Bowie’s last album was ‘parting gift’ for fans, in carefully planned finale

Bowie’s last album was ‘parting gift’ for fans, in carefully planned finale

The producer of Blackstar confirms Bowie had planned his poignant final message, and videos and lyrics show how he approached his death

David Bowie‘s final record was a carefully-orchestrated farewell to his fans, his producer has confirmed.

Lazarus, released on his 69th birthday just two days before his death, opens with the lyrics: “Look up here, I’m in Heaven!”

Its video, which will be viewed in a very different light by millions of fans today, features the musician in a hospital bed, and finishes with him retreating in to a dark closet.

David Bowie in the video for BlackstarDavid Bowie in the video for Blackstar

Tony Visconti, the producer who worked with Bowie to complete his final album, has released a statement saying it was deliberately created and timed as a “parting gift” for his fans.

In a statement on his Facebook page, he said: “He always did what he wanted to do. 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.

David Bowie performs in Paris in 2002David Bowie performing in Paris in 2002  Photo: EPA PHOTO AFP/BERTRAND GUAY

“For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

Visconti has previously spoken of creating the album, which was recorded in just three sessions over the course of three months at the beginning of 2015.

It now appears the singer and those closest to him arranged its release at the end of his life, after 18 months of living with cancer.

David Bowie applying his Ziggy Stardust makeup in May 1973

Music videos for Blackstar and Lazarus both feature a skull motif, with lyrics that will now be read and re-read by fans.

'Blackstar' video‘Blackstar’  Photo: David Bowie/Youtube

The title of Lazarus refers to the biblical character who was raised from the dead four days after he died by Jesus.

'Blackstar'‘Blackstar’  Photo: David Bowie/Youtube

The singer’s 25th studio album, which features seven tracks, was the first that did not feature his photo on the cover but instead a black star.

The Telegraph has already given the album five stars, calling it “extraordinary”.

'Lazarus'‘Lazarus’  Photo: David Bowie/Youtube

The tracks include:

Blackstar:

Something happened on the day he died

Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside

Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried

(I’m a blackstar, I’m a blackstar)

Look up here, I’m in Heaven!

I’ve got scars that can’t be seen

I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen,

Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I’m in danger!

I’ve got nothing left to lose

I’m so high, it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cellphone down below

Ain’t that just like me?!

By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass

This way or no way

You know I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Now, ain’t that just like me?

Oh, I’ll be free

Just like that bluebird

Oh, I’ll be free

Ain’t that just like me?

Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime):

Sue

The clinic called

The x-ray’s fine

I brought you home

I just said home

Sue, you said you want it written

Sue, the virgin on your stone

For your grave

Why too dark to speak the words?

For, I know that you have a son

Oh, folly, Sue

I Can’t Give Everything Away:

I know something is very wrong

The pulse returns the prodigal sons

The blackout hearts, the flowered news

With skull designs upon my shoes

‘Tis A Pity She Was A Whore:

Girl Loves Me:

Dollar Days:

 

 

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