Back on January 8, on his 66th birthday, David Bowie became the man who shocked the world with the surprise release of the single and video "Where Are We Now?," followed in March by The Next Day, his first album in a decade.
The album has been well-received by critics and fans alike, topping the charts in the U.K. and coming in at number two in the U.S. Even fellow rockers like former Oasis leader Noel Gallagher are in awe of the return of the Thin White Duke. He said in a recent radio interview, "I've got to say I was properly staggered about how good [the album] actually was. I don't believe for a second that he's thrown those songs together in two years. It sounds like a record that has been in the making for 10 years."
While there has been plenty written about The Next Day, none of it has come from Bowie himself--until now. At the request of old acquaintance, novelist Rick Moody, Bowie has released a "work flow diagram" for The Next Day by offering 42 words on album. They are:
If that doesn't offer enough clues for you as you listen to The Next Day, you can read Moody's exhaustive 1,700-plus word essay on the album and Bowie's 42 words on The Rumpus. Moody and Bowie's relationship goes a ways back. Bowie once gave him a shout-out at a gig in New York City in the late '90s and he re-recorded Tin Machine's "I Can't Read" for the film adaptation of Moody's acclaimed novel The Ice Storm.
In other Bowie news, he was recently photographed wearing a monk's robe with Gary Oldman on the set of the video for the title track of The Next Day, which will be issued as the album's third single.