David Bowie's Lazarus Farewell

January 11, 2016

No doubt you are – like us – mourning the loss of David Bowie at the age of 69. The world of music and film has lost an icon, a larger than life artist who completely transformed the music industry from the sixties until his death. In this blog, rather than offer you a compendium of great songs we all know and love, we thought we’d take a look at his final music video, released last week, which when placed into context with the news we now know exemplifies artistic perfection that not many achieve.

The video in question was for Bowie’s latest single, Lazarus. If we look to the bible - where the name comes from - it refers to Lazarus of Bethany, a miracle that was attributed to Jesus, whereby a man was restored to life just four days after his death. It’s a little too much to hope for David Bowie to return on Friday but perhaps he is referencing the idea that one can live forever through their work or that with the release of his latest album Blackstar, he is delivering a swansong to his fans. 

Upon the news of his death it was revealed that Bowie had been battling cancer for the past eighteen months; he had recorded Blackstar during this time, so it’s fair to assume that the album and video were influenced by his own struggles, inspiring various meditations on mortality.

“Look up here, I’m in Heaven…” it begins, closing on the lines, “Oh, I’ll be free just like that bluebird, oh I’ll be free, ain’t that just like me.”

But what of the video? We don’t want to speculate any further than we have done but there is something stunning and beautiful about the closing frame and the lyrics that accompany it. David Bowie was a pop culture icon, legendary musician and an artist, it seems, right to the end.  



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By Henry Fosdike