Saturday, January 23, 2021

David Bowie


David Bowie is a new bio about the iconic entertainer/artist . Due out 9th Feb 2021 from Laurence King publishing, it's 156 pages and will be available in hardcover format. 

The biography follows Bowie's life and career chronologically from his childhood through his chameleon-like stylistic reinventions and the personas he created. The biographer does a good job of avoiding info-dumping dry facts and provides a lot of back-story anecdotes and behind-the-scenes glimpses of Bowie's interactions and friendships and collaborations. 

It's difficult to overestimate the cultural impact Bowie had on modern music and art. The author spends a fair bit of content delineating his artistic periods and documenting them, but the book doesn't only talk about Bowie in a creative vacuum. I also enjoyed very much the stories behind his amazing collaborations with other musicians, actors, and visual artists, and the massive body of work he left behind with so very many talented people.

There isn't much here about his personal life, marriages, or family life with his children. For readers looking for the TMZ version of Bowie's life or conquests, this book will be something of a disappointment. For readers looking for a concise and succinct music history of Bowie and how he shaped modern music through his collaborations, this will be much more appealing. 

There are some useful appendices included in the book: a chronological discography, abbreviated bibliography, and cross referenced index. There are also a number of publicity and press photos included, but very little personal photography. 

Four stars. This would also be a good support text for classroom instruction on modern music history, culture, and allied subjects. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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