LISTEN: David Bowie Releases First New Song in 10 Years

And there's an album to come in March.

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British glam-rock icon David Bowie has released a new single on his 66th birthday, surprising everyone who thought he had retired from public life.

The track, “Where Are We Now?” appeared on Bowie’s website shortly after midnight on Jan. 8, replete with a music video and news of an upcoming album, The Next Day, to be released in March.

Thrilled fans immediately took to Twitter, using the hashtag #BowieComeback2013 to celebrate Bowie’s first new song in 10 years. “I’m so insanely excited,” tweeted British writer Caitlin Moran. “It’s like hearing King Arthur’s voice from the cave.”

(VIDEO: 10 Questions with Caitlin Moran)

The surprise single comes at a time when most observers had assumed Bowie’s rock career, born in the 1960s, had run its course. Bowie had not released any music since the 2003 album Reality, has rarely appeared in public lately and was even rumored to be in bad health, reports the Guardian. Yet he was secretly at work in New York with longtime producer Tony Visconti, who has collaborated on a dozen of Bowie’s albums, including 1969’s Space Oddity.

Critics rushed to sound off on the new song, which references the German city of Berlin, where Bowie and Visconti produced three classic albums — Low, Heroes and Lodger — in the 1970s. The Guardians Hermione Hoby described it as a “stately, down tempo reminiscence,” while the Daily Telegraph’s Neil McCormick applauded its “lush, stately, beautifully strange, weaving resonant piano chords, decaying synths and echoing drums around a simple chord progression and a weary, tenderly understated, quietly defiant vocal.” He concludes that the “elegiac new single may be the most surprising, perfect and welcome comeback in rock history.”

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Fellow musicians were also full of praise, with Boy George calling the single “bloody gorgeous,” according to the Independent.

The song’s video, directed by installation artist Tony Oursler, shows Bowie’s face as part of a conjoined two-headed puppet, interspersed with moody black-and-white footage of Berlin streets. The track appeared on iTunes at 5:00 a.m. in London (midnight ET), with the album set to be released on March 11 in the U.K. and the following day in the U.S.

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11 comments
jksword
jksword

This song and video are brilliant. I think the two have to go together in a full multimedia-fuelled traipse through nostalgia. David Bowie is and always was on a different level with his work. I have to say that I loved this work and rode through a wild ride of emotions and melancholy with very little going on to really bring them out. Masterful work in my humble opinion.

taylorhannah521@yahoo.com
taylorhannah521@yahoo.com

This is sooo freaking big!!!!! OMG!!!!!! I am speachless!!!!!!!!!The song is AMAZING!!!!...moody and cried out like the BERLIN work....His voice is in top form...I am moody and cried out as I have been going thru tough times...I am completley SPEACHLESS!!!!!

SaraRose
SaraRose

The song itself is awful, like most of Bowie's post 80s work.

ranpas
ranpas

I love Bowie, but this new song... I dunno it reminded of The Smiths's "How soon is now?"

jents71
jents71

Reminds me heavily of Low, my alltime favorite Bowie album, slow and melodic, with very basic musical accompaniment to elicit a very subtle melancholic emotional feeling.. What a great song to come back with, probably his best single since Im Afraid of Americans 

SRoddy
SRoddy

Some people should just stay retired, looking at you too McCartney

artifex
artifex

Bowie.  Always ahead of the times, always welcome.  

JohnForsthoffer
JohnForsthoffer

@SRoddy I agree with you about McCartney, he tries too hard. But I am impressed with Bowie's new song. It wasn't at all as what I was expecting.