David Bowie

Yesterday’s news.

I’m not talking about the man himself so much as his new track, his new album… A circle jerk publicity campaign that the old wave ate up and we’ve already moved on from. I mean how can someone who used to get it so right, who was on the bleeding edge, get it so wrong?

This is the guy who did Berlin/electronic before most people had a clue who Eno was and did the Bowie Bonds deal and now he signs with Sony and puts out a new album and the sycophantic press hypes it and drives those who care, who aren’t that many, hell there are only 29,359 views on Vevo as I write this, to the video which features a song so dirgey and so mediocre as to tarnish his entire legacy, if he hadn’t been doing that himself for decades.

How come these oldsters don’t get it? They made music that lasted forever, now they just want to play for a day. Employ the old school publicity paradigm on steroids which is ignored by everybody but the aforementioned sycophants who think we’re still living in 1974.

Bowie, want to get it right?

Do it the Mumford way.


First he needed to go on the road, playing small venues at fair prices that you couldn’t get in. That would generate real publicity. For what happened as opposed to what’s coming. And if you’ve got something real, the fans do the work for you. They tweet, they Instagram, they spread the word. Instead, Bowie’s caught up in the mainstream echo chamber.

Second, you put out a new track that kills. And “Where Are We Now?” does not. It needed to be upbeat, it needed to be one listen. Not something that you might like over time, not when the whole world is watching.

Third, leave the audience hanging, waiting for more.

Instead of the album, drip out the singles. Create cutting edge videos. Keep the excitement going. Keep your name in circulation.

But NO, David Jones shows his age by doing it the old way, getting a check from Sony and trying to drive something down our throats that we don’t want.

Maybe he ain’t got great new music in him. Maybe he’s dried up. If so, don’t call our attention to substandard work, you ruin any opportunity for clamor if you somehow come up with something good in the future.

But my bottom line point is now more than ever music is for the long haul. You start slow and build. If you start big, you oftentimes fail thereafter. Like where do PSY and Carly Rae Jepsen go now? But at least give them credit, they came up with certified hits. The PSY video is riveting and the Carly Rae Jepsen song is so hooky, it’s velcro.

The news cycle is endless. Nothing sticks. We don’t want announcements, we want SUBSTANCE!

 David Bowie: “Where Are We Now?

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  1. Pingback by Writing About Music | Scott Taft's Blog | 2013/01/09 at 20:53:52

    […] Bob Lefsetz spurred this thinking with his criticism of David Bowie giving into this established PR machine with his first new song in 10 years.  Bob says, “we don’t want announcements, we want substance!” […]

  2. […] March 11th via Iso/Columbia Records.  I will agree with Bob Lefsetz (I wasn’t quite sure what provoked the rest of Lefsetz’s ire as the information that has come out about Bowie’s return has been extremely limited) that […]

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