Photo: Jimmy KingDavid Bowie surprised and thrilled fans on Tuesday, his 66th birthday, when he unexpectedly debuted a new single and video on his just-relaunched website and revealed he'll be releasing a new album titled The Next Day on March 12. The news brings an end to a long hiatus for the influential artist, who had kept mostly out of the public eye since undergoing a heart operation in 2004.
"Where Are We Now," The Next Day's lead single, was produced by Tony Visconti, who has collaborated on many of Bowie's classic albums, including Young Americans, Low, "Heroes" and Scary Monsters. While David has yet to discuss his surprise comeback with the media, Visconti recently spoke with BBC News and revealed some details about the project.
Tony reports that he's been keeping the album under wraps for quite a while, admitting, "I've been listening to this on headphones, walking through the streets of New York, for the past two years. I have not tired of a single song."
Regarding the "reflective" new song, "Where Are We Now," Visconti notes that it's not really representative of The Next Day, which he says is "quite a rock album."
Describing the new record as a whole, Visconti maintains, "The material is so strong and beautiful -- if people are looking for classic Bowie they'll find that on this album, but if they're looking for innovative Bowie, they'll find that…too."
As for concerns over Bowie's health, Visconti insists fans needn't worry.
"David is extremely healthy," he says. "He's rosy cheeked. He smiles a lot. During the recording he was smiling all the time -- he was so happy to be back in the studio."
Recalling that when he worked with Bowie "in the old days," he remembered the singer possessing one of the loudest voices he ever recorded, and Visconti notes that "he still has that power in his chest."
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