Artist News

Blackstar always intended to be David Bowie’s final album, says producer

By | Published on Tuesday 12 January 2016

David Bowie

Following the announcement of David Bowie’s death yesterday, producer Tony Visconti told fans that he had always known that ‘Blackstar’ was intended to be a final musical offering from his long-time collaborator. The record was released last week, two days before the musician passed away.

“He always did what he wanted to do”, wrote Visconti on Facebook. “And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of art. He made ‘Blackstar’ for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry”.

As the new album was heard in a different light yesterday, many began to draw new meaning from its lyrics. And even more so from the video for second single ‘Lazarus’, also released last week, which added further hints that Bowie had stage managed his death – or at least told the unsuspecting world that it was coming.

Meanwhile, another Bowie producer, Brian Eno, also spoke of his memories and final contact with the musician yesterday.

“David’s death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him”, he said in a statement. “I feel a huge gap now. We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud. Over the last few years – with him living in New York and me in London – our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were Mr Showbiz, Milton Keynes, Rhoda Borrocks and The Duke Of Ear”.

“About a year ago we started talking about ‘Outside’ – the last album we worked on together”, he continued. “We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that”.

He concluded: “I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: ‘Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot’. And it was signed ‘Dawn’. I realise now he was saying goodbye”.

There was, of course, a flood of David Bowie tributes yesterday, from tweets to longer statements, from anecdotes to favourite videos, to a mass sing-along in his birthplace of Brixton. Among the many announcements we all saw, it seems decent to note that Rough Trade has announced that all profits from the sale of Bowie’s albums this month will be donated to Cancer Research.