Thursday, April 23, 2009

David Bowie Biography

David Bowie Biography
Birth Name: Hayward-Jones, David Robert
Nick Name: Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust
Date of Birth: 8 January 1947, Brixton, London, England, UK
Height: 5' 10"
Spouse: Iman (6 June 1992 - present); 1 child
Angela Bowie (19 March 1970 - 8 February 1980) (divorced); 1 child
A consummate musical chameleon, David Bowie created a career in the Sixties and Seventies that featured his many guises: folksinger, androgyne, alien, decadent, blue-eyed soul man, modern rock star-each one spawning a league of imitators.
In 1966, after changing his name to David Bowie (after the knife) to avoid confusion with the Monkees' Davy Jones, he recorded three singles for Pye Records, then signed in 1967 with Deram, issuing several singles and The World of David Bowie (most of the songs from that album, and others from that time, are collected on Images).
On these early records, Bowie appears in the singer/songwriter mold; rock star seemed to be just another role for him. American-born Angela Barnett met Bowie in London's Speakeasy and married him on March 20, 1970. After Feathers broke up, Bowie helped start the experimental Beckenham Arts Lab in 1969. Bowie mimed at some T. Rex concerts, and Bolan played guitar on Bowie's "Karma Man" and "The Prettiest Star." Bowie, Visconti, guitarist Mick Ronson, and drummer John Cambridge toured briefly as Hype.

Ronson eventually recruited drummer Michael "Woody" Woodmansey, and with Visconti on bass they recorded The Man Who Sold the World, which included "All the Madmen," inspired by Bowie's institutionalized brother, Terry. Hunky Dory (#93, 1972), Bowie's tribute to the New York City of Andy Warhol, the Velvet Underground, and Bob Dylan, included his ostensible theme song, "Changes" (#66, 1972, rereleased 1974, #41).
Bowie started changing his image in late 1971. Enter Ziggy Stardust, Bowie's projection of a doomed messianic rock star. Bowie became Ziggy; Ronson, Woodmansey, and bassist Trevor Bolder became Ziggy's band, the Spiders from Mars.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (#75, 1972) and the rerelease of Man of Words as Space Oddity (#16, 1972) made Bowie the star he was portraying. The live show, with Bowie wearing futuristic costumes, makeup, and bright orange hair (at a time when the rock-star uniform was jeans), was a sensation in London and New York. It took Aladdin Sane (#17, 1973) to break Bowie in the U.S. Bolan and other British glitter-rock performers barely made the Atlantic crossing, but Bowie emerged a star. Meanwhile, Bowie worked on a musical adaptation of George Orwell's 1984, but was denied the rights by Orwell's widow. Midway though the tour, Bowie entered Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios (the then-current capital of black music) and recorded the tracks that would become Young Americans (#9, 1975). David Live (#8, 1974), also recorded in Philadelphia, chronicles this incarnation.
"Fame," cowritten by Bowie, John Lennon, and Alomar, was Bowie's first American #1 (1975). Bowie moved to Los Angeles and became a fixture of American pop culture. Station to Station (#3, 1976), another album of "plastic soul" recorded with the Young Americans band, portrayed Bowie as the Thin White Duke (also the title of his unpublished autobiography). His highest charting album, it contained his second Top Ten Single, "Golden Years" (#10, 1975).
Bowie complained life had become predictable and left Los Angeles. Bowie revitalized Iggy Pop's career by producing The Idiot and Lust for Life (both 1977) and toured Europe and America unannounced as Pop's pianist. A second live album, Stage (#44, 1978), was recorded on the U.S. leg of the tour. Bowie settled in New York to record the paranoiac Scary Monsters (#12, 1980), updating "Space Oddity" in "Ashes to Ashes." After Scary Monsters, Bowie turned his attention away from his recording career. Let's Dance (#4, 1983), his first album in three years, returned him to the top of the charts. Produced by Nile Rodgers with Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar, the album was a slick revision of Bowie's soul-man posture. Bowie's career seemed to be revitalized.
Without Nile Rodgers' production savvy, Bowie's material sounded increasingly forced and hollow; his attention alternated between albums and film roles. Bowie and Mick Jagger dueted on a cover of Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street" (#7, 1985) for Live Aid. Bowie hit the road with another stadium extravaganza, the Glass Spiders tour; it was recorded for an ABC-TV special.
Bowie had scarcely better luck in his acting career: Into the Night (1985), Absolute Beginners (1986) (a Julien Temple musical featuring some Bowie songs), Labyrinth (1986), The Linguini Incident (1992), and Twin Peaks -- Fire Walk with Me (1992) were neither critical nor commercial successes.
Bowie set about reissuing his earlier albums on CD. Sound + Vision (#97, 1989), a greatest-hits collection, revived interest in Bowie's career; the set list for the accompanying tour was partially based on fan response to special phone lines requesting favorite Bowie songs. Bowie claimed it would be the last time he performed those songs live. Later reissues, with previously unreleased bonus tracks, brought the Ziggy-era Bowie back onto the charts.
Bowie formed Tin Machine in 1989. The band included Bowie discovery Reeves Gabrels on guitar and Hunt and Tony Sales, who had worked with Bowie on Iggy Pop's Lust for Life album and tour in the Seventies. Although Bowie claimed that the band was a democracy, Tin Machine was perceived as Bowie's next project. In 1992 Bowie married Somalian supermodel Iman.

Born David Robert Jones, January 8, 1947, London, England
1967 -- The World of David Bowie (Deram, U.K.)
1970 -- Man of Words, Man of Music (Mercury); The Man Who Sold the World
1971 -- Hunky Dory (RCA)
1972 -- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
1973 -- Aladdin Sane; Pin Ups; Images 1966-67 (London)
1974 -- Diamond Dogs (RCA); David Live
1975 -- Young Americans
1976 -- Station to Station; ChangesOneBowie
1977 -- Low; "Heroes"
1978 -- Stage
1979 -- Lodger
1980 -- Scary Monsters
1981 -- ChangesTwoBowie; Christiane F soundtrack
1982 -- Cat People soundtrack; Baal
1983 -- Let's Dance (EMI); Golden Years (RCA); Ziggy Stardust/The Motion Picture
1984 -- Fame and Fashion; Tonight (EMI)
1987 -- Never Let Me Down
1989 -- Sound + Vision (Rykodisc)
1990 -- ChangesBowie
1993 -- Black Tie White Noise (Savage)
1994 -- Sound + Vision with CD-ROM (Rykodisc) Tin Machine: (Formed 1989, Switzerland: Bowie; Reeves Gabrels [b. June 4, 1956, Staten Island, N.Y.], gtr.; Hunt Sales [b. Mar. 2, 1954, Detroit, Mich.], drums; Tony Sales [b. Sep. 26, 1951, Cleveland, Ohio], bass)
1989 -- Tin Machine (EMI)
1991 -- Tin Machine II (Victory)

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