On January 8, 2016 -- his 69th birthday -- David Bowie surprised just about everyone by releasing a studio album that no one outside his inner circle knew was in the works. Sadly, just two days following the release of Blackstar, it was announced that Bowie had passed away. One year later, on what would have been his 70th birthday, the posthumous No Plan EP was released.
The legacy of David Bowie remains strong as ever as of this article's writing. A traveling David Bowie museum exhibit has attracted well over a million visitors. A tour known as Celebrating David Bowie -- which includes guitarists Mike Garson and Earl Slick and vocalist Bernard Fowler and Angelo Moore -- is playing theaters and festivals around the world, kicking off a 2018 world tour with a show at Paris, France's Salle Pleyel on January 10th. Thus, a new book like former MOJO editor Pat Gilbert's Bowie: The Illustrated Story is both timely and relevant.
Unlikely most Bowie biographies you will find, Bowie: The Illustrated Story captures Bowie's career through the end, including the aforementioned Blackstar album. A mix of text and licensed images, the book covers all eras of Bowie in chronological order. This writer's only complaint is Gilbert's lack of emphasis on Bowie's output in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.
Sure, his best-loved hits and most notable characters came from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, but Tin Machine had its fans, as did Earthling and the era when Trent Reznor helped revitalize the mass appeal of David Bowie. Furthermore, his Area2 touring with Moby found Bowie delivering live in top-form. But any way you slice it, this is a fun read, meant for Bowie newbies and diehards alike.
Written by: Pat Gilbert Publisher: Voyageur Press (November 1, 2017) Format/Length: Hardcover, 224 pages
Check out the trailer for the Celebrating David Bowie tour.