David Bowie – chameleon like, has reinvented himself, again and again and again. He has survived to be still relevant today, one of the few stars of the sixties to not fall into becoming a self tribute or unashamedly prostituting themselves to the newest fad or indeed simply fading into obscurity. He began as David Robert Jones recording with the none too successful The King Bees, The Mannish Boys and the Lower Third. In 1966, he changed to David Bowie recording on his own and remaining very much on his own until 1969, when his quirky Space Oddity captured the zeitgeist of a public enraptured by the then culmination of the space race and the landing of men on the moon. Bowie to many was like a Martian that so many really thought and really hoped that they would soon see on pictures beamed home by Armstrong. Aldrin, Collins & Co. His androgynous image created great curiosity in him, even though much of it was not of the most benevolent kind. Bowie went further, becoming Ziggy Stardust, the Martians had not yet arrived, so Bowie went to them in a manner of speaking, immersing himself fully in the character of Ziggy Stardust. It worked, his glam-rock concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972) reached No.5 in the UK and his previous album Hunky Dory (1972) was revived reaching No.3. In 1973, Aladdin Sane topped the UK charts, Ziggy was King and Bowie being Bowie thought the time was right to kill Ziggy off.
Rumours abounded that he had immersed himself so fully in the character that it was either now or never, kill Ziggy Stardust off or be swallowed entirely by Ziggy Stardust. Diamond Dogs (1974) gave Bowie his American breakthrough and he decided to relocate to the States. He became hugely influenced by Philadelphia soul, releasing Young Americans (1975) and gaining a No.1 single with Fame, which was co-written with John Lennon, Bowie had come back from space and conquered America. Parading now, as the Thin White Duke, he defined his ascendancy in the game with Station to Station (1976), it made the star from the stars, a superstar. He lived up to the label, his debauchery is quite the legend, but true to form, the chameleon moved on, retiring to Berlin, living and working in relative seclusion. In Berlin, he studied art and began working with pioneering electronic sound musician Brian Eno. He released a trilogy of albums during his Berlin sojourn – Low (1977), Heroes (1978) and Lodger (1978). Critics and fans alike were confused at these ground-breaking albums but his megastar status ensured they were bought and to a certain extent universally appreciated. Job done and he was on the move again, recording Scary Monsters (1980) which contained the seminal Ashes to Ashes, the space oddity continued. The eighties arrived, Bowie once again had his finger on the pulse, his Let’s Dance (1983) was commercial, overstated, inflated and plush. It’s singles were released with innovative videos, three of which became international hits – China Girl, Modern Love and Let’s Dance.