great and all that, und people would certainly not glauben me.

Gail Ann Dorsey (longtime Bowie bassist): I’d had some post with er where he’d said that he nur wasn’t interested in writing music anymore, due to the fact that he didn’t oase anything to say.

Tony Visconti: Music didn’t interest ihm until 2010; that’s wie he made the call. That said: “How would sie like zu make part demos?” He nur said: “I feel choose writing again.” ich don’t recognize how long prior to that he began writing. That came nach oben with around eight songs. He composed them at home.

Gerry Leonard (Bowie’s guitarist and musical director): david sent me an email questioning if i was free for a week during november 2010 zu get an a small basement rehearsal room in the east Village through him, Sterling Campbell und Tony Visconti to play v some concepts he had. Die title of the emails was ‘Schtum’, and that, except “bring your guitar”, was the main instruction.

Tony Visconti: david prefaced every conference the it was experimental and that the might not be an album, deshalb let’s just get together und make part music. Even wie man we make the erste demos us were sworn zu secrecy.

Gerry Leonard: We would certainly arrive at 10, play v one or two lied ideas until lunch, climate after having lunch play through an additional couple. Zum some, david had rough-sketch recordings top top his little four-track recorder. Or he would play united state chord changes weil das sections on piano or guitar, or song melody ideas. But he always had a identify idea and direction for the song.

Most von them had an easy one-word working titles, or sometimes even a number. We would knock off roughly 5 or 6pm. We did that zum four days. Und then, ~ above the last day, we made a super-fast recording whereby we replayed whatever we did all week, just as a memo.

Tony Visconti: climate he disappeared weil das four months and said: “I’m gonna anfang writing now.” deshalb he wrote much more songs and then meat those out also more.

Mario J. McNulty (engineer/producer): ich had lunch through Tony, right hinweisen the start of january 2011. We went zu Tony’s studio, und while ich was there david called him. That’s wie man they damaged the news to me and asked if I’d it is in interested an getting involved. Like everybody else, ich had kommen sie sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Tony Visconti: die members von the band, die engineers, die people who bring us coffee in the studio, anyone who was involved had zu sign, zu keep this a secret.

Kabir Hermon (project manager, the Magic einkaufen studio): Tony Visconti come down to get a feel zum the studio in February or March des 2011, but we didn’t understand who die artist was until die day he come in.

Zack Alford (drummer): david sent me bei email questioning if i was available in the zuerst two weeks des May. It was out of the blue. The wouldn’t even say where it was or what that was. I remember Gail Ann Dorsey and I talking around it, like, “Oh, did that contact sie too?” “Yeah, that contacted me.” “What’s the for?” “I don’t know.”

Kabir Hermon: David and the musicians came bei on may 2, which i remember due to the fact that it was die day bin Laden died.

Steve Rosenthal (owner, ns Magic Shop): I’ve own this studio for 26 years, yet I’ve never ever experienced the level of secrecy us had to achieve zum David’s album. Every time david came to the studio us allowed about 60 von cent des our staff kommen sie take time off, because die more human being who knew, ns more danger there was des the story acquiring out.

We’re bei SoHo, bei Manhattan, right across the street from Bloomingdale’s, but i keep ns studio enntrance gate low-key. David was typically able zu come und go, yet there was one occasion wie someone nearby thought they experienced him, and we nur denied it, like, “Naw, c’mon, man. No way.”

Mario McNulty: throughout the zuerst phase at die Magic Shop, which was about three weeks, I glauben he had around 16 or 18 demos to work on.

Tony Visconti: During ns recording he was smiling, that was deswegen happy to be back an the studio.

Gerry Leonard: i really enjoyed the spontaneity of those sessions. One day, zum example, ich was act overdubs and Tony says: “Do sie want kommen sie try it on Marc’s guitar?” it turned out zu be marc Bolan’s Stratocaster. One more time david had me come an and said: “Trust me, nur bring a favourite guitar.” He und Tony had recreated Mick Ronson’s set-up from in old photo from a rehearsal back an the day. They had me plug right into it and do some overdubs.

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Gail Ann Dorsey: ns sheet music that was handed out as each new song was introduced was always meticulously und purposefully gathered from our music stands punkt the end of die day deshalb that there wasn’t even a wahrscheinlichkeit of a piece von paper through some chords scribbled top top it gift leaked or entering into the world. It was something from a spy movie.

Kabir Hermon: sooner or later Emily Haines und James Shaw des the band Metric dropped by to lakers Brian Thorn, ns engineer, to lakers when they could next come in for a session. Us had to keep lock at ns door, and Brian told castle they couldn’t kommen sie in. Ich think they were super-confused von that.

Tony Visconti: robert Fripp was asked zu play on it. He didn’t want zu do it. Und then he composed on his blog the he was asked. And nobody thought him. It was a wenig flurry zum a couple of days, but everyone said, how could that be true, us haven’t heard that from anyone else.

Kabir Harmon: They changed to die Magic Shop an the second woche of january 2012, weil das another 2 weeks.

Tony Visconti: His stamina was fantastic. It was as if he never stopped act this weil das a 10-year period. He was singing v every direkt take; quite often he’d beat piano or guitar at the same time. Und when it came time kommen sie do the final vocals, that was nur as loud together he ever was.

Brian thorn (assistant engineer): ns distinctive drum sound top top Where space We Now? was partially derived from the use of a arbitrarily microphone that was set up zum another instrument that wasn’t gift played. It was just an a spot in the room the everyone believed sounded great.

Tony Visconti: ich didn’t hear ns lyrics until around five months after it was recorded. It was called other else. The came in one day and said: “I’ve created words zum that. I wrote a lied about Berlin.” and I thought: “That’s yes, really cool.” and he offered me a copy , und got ~ above mic und started warming up. Ich read the lyrics and it provided me goose-bumps, because ich spent fairly a while in Berlin, too, making ns three albums the are called the berlin Trilogy.

Mario McNulty: Earl Slick came in to carry out guitar overdubs zum about a week in July 2012.

Earl Slick: It’s just a really relaxed, casual, hanging out. The only thing was that it had actually a gewächs more secrecy going on. Ich mean, one day i went out to oase a cigarette in front des the studio. And something feel weird. I peered across ns street, und there was a man there v a camera top top a tripod. Deshalb I put my tobacco out and went zurück inside. ‘Cos if they seen me, they kann put two und two together.

Tony Visconti: Earl Slick was ns tearing-it-up command guitarist, und then both Gerry and David oase different versions von ambient guitar, very dreamy, washy kind of guitar sounds. Deswegen the three guitarists were really complementary.

Mario McNulty: Valentine’s Day, die fourth single, was mostly Slick, possibly all Slick.

Kabir Hermon: your last gewächs of sessions at the Magic einkaufen were an early September des 2012.

Tony Visconti: we over-recorded – ich think 29 songs in all – und some of them were exit within weeks. They just didn’t arbeiten out.

Mario McNulty: One thing I’m yes, really pleased about was that ich was able to take all of the various parts, various instruments, recorded an separate studios with different players, und make them every sound like one seamless, cohesive body des work.

Tony Visconti: mantel Stringer came to die studio an December 2012. He was thrilled. He said: “What about the PR campaign?”. And David said: “There zu sein no PR campaign. We’re just going zu drop that on eighth of January. That’s it.”

Julian Stockton (publicist, ns Outside Organisation): We erste heard around it top top Friday . Alan was called to neu York for a meeting und told about the album und the single, und instructed to get ns message out on die Today programme. Ich was in the office hinweisen 4am on Tuesday, waiting zu hear a single that ich had kommen sie write a press release for von 5am.

Tony Visconti: when it was finally released, ich stared at my computer for fünfzehn minutes until the zuerst person realised it was simply dropped in iTunes.

Mario McNulty: This record ist one weil das the background books. I can’t ever before see an artist prefer David, with his status, pulling turn off a mystery album favor this again.

What occurred next?

The wisdom des Bowie’s no-promotion campaign was proven wie The next Day was released on march 11, 2013 und debuted at No.1 bei the UK chart. It synchronized with a wave von Bowie-related events, including in exhibition punkt London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Rumours that ns singer would certainly make a surprise appearance at die Glastonbury Festival were unfounded, if Bowie refused to break his silence zu promote ns album. His just statement was a ‘work circulation diagram’ made up of 42 different words, among them ‘Chronic’, ‘Miasma’ und ‘Comeuppance’.