Tracks of 2016: #1 David Bowie

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So, did we all survive the “Bowie Prom” then? More like a panic attack than a tribute, I thought, a touch too over-eager and over-wrought, curated as though by the “Grim Up North London” comic strip. “Look, we get Bowie, see how we get him, we’ve booked a rapper and Laura Mvula!”

David Bowie died in January of this year. I remember the Facebook post written by a friend on the day Bowie’s death was confirmed: forever the showman, his death was a final act of stagecraft, poof! in a flash of smoke. It was as though every last move had been expertly co-ordinated.  “Look up here, I’m in heaven,” may have been intended as an obvious clue, perhaps not. You could hear the sheer weight of “oooh of course!” from the moment his death was confirmed. Hidden in plain sight, one final flourish of cryptic genius.

I have no great “how were you introduced to Bowie” story. His music seemed already woven into the background of life. I did my David Bowie revision in the same period most people do theirs, the formative teenage years, and yes thank you very much, as a child who turned teenaged in the 1990s, I actually didn’t mind “Bowie goes drum and bass.”

Here we are then, however, with Bowie in the past tense, and as the years pass there will be more boxsets, more television specials, blog long-reads, vital albums to revisit.  That’s how he should be remembered; perhaps not by good intentioned, badly realised ‘Proms’

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