Release Date: Oct 21, 2016
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Stage & Screen, Cast Recordings
Bowie musical soundtrack, including three previously unreleased Dave songs Recorded on the day that its cast were told of David Bowie’s death, this is the official record of the New York production of Lazarus, the musical written by Bowie and playwright Enda Walsh. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads .
In the last year of his life, David Bowie completed a pair of linked projects: his remarkable final album, Blackstar, and a curious jukebox musical for which he wrote a few new songs, Lazarus. Bowie, the most theater-minded of rock stars, had had ambitions to mount a stage musical for a long time; Diamond Dogs, in fact, had evolved from a scrapped musical based on George Orwell’s 1984. Lazarus, co-written with Enda Walsh, also has a literary source: it’s a sequel to The Man Who Fell to Earth.
David Bowie spent much of his final year on this planet working on a musical, Lazarus, based on his 1976 sci-fi movie The Man Who Fell to Earth. Written with Irish playwright Enda Walsh (Once), it seemed like a curious use of his time – but as we know now, it was part of his elaborate farewell gesture. Lazarus worked poignantly onstage – especially the climactic scene where alien Michael C.
An off-Broadway sequel to The Man Who Fell to Earth that opened last December and will shortly arrive in London, Lazarus is by any other name a David Bowie jukebox musical. This cast recording was made the day his death was announced, which imbues the performances with a certain poignancy. But while Michael C Hall, Sophia Anne Caruso et al turn in perfectly reasonable renditions of an hour’s worth of material from Bowie’s back catalogue, their takes on Changes, Heroes and Life on Mars? were always going to pale in comparison to the originals.
It’s the three new Bowie tracks, the last songs he ever recorded, that give ‘Lazarus’ its titular sense of creative reincarnation, though. It’s impossible to separate them from the circumstances of their writing – oceanic Radiohead-ish ballad ‘No Plan’, for instance, sounds like an anthem of deathbed fatalism, Bowie’s warm and fragile voice facing a blank, empty future (“This is no place, but here I am”), while ‘Killing A Little Time’ finds him wailing, “I’ve got a handful of songs to sing, to sting your soul, to f**k you over”, over Nine Inch Nails tech-rock beats and murderous saxophones in his classic cockney arthouse quiver, simultaneously helpless and ferocious. Finally, the Ziggy-leaning ‘When I Met You’ is a discordant, fractured glam romance in which he declares to a lover, “When I met you I was the walking dead”, while a robo-Bowie chatters unsettlingly in the background.