- 09:46 PM, Feb 09
He is the man who elevated his music to what can only be described as an art form. Driven by an entirely deeper dynamic than most pop artists, David Bowie inhabited a very special world of extraordinary sounds and endless vision. Unwilling to stay on the treadmill of rock legend and avoiding the descent into ever demeaning and decreasing circles of cliche, Bowie wrote and performed what he wanted, when he wanted.
David Robert Jones was born in Brixton on January 8, 1947. At age thirteen, inspired by the jazz of the London West End, he picked up the saxophone and called up Ronnie Ross for lessons. Early bands he played with, The Kon-Rads, The King Bees, the Mannish Boys and the Lower Third, provided him with an introduction into the showy world of pop and mod, and by 1966 he was David Bowie, with long hair and aspirations of stardom rustling about his head.
It was not until 1969 that the splash onto the charts would begin, with the legendary "Space Oddity" which peaked at No. 5 in the U.K. Amidst his musical wanderings in the late 60s, he experimented with mixed media, cinema, mime, Tibetan Buddhism, acting and love. The album, originally titled "David Bowie" then subsequently "Man of Words, Man of Music", paid homage to all the influences of the London artistic scene.
" The Man Who Sold the World" came next. It was released by Mercury in April 1971 to minimal fanfare and Bowie took his first trip to the United States to promote it that spring. In May of the same year, Duncan Zowie Haywood Bowie was born to David and his then-wife Angela.
RCA was the next label to sign Bowie, and after a trip to America to complete the legalities, he returned to London to record two albums nearly back to back. "Hunky Dory" was built from a six-song demo that had enticed the label to sign him and featured "Changes" and "Life on Mars". Almost immediately, it was followed up by the instant classic "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars".
1972 was certainly the year that Bowie began to get a glimpse of the power of pop. Previewed in London that spring, his rock-n-roll creation Ziggy Stardust staged one of the most spectacular and innovative live shows to date, and the craze that followed was the