Yesterday, David Bowie stunned the music world by announcing his first new album in a decade, The Next Day.
If that wasn't enough, Bowie also released an official video for the album's first single, "Where Are We Now?," a plaintive, piano-based number on which the 66-year-old singer sounds world-weary. While a more mellow approach might be fitting for Bowie's 24th studio album, producer Tony Visconti says the lead single is in no way indicative of the rest of the album.
"It's a very reflective track for David," the producer told the BBC of the track. "Maybe the only track on the album that goes this much inward for him. It's quite a rock album, the rest of the songs, so I thought to myself: 'Why is David coming out with this very slow, albeit beautiful ballad? Why is he doing this? He could come out with a bang.' I think the next thing you hear from him is going to be quite different."
Visconti revealed that the album has been in the works for a couple of years now and should please Bowie fans of all stripes.
"I've been listening to this on headphones, walking through the streets of New York, for the past two years," Visconti said. "I have not tired of a single song. I think the material on this album is extremely strong and beautiful. If people are looking for classic Bowie, they'll find that on this album. If they're looking for innovative Bowie, some new directions, they'll find that on this album too."
While the world his been waiting for the glam-rock legend to break his silence for some time, the announcement, in typical Bowie fashion, has in many ways prompted more questions than answers. Why the long wait? Will he tour? Is he healthy?
Questions about Bowie's health have dominated conversations about the reclusive rocker ever since Bowie underwent emergency heart surgery for a blocked artery. While even his biographer was certain of Bowie's quiet retirement, Visconti assured readers that what we'll hear on record is a very healthy David Bowie.
"He's a very healthy man," Visconti said. "I assure you. I've been saying this for the past few years. I couldn't explain how I know that, but I worked with a very healthy David Bowie in the studio and a very happy David Bowie in the studio."
The Next Day is out March 12.