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David Bowie

Birth Date: January 8 1947
Birth Place: N/A

Primarily a performer widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of modern times. Also an accomplished painter, art critic and mime artist, and has published works of fiction. David Bowie is widely regarded as one of the most influential writer of pop music. Born 'David Jones' he changed his name to Bowie in the 60's, to avoid confusion with the then well-known Davy Jones (lead singer of the Monkees). He achieved his commercial breakthrough in 1969 with the song Space Oddity, which was released at the time of the moon landing. Despite the fact that the literal meaning of the lyrics relates to an astronaut who is lost in space, this song was used by the BBC in their coverage of the moon landing, and this helped it become such a success. The album which followed Space Oddity and the two which followed. He made the first of many successful songs in 1972 with Ziggy Stardust, a concept album about a space-age rock star. This album was followed by others in a similar vein, rock albums built around a central character and concerned with futuristic themes of Armageddon, gender dysfunction/confusion, as well as more contemporary themes such as the destructiveness of success and fame, and the dangers inherent in star worship. This produced his first number one hit in the US, Fame. He also appeared in his first major film, The Man Who Fell To Earth. With his different-colored eyes and skeletal frame, he certainly looked the part of an alien. The following year, he released Station to Station, containing some of the material he had written for the soundtrack to this film (which was not used). Finally settling in Berlin, where he changed musical direction again and recorded three of the most influential albums of all time, an electronic trilogy with Brian Eno Low, Heroes and Lodger. Towards the end of the 70's, he recorded the album many of his fans consider his best, the Japanese-influenced Scary Monsters, in 1980. Around this time, he played the Elephant Man, to considerable acclaim. The next few years saw something of a drop-off in his musical output as his acting career flourished, culminating in his acclaimed performance in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. In 1983, he recorded Let's Dance, an album which proved an unexpected massive commercial success, and produced his second number 1 hit single in the US. The tour which followed, Serious Moonlight, was his most successful ever. Faced with this success on a massive scale, Bowie apparently attempted to 'repeat the formula' in the next two albums, with less success. Finally, in the late 80's, he turned his back on commercial success and his solo career, forming the hard rock band, Tin Machine, who had a deliberate limited appeal. By now, his acting career was in decline. After the comparative failure of Labyrinth, the movie industry appears to have decided that Bowie was not a sufficient name to be a lead actor in a major movie, and since that date, most of his roles have been cameos. He himself also seems to have lost interest in movie acting. Tin Machine toured extensively and released two albums, with little critical or commercial success. In 1992, Bowie again changed direction and re-launched his solo career with Black Tie White Noise, a `wedding' album inspired by his recent marriage to Iman. To date, the 90's have been kinder to Bowie than the late 80's. He has released three albums to considerable critical acclaim and reasonable commercial success. In 1995, he renewed his working relationship with Brian Eno to record 1. Outside. This album has now taken its place with his classic albums. In a career spanning four decades, Bowie has influenced the course of popular music several times and influenced several generations of musicians. His promotional videos in the 70's and 80's are regarded as ground-breaking, and as a live concert act, he is regarded as the most theatrical of them all.
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