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David Bowie shook the Internet to its core on his birthday Tuesday, unleashing his first new single in ten years and announcing an album to go along with it. The single is already topping the charts a day later. He also revealed the unique album cover for The Next Day.
In a statement on his new official site, the iconic singer’s spokesperson called the response to “Where Are We Now?” “incredible,” boasting that the single has reached the top spot on the UK iTunes store.
The new album’s cover was also unveiled and was designed by Jonathan Barnbrook. The design uses the iconic cover to Bowie’s “Heroes” album, with that title crossed out. On top of that is a simple white square with the album title in black.
“We wanted to do something different with it – very difficult in an area where everything has been done before – but we dare to think this is something new. Normally using an image from the past means, ‘recycle’ or ‘greatest hits’ but here we are referring to the title The Next Day," Barnbrook explained on his blog. “The “Heroes” cover obscured by the white square is about the spirit of great pop or rock music which is ‘of the moment’, forgetting or obliterating the past.”
Barnbrook explained that by obscuring Bowie’s face, he “is also reference to his identity, not only in the past when he changed endlessly but that he has been absent from the music scene for the past ten years. Was this an act to hide his identity or that he has simply become more comfortable with it?”
Yesterday’s announcement caught Bowie fans and his own record label, Columbia, by surprise. Columbia admitted that the single came “out of nowhere” in a statement.
The Next Day is the singer’s first album since 2003’s Reality.
image: Barnbrook's blog