Bowie’s health is great – and his album rocks
Master of his own life: Bowie in the new video
David Bowie producer Tony Visconti says surprise album The Next Day is a real rock record – despite the slow, introverted nature of first single Where Are We Now?
The icon astonished fans by releasing the new track and details of the full-length work on his 66th birthday yesterday. Many believed he’d retired from making music. It had also been rumoured that his health was failing after he suffered a heart attack in 2004, then ended public appearances two years later.
But Visconti, who’s now worked with Bowie on 13 releases, tells the BBC: “We all know he had a health scare in 2004. But David is extremely healthy. He’s rosy-cheeked, he smiles a lot.
“He still has that power in his voice – when he starts singing I have to back off and leave him in front of a microphone.”
Where Are We Now? harks back to Bowie’s Berlin era in a downbeat fashion. Visconti admits the choice of single was a surprise to him: “It’s the only track that goes this much inward. I thought, ‘Why is David coming out with this very slow, albeit beautiful, ballad? He should come back with a bang.’
“But he’s master of his own life. I think it was a very smart move. The next thing you hear from him is going to be quite different.”
Describing The Next Day as a mix of “classic Bowie and innovated Bowie,” the producer explains it was recorded over two years. “We nener spent more than two to three weeks at a time. Usually we’d work on one or two songs in an afternoon and whip them into shape so they’d sound like great rock tracks.”
The Next Day is released on March 11.