2002 Wrap Up - 2003 Outlook

    Fall 2002 went by at a lightening pace, it is difficult to believe the New Year has almost arrived. During the 2nd half of 2003, Bowie fans saw another Best of Bowie greatest hits album as well as a stellar Best of Bowie DVD video compilation released. True, there was a little anti-climax to this after the summer tour, Heathen and the Ziggy 30th Anniversary re-issue were released; still it was time for another collection. Late fall also had exciting rumors of a new studio album with Tony Visconti and the possibility of a world tour coming in 2003.

    Nearly all of these Best of Bowie albums (individually tailored to the territory in which they were released) gave a good introduction for those who are still collecting DB's studio albums. Also whether it was 'Ashes To Ashes' or 'Let's Dance' or 'Starman' that sparked an interest in DB - these singles are some of the best of all time. On the downside, the greatest hits anthologies were rather predictable no matter how many different versions there were... For DB fans who have all of the albums, there was little incentive to buy another compilation of all the singles unless fans really wanted single edits of the tracks (and I do know some who do).

    More delightful for me was the DVD compilation. It contained all those wonderful videos in one place and in the best format. On this DVD, there were several pieces of footage that I have never seen. A performance of the classic 'Oh! You Pretty Things' (Old Grey Whistle Test), a live performance from the Dick Cavett Show of 'Young Americans', and several other pre-MTV, VH1 recorded performances which made this a must for fans. These videos were groundbreaking - few artists saw the potential of putting music, image and theatre together like DB did... the results were awesome. From the early ones like 'John, I'm Only Dancing' (not counting what is, perhaps, the first pop video in 'Love You Till Tuesday') to the 20 plus minute mini film for 'Blue Jean', DB knew that these singles had to be more than simply a recreation of a live performance, which can be thrilling too, or some silly fantasy skit... These videos stood on their own as short films which drive the themes of the song home to the viewer. Also these exist as a way of preserving the many DB guises, presentations and images from the 70s, 80s and 90s - especially as now it looks like DB will not making any more for widespread circulation. It may be difficult to overestimate the historical value of these videos all in one setting.

    Looking onward to 2003, I realized that it has been 20 years since I became interested in DB and his music. 'Let's Dance' was bought with 13th birthday money and since I have not lost interest in DB at all. He has continued to thrill, enlighten and amaze. There has been speculation on whether and when the superb Toy tracks will be released, a 30th Anniversary re-issue of Aladdin Sane, a possible follow up to Heathen with Visconti again and a 03 World Tour. This has had many in the DB's fan base very excited including myself - the only certainty is that it will take everyone by surprise. Due to Paul Kinder's tireless efforts to keep everyone apprised of all matters Bowie, I also understand there are several DB-related events, including The Three Tuns, slated for the early months of 03 as well.

Other than DB, special thanks to Paul Kinder for creating this wonderful site, and to all others here who helped make 2002 a memorable one - I hope 2003 is a good year for all.

Stephen Lindsay Satterfield
23rd December 2002.

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