The word that keeps coming back to my head when I've thought about Bowie is "brilliant." Brilliant musician, brilliant performer, brilliant lyricist. There truly has been and never will be an artist like Bowie, and he kept producing strong work and performances through the end of his life (just releasing an album and haunting video last week).
There are tons of Bowie songs to choose from, but one that's hit a nerve with me in the last dozen years is one of his later songs- "I'm Afraid of Americans." Here's the tremendous video for that 1997 tune, which includes a supporting role from a worthy Gen X successor to Bowie's intersection of unique music and visual art- Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
And here's another great one, from Bowie's 1980 release Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) , "Ashes to Ashes", where the older, wiser Bowie tells us what happened to Major Tom 10 years after "Space Oddity." Sure, the video's a little cheesy, but the song is still awesome, and would be well ahead of most anything else if it was released brand-new today.
An associate of mine summed it well on Twitter this morning, and part of the reason Bowie's death might be hitting some of us a bit harder than it should.
It never dawned on me that David Bowie was mortal.
- Amos Posner