Producer Tony Visconti Talks Upcoming David Bowie Album
After nearly a decade away from music, David Bowie put out a single last week and has a new album in the works. Talking about the album, titled The Next Day, long-time producer Tony Visconti, who worked with the singer through many of his well-known releases, spoke with Rolling Stone.
During the interview, Visconti reveals a heart scare prompted Bowie to take time away from music; however, it appears from the producer’s statements, the singer simply didn’t discuss recording and writing until roughly two years. It’s emphasized, as well, that he never actually retired.
Regarding Bowie’s return to the studio, Visconti described, “He said, ‘How would you like to make some demos?’ And I was a little shocked, quite honestly; it was just so casual. It was just the next topic in the discussion.”
Nevertheless, the writing and recording were not continuous. Visconti and Bowie, who had some material pre-written, would do two-week increments of studio time. The, about another two months, in which Bowie simply wrote, followed. Visconti estimates that they only spent three and a half total month in the studio during an 18-month time period.
As far as the sound is concerned, the producer described it as ranging from rock to mid-tempo, funky songs, with some “sleaze” thrown in. Specifically, such tracks sound like: “Old bump-and-grind stripper music . . . It wouldn't be out of place on ‘Young Americans.’”
He went onto mention that Bowie wrote most lyrics with a third person, observational tone in mind – and that, because of this, recent single “Where Are We Now” differs from the others. This track, as well, became his first top 10 hit on the U.K. charts in 20 years.
Another odd influence? Bowie, apparently, had been reading about medieval history, which influenced his lyrics.
Although a tour may not follow the release, a one-off performance in a major city could be a possibility.