When Glenn Frey—singer, songwriter and original member of the multimillion-selling California rock band the Eagles—died this past Monday, I was saddened. But for me, as it surely was for many music fans who came of age in the 1970s and ’80s, Frey’s death was overshadowed by David Bowie’s passing eight days before. Bowie was always a hard act to follow.
Sidelined by a heart attack in 2004, David Bowie took a recuperative decade-long break from recording, returning in 2013 with the very successful The Next Day. It was hailed as a return-to-form rock album, but the haunting, mysterious new Blackstar is something else entirely.
In an industry where reinvention is essential, David Bowie was the master. From mod rocker to glam fashionisto to androgynous astronaut, he tried on personas like so many thrift store coats.
In Opticks, Sir Isaac Newton’s 1704 treatise on light and color, the physicist slips in a radical theory on music: He proposes that, since the solfège contains seven intervals (do re mi fa so la ti) and the rainbow contains seven colors, music and color must vibrate in accordance with each other.
The clock strikes 12. Confetti rains down. Revelers plant the year’s first kiss on their loved ones’ lips. And everyone sings
Should all the Quakers be forgot
And never bought two mines?
Should all the Quinton’s beef, or what
In days of Old Man Time?
On November 27, His Holiness Pope Francis—the “people’s pope” who wooed even atheists during his New York City visit—will take an important step in spreading his ideology of peace and love. Wake Up!, a collaboration between Francis and several musicians and producers, is a studio mash-up of his best speeches and a variety of musical styles, including at least one track that sounds like Pink Floyd reborn as a post-rock band circa 2002.
Today, singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley, who died in 1997, would have been 49 years old. What better way to celebrate his life and work than with word of a new album? On March 16, 2016, Columbia/Legacy Recordings will release a collection of early Buckley tracks. Titled You and I, it will feature mostly covers of songs by such artists as Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin and Sly and the Family Stone—which you can preview right here.