I listened to five David Bowie albums today.
I listened to five David Bowie albums today because this morning, I learnt some news that has - inexplicably - devastated me more than I thought it ever would.
I listened to Let's Dance, because that guitar slide into muted strings, that cover version of his mate Iggy Pop's song about an infatuation with a beautiful Vietnamese woman, and that the build-up and release of brass and a Nile Rodgers guitar line...because that is how you do a 1-2-3.
I listened to Blackstar, because it was released only last Friday, on the Thin White Duke's 69th birthday. And to be honest, I'd be listening to it all weekend. To the beloved saxophone, to its ethereal opening track, to an album invoking sheer nowness in production. "Lazarus" will seem hauntingly prophetic forever.
I listened to Hunky Dory, because that was the album I was told to 'start on' after my love for Bowie had blossomed at David Bowie Is..., the singer/songwriter/genius' show at the V&A. (When I was seven or eight, I recall hearing "Changes" around the house. I remember getting pissed off - or as pissed off as a child whose only conscious foray into music at this point had been the (fucking) Spice Girls, Discotheque, Chumbawumba, and (fucking) "Wonderwall" - at the fact that this 'old man' was stammering the word 'Changes' and getting away with it.) The topsy turvy "Oh! You Pretty Things" and effortless "Life On Mars?" are firm favourites from his catalogue - the latter being one of the best songs of all time.
I listened to The Next Day, because it was the first full-length album of The Goblin King*'s that I'd ever listened to. When he shocked the world with a release that completely and unutterably came out of the stratosphere, the lead single - a reflective, piano-led ballad with a (suitably) wacky video - "Where Are We Now?" put forward the same question I had been asking myself. Much like Bowie was in Berlin, 'walking the dead', I was in London, a sheep, working unpaid job following unpaid job. And Bowie spoke to me. He spoke to me. It mattered to me, and only to me. And like the song, the moment I knew, I knew I knew.
I listened to Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) for two reasons: because "Fashion" proves that this man has had as much influence on what people wear as what they listen to; and quite simple because Ziggy Stardust's 'last great album' (according to some) contains "Ashes to Ashes". Because sometimes, poignancy is obvious.
I listened to five David Bowie albums today. And I don't feel the same anymore.
*I can do a stellar impression. I promise. Ask me sometime. I'll do it.