It’s been almost four months since David Bowie announced he was returning from semi-retirement and six weeks since The Next Day arrived on shelves, but Bowie has yet to utter a word in public, let alone make any sort of appearance, in support of the album. He is starting to crack just the tiniest bit, though.
The Rumpus writer Rick Moody recently asked him to supply a “work flow diagram” for his new album and Bowie responded with forty-two words. Here they are:
Moody then proceeds to write over 12,000 words using Bowie’s own to break down the album. To put it mildly, the man is a big fan. “The Next Day is the unlikeliest masterpiece of the recent popular song, the best album by an otherwise retired classic rock artist in many, many years,” he writes in his introduction. “It kicks the shit out of that recent spate of albums by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, it is better than anything the Stones did since Tattoo You (which is mainly good because of Sonny Rollins anyhow), better than anything Van Morrison has done since Avalon Sunset, better than anything Dylan has done since Time Out of Mind, better than anything Brian Ferry has done since Mamouna (19 years ago), better than anything Joni Mitchell has done since Mingus, better than anything Jimi Hendrix has done since Electric Ladyland, better than anything Elvis Costello has done since Blood and Chocolate, better than anything Paul McCartney has done since Run Devil Run, better than anything associated with the Who since Who By Numbers.”
Now the bigger question: do these 42 words mean that Bowie is gradually stepping back into the public sphere? Might he give us a few sentences next time? Maybe even a whole paragraph, or possibly an interview? How about some sort of performance? A concert? A tour? We shall see what comes, but these are 42 more words from Bowie than we had yesterday.