Blackstar theory : the last works of David Bowie /

Publication Type:



Kardos, Leah,


New York, NY : Bloomsbury Academic, United States, p.1 online resource : (2022)

Call Number:




(OCoLC)fst00888702, (OCoLC)fst01030814, (OCoLC)fst01099204, (OCoLC)fst01185275, 2011-2020, 21st century, bicssc, Death in music., fast, History and criticism., Last years of a person's life., Musicals, Musicals., Rock & Pop music,Individual composers & musicians, specific bands & groups,Music reviews & criticism., Rock music, Rock music.


Includes bibliographical references and index."In the final year of his life David Bowie achieved his long-time ambition to write and stage a musical. At the same time, he produced his final record, the multi-Grammy award winning Blackstar. In Lazarus, Bowie's protagonist is an alien outsider, stuck on earth and unable to die; he must find within himself the reason, and heroism, to finally be free. 2013's The Next Day, tells stories from the perspectives of a diverse cast of obscure literary characters who are experiencing death in some way. In contrast, Blackstar elegantly invites us to consider what happens when a star dies. In our universe dying stars do not disappear, they transform into new stellar objects, remnants and gravitational forces. When a pop star dies their body of work may live on; with enough critical mass, a remnant legacy may transform an individual into something bigger than what they were: supermassive, god-sized. This book analyzes the words, images, music and sounds of Bowie's final works, critically appraising it as death art that leverages its power from the artist's demise. With Lazarus and Blackstar Bowie assembles an existentialist framework for immortality that echoes David Bowman's journey through the Star Gate in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). In Bowie's version, the transformation comes through death's gateway; ascension to a new state of universal being"--List of musical figures -- List of track analyses -- Preface -- Part 1: Last Act -- 1. Lateness -- 2. Remystification -- 3.The Next Day -- 4. Assemblage -- Part 2: Per Ardua ad Astra -- 5. Icarus Takes His Pratfall -- 6. Lazarus -- 7. The Next Bardo -- Part 3: Black Star -- 8. Black Holes, Black Music, Black Arts, Black Hearts and Button Eyes -- 9. Chaos and Chemistry -- 10. Prodigal Sons -- 11. Blackstar Theory -- Epilogue: Legacies and Voids -- Reference list and bibliography -- IndexDescription based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on December 28, 2021).