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David Bowie — Blackstar
Album: Blackstar
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 805









Released: 2016
Length: 9:58
Plays (last 30 days): 0
In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes

On the day of execution, on the day of execution
Only women kneel and smile, ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, at the centre of it all
Your eyes, your eyes

Ah-ah-ah
Ah-ah-ah

In the villa of Ormen, in the villa of Ormen
Stands a solitary candle, ah-ah, ah-ah
In the centre of it all, in the centre of it all
Your eyes
Ah-ah-ah

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar)

How many times does an angel fall?
How many people lie instead of talking tall?
He trod on sacred ground, he cried loud into the crowd
(I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar, I'm not a gangster)

I can't answer why (I'm a blackstar)
Just go with me (I'm not a filmstar)
I'm-a take you home (I'm a blackstar)
Take your passport and shoes (I'm not a popstar)
And your sedatives, boo (I'm a blackstar)
You're a flash in the pan (I'm not a marvel star)
I'm the great I am (I'm a blackstar)

I'm a blackstar, way up, oh honey, I've got game
I see right so white, so open-heart it's pain
I want eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes
(I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar)

Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried
(I'm a blackstar, I'm a star star, I'm a blackstar)

I can't answer why (I'm not a gangster)
But I can tell you how (I'm not a flam star)
We were born upside-down (I'm a star star)
Born the wrong way 'round (I'm not a white star)
(I'm a blackstar, I'm not a gangster
I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar
I'm not a pornstar, I'm not a wandering star
I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar)

In the villa of Ormen stands a solitary candle
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes
On the day of execution, only women kneel and smile
Ah-ah, ah-ah
At the centre of it all, your eyes, your eyes
Ah-ah-ah
Comments (104)add comment
 alisathegreat wrote:
Not a fan of this song at all. Wish the epilogue to his life was less dire/grim. Sure it is one of his last and we're supposed to appreciate and revere his final works, but I hear this and turn it down or turn it off.

He was not a black star. He was a big f**ng bright, amazing star. Don't feel sorry for him. He had a really amazing life. 
 

I really like this entire album and feel it is entirely in keeping with his career .  but yeah, awesome life.
This is such a great song, yet only gets 6.8. A solid 10, surely.
 lmic wrote:

He's dying.
 

Many see the lyrics of this album as Bowie exorcising his demons (Especially the Thin White Duke) and saying goodbye.
Every song on this album should be on the RP playlist. And damn if I ever noticed the star parts spell out Bowie in star language. 
Ironic. I found Bowie's early work and this final piece to be the most engaging work he did. Go figure.
I agree Andrew. Very dark depressing for me. lmic wrote:

He's dying.
 

Laurie explains for us.

https://www.msn.com/en-za/video/news/exlusive-interview-laurie-anderson-opens-up-about-david-bowies-death/vi-BBp1ehl


 Andrew_C wrote:
Ummm... Normally I like Bowie.  This is dire.

 
He's dying.
Not a fan of this song at all. Wish the epilogue to his life was less dire/grim. Sure it is one of his last and we're supposed to appreciate and revere his final works, but I hear this and turn it down or turn it off.

He was not a black star. He was a big f**ng bright, amazing star. Don't feel sorry for him. He had a really amazing life. 
I'm getting better. I'm only a little caught off guard by how much emotion this brings up in me.
 secretsauce wrote:
I found it unnerving the first time I heard this song ... strange and unsettling.

But I find it more and more brilliant with every listen.   It's a three-act monolith of a song.  The blend from the second-theme back to reprise the opening is just exquisite. It holds up, without every losing the original strangeness.  I love it.

 
Nicely put.


Ummm... Normally I like Bowie.  This is dire.

Bowie as always true to himself.  This is difficult to listen to, but that does not detract from the brilliance (and darkness)
This song gets better the more often i listen to it.
From a solid 6 to an 8 right now.
This CD has been in my car for a month. Driving down the road I find it hypnotizing as I discover meanings in the lyrics and the  flow of the sequence of songs. I can certainly understand it is not for all. I also remember my first listen to young Bowie. I did not like it because it was different from all my musical tastes. I listen to music more patiently now.
I found it unnerving the first time I heard this song ... strange and unsettling.

But I find it more and more brilliant with every listen.   It's a three-act monolith of a song.  The blend from the second-theme back to reprise the opening is just exquisite. It holds up, without ever losing the original strangeness.  I love it.
Epic farewell song!
Yuk
 Steely_D wrote:

It's a nice offshoot of the mostly forgotten "Black Tie White Noise." Very jazzy, very open. Well worth tracking down. It's one of the ones of his that were quite better than average. (Admit it, there were some below average.)

 
I totally agree with you Steely_D  :) I adore Black Tie White Noise, right from the start, hot off the press. ... for what ever reason; Outside  took me some years before the enjoyment happened...  I see the cross overs between the three albums. I definitely love Blackstar   {#Yes}  123K

 maxjboxer wrote:
Think this is one that you're going to hear in 20 years and say,  "ahead of the curve as ususal Mr Bowie"

 
Yup, and I do like it ... now! 

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 clyman99 wrote:
I agree. How many of those 10s would still be 10s if Bowie was still with us?
jules44 wrote:
Just a thought....would Bill be playing so much Bowie had he not died.
Never did care for much of Bowie's repertoire but this is pretty awful....IMHO 

 

 
Quite a few of them, I assure you. {#Cheers} And Bowie was decently played in rotation before his untimely demise {#Sad}
The other thing is that when great artist dies many new fans are born that maybe don't truly appreciate his/hers work....
 hanssachs wrote:
Sorry, no.  Listened through several times, but it just doesn't do it for me ...
 
Sounds like it's ending. keeping my fingers crossed that it's really over
Sorry, no.  Listened through several times, but it just doesn't do it for me ... 
I love & miss you Ziggy! {#Eyes}
 msymmes wrote:
This piece of work may prove to pass the test of time.  It seems to encompass so much of his work - like a medley but still original.

I like it !!! 

 
Yes, as all of his music does. Even the 70s work sounds fresh today. Ziggy played guitar...
 kingart wrote:
Not my cuppa. Meaningful thoughtful, no doubt, what with aging and the impending hereafter. Avant garde, not rockin, too downer and atonal.  
 
My cuppa!
I know what you're saying, but I guess I like it for all the reasons you don't.
Cheers, kingart!
 Paulsreilly wrote:
Loved this since first hearing. 

 Same here... I listened to this track dozens of times as soon as it was avail. Not so much now that he's gone.
This piece of work may prove to pass the test of time.  It seems to encompass so much of his work - like a medley but still original.

I like it !!! 
Like Bowie, but not this.......
Bowie was probably my greatest idol during my formative years, but I can't appreciate this stuff.  Sad to lose him, but I don't want to listen to this.  Sorry, PSD.
 floydoftherocks wrote:
I've not heard this album yet, but it sounds reminiscent of Outside, which was pretty incredible..

 
It's a nice offshoot of the mostly forgotten "Black Tie White Noise." Very jazzy, very open. Well worth tracking down. It's one of the ones of his that were quite better than average. (Admit it, there were some below average.)
Dammit.
Now my chest all pulls together and my nose gets stuffy and I'm about to start embarrassing myself.

Damn. 
{#Notworthy}
Creeps me out.. feels too dark, especially since he was dying as he produced it...
 
 wildkard wrote:
The good is that it sounds like classic David Bowie and his voice is true to form.

The bad is the chorus repeats more than I have the tolerence for and the song just isn't that interesting lyrically. Oh well. 

 
Not that interesting, lyrically? Really?{#Beat}
Loved this since first hearing. 
An incredible composition <8
Mr. Bowie was very alive when he composed Blackstar.
You can bring me flowers when I am dead too.
Not my cuppa. Meaningful thoughtful, no doubt, what with aging and the impending herafter. Avant garde, not rockin, too downer and atonal.   
This song would have fit equally well on The Man Who Sold The World 45 years ago...same producer after all...
The good is that it sounds like classic David Bowie and his voice is true to form.

The bad is the chorus repeats more than I have the tolerence for and the song just isn't that interesting lyrically. Oh well. 
Very powerful, "dark" song — considering its circumstances. 
Strange ho this song would have been perfect for The Man Who Sold The World... same producer after all...
Very powerful, "dark" song considering its circumstances
I've followed DB's work for decades. I have more of his work in my collection than anyone else. He knew he didn't have much time left and I think this album is a fitting farewell. Everything about it is intentional. I have to listen to the LP a few more times to fully absorb it—yes, I bought the vinyl 90gm pressing. I find it to be refreshing to work with new musicians and explore different styles. Some here have complained about uttering Madonna in the same sentence as David Bowie. If anything, he influenced her, not the other way around. I don't like her work, but she has tried to reinvent herself from time to time. Otherwise, there's really no comparison. Blackstar is as far as you can get from Let's Dance, no? RIP Starman.
Always felt like Bowe was 20 years ahead of me musically.  I never appreciated his music when it came out when I was younger, but I find that I like and appreciate his older work now.  Maybe this will too, but right now I can't get into it.
Think this is one that you're going to hear in 20 years and say,  "ahead of the curve as ususal Mr Bowie"
I agree. How many of those 10s would still be 10s if Bowie was still with us?
jules44 wrote:
Just a thought....would Bill be playing so much Bowie had he not died.
Never did care for much of Bowie's repertoire but this is pretty awful....IMHO 

 


Just a thought....would Bill be playing so much Bowie had he not died.
Never did care for much of Bowie's repertoire but this is pretty awful....IMHO 
Eagles in my daydreams, diamonds in my eyes!

Just doesn't seem fuckin fair....Love this, need to hear the full CD. Lennon died, and I was sick about it...Bowie's dying is just as affecting. The passing of a great genius from my era growing up....


f-ing cancer.
The construction of the song is remarkable, so much going on. When the organ introduces the Blackstar section it is like the sun breaking out of a stormy, threatening sky. Likewise, when the music slips almost imperceptibly back into the opening section it draws things back down to an inescapable conclusion, reminding me a little of Rachmaninov's The Isle of the Dead. The fractured ending has a little King Crimson going on as well. Blackstar is outstanding, even more so when you consider what was happening with Bowie when it was created.
 Flip_flops wrote:
Ya I'm sorry I cannot get into this one.. :( 

 
My first listen, and I will wait to rate it.  But I am not getting this either, yet.
 sktillman wrote:

Saw this video on a laptop as my first awareness of DB's passing, and as his last creative outpouring. It reminded me a little of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Otherworldly, and likewise, too worldly... intentionally crude as well as ultra sophisticated. In your face, and in your mind. They both struck me as visually and musically, at the cutting edge of their time.

Madonna broke boundaries and Bowie pushed beyond those broken barriers in this, his final, grand opus video. I see it as replete with images of his own artistic imagery, hallucinatory, funky, sci-fi and forward-pressing. As the narrator of his own impending death, it is a remarkable parable of a soul in the throes of a deeply personal and intense inspiration. Unparalleled.



 
SK: 

I get what you're saying, and I mean no offense in what I'm about to say but.....Madonna!?  {#Rolleyes}

My opinion?  The only thing she represents, to me, is a decade of excess and gluttony popularly known as the 1990's. 

No offense to you or the 90's, of course.  And dont' think I'm being critical.  I don't exclude meself from that era.  I was there.  I lived it. As an adult.  And I still have some brain cells to recollect it all, too!  Heh!

Highlow
American Net'Zen 
 aelfheld wrote:
 sktillman wrote:

Saw this video on a laptop as my first awareness of DB's passing, and as his last creative outpouring. It reminded me a little of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Otherworldly, and likewise, too worldly... intentionally crude as well as ultra sophisticated. In your face, and in your mind. They both struck me as visually and musically, at the cutting edge of their time.

Madonna broke boundaries and Bowie pushed beyond those broken barriers in this, his final, grand opus video. I see it as replete with images of his own artistic imagery, hallucinatory, funky, sci-fi and forward-pressing. As the narrator of his own impending death, it is a remarkable parable of a soul in the throes of a deeply personal and intense inspiration. Unparalleled. 


The only thing Madonna's ever broken was her husband's bank account.

 
To put Madonna in one league with Bowie is not only sacrilegious, it is utterly ignorant of Bowies work. Bowie was a Genius, Madonna is a no body who can't sing and has to show her boobs to be successful. All she ever did was sexually "shocking" people. My, what an achievement.

Bowie on the other side has reinvented himself musically again and again. Madonna changed her clothes. yeah big achievement. Geez. {#Beat}{#Frustrated}


 sktillman wrote:

Saw this video on a laptop as my first awareness of DB's passing, and as his last creative outpouring. It reminded me a little of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Otherworldly, and likewise, too worldly... intentionally crude as well as ultra sophisticated. In your face, and in your mind. They both struck me as visually and musically, at the cutting edge of their time.

Madonna broke boundaries and Bowie pushed beyond those broken barriers in this, his final, grand opus video. I see it as replete with images of his own artistic imagery, hallucinatory, funky, sci-fi and forward-pressing. As the narrator of his own impending death, it is a remarkable parable of a soul in the throes of a deeply personal and intense inspiration. Unparalleled. 


The only thing Madonna's ever broken was her husband's bank account.
This song would be haunting even if David Bowie hadn't died two days after the album release. I love it. 
 sktillman wrote:

Saw this video on a laptop as my first awareness of DB's passing, and as his last creative outpouring. It reminded me a little of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Otherworldly, and likewise, too worldly... intentionally crude as well as ultra sophisticated. In your face, and in your mind. They both struck me as visually and musically, at the cutting edge of their time.

Madonna broke boundaries and Bowie pushed beyond those broken barriers in this, his final, grand opus video. I see it as replete with images of his own artistic imagery, hallucinatory, funky, sci-fi and forward-pressing. As the narrator of his own impending death, it is a remarkable parable of a soul in the throes of a deeply personal and intense inspiration. Unparalleled.



 
Bowie lived beyong the boundries Madonna wishes she came close to pushing. 
 Flip_flops wrote:
Ya I'm sorry I cannot get into this one.. :( 

 
I'm with you.  I so want to, especially in light of his recent passing, but I just can't.

Saw this video on a laptop as my first awareness of DB's passing, and as his last creative outpouring. It reminded me a little of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video. Otherworldly, and likewise, too worldly... intentionally crude as well as ultra sophisticated. In your face, and in your mind. They both struck me as visually and musically, at the cutting edge of their time.

Madonna broke boundaries and Bowie pushed beyond those broken barriers in this, his final, grand opus video. I see it as replete with images of his own artistic imagery, hallucinatory, funky, sci-fi and forward-pressing. As the narrator of his own impending death, it is a remarkable parable of a soul in the throes of a deeply personal and intense inspiration. Unparalleled.


Ya I'm sorry I cannot get into this one.. :( 
Wow! So much In the album. Each time you listen - each time You hear reviews from so many people, another layer is revealed. What an absolute genious 
Two words.....Love it! {#Notworthy}
I fan since the late 70's, I have followed his career throughout the ups and downs since. And I always knew this day would come, likely sooner than later. This was as compelling an end as possible. This song was stuck in my head all weekend just before his passing. 
Love this. Reminiscent of "Thursday's Child." Lovely
 Steely_D wrote:
BTW, this is from the Lazarus video. He knew exactly what he was doing.

 

 
yes, yes he did. i'm all teary now, too.
This whole album is just brilliant!  He certainly went off just as he intended - shining as bright as ever!  We lost one of the most creative geniuses of our time.         R.I.P. - he will be forever missed and forever with us.
Third of fourth time I've heard and I guess I was really distracted by hes death, the video and the meaning of the two intertwined, because this is the first time I've really taken notice of the drumming in the first section.  How can I not have noticed the drumming?
Now that is an exit… 
About to date myself here but I'd say this is very 'trippy'.  Bowie, surprising us all to the very end.

3rd listen and I reckon that this song just rocks.  
BTW, this is from the Lazarus video. He knew exactly what he was doing.

 
Dammit. Now I'm getting all teary.
 black321 wrote:

A black star is created when matter compresses at a rate significantly less than the freefall velocity of a hypothetical particle falling to the center of its star, because quantum processes create vacuum polarization, which creates a form of degeneracy pressure, preventing spacetime (and the particles held within it) from occupying the same space at the same time. This vacuum energy is theoretically unlimited, and if built up quickly enough, will stop gravitational collapse from creating a singularity. This may entail an ever-decreasing rate of collapse, leading to an infinite collapse time, or asymptotically approaching a radius less than zero.



 
Thank you.  I've been wanting someone to simplify this for me.
Bowie does sound singular here.
'....At the center of it all...."

Whacky journey! Instant Godlike. ♥
 
I've not heard this album yet, but it sounds reminiscent of Outside, which was pretty incredible..
I've heard absolutely nothing like this before—seminal.
WOW. First time hearing this. Utterly mesmerizing. RIP, Mr. Jones... you left us much amazing work to enjoy to infinity.

A black star is created when matter compresses at a rate significantly less than the freefall velocity of a hypothetical particle falling to the center of its star, because quantum processes create vacuum polarization, which creates a form of degeneracy pressure, preventing spacetime (and the particles held within it) from occupying the same space at the same time. This vacuum energy is theoretically unlimited, and if built up quickly enough, will stop gravitational collapse from creating a singularity. This may entail an ever-decreasing rate of collapse, leading to an infinite collapse time, or asymptotically approaching a radius less than zero.


wow, this is deeeep, awesome stuff. not heard the album yet. going right out to get it tomorrow. thanks for playing!
 deniseNmitch wrote:
Wow!  Sounds so other worldly.  Thank you for playing. The video is way too "arty" for me.  

 

 
Bowie was ever out of this planet, he was an android that cames to teach us music.
 passsion8 wrote:
If you ran "Major Tom" through an AI transcoder, and resurrected the sax from "Let's Dance", added a tech beat and slightly sweet, yet shaky vocals ("Low"), you'd have this phenomenon. Video is unsettling, too. 

Bon Voyage.... 

 
...and maybe a little 'width of a circle'?
Brilliance. This song consists of 3 parts and each of them is magical and carries a meaning. I'm still trying to decipher it.
 gmichaelt wrote:
Is the lower line of star bits meant to spell out "Bowie"?

 

Fitting. I will now only see it as such.
Oh course I am biased here but this will likely go down as a classic track. When Bowie is on all cylinders he is a mindblower.
Haunting indeed. I like it.
Cool song. Sounds a good deal like Radiohead, especially the drumming.
 gmichaelt wrote:
Is the lower line of star bits meant to spell out "Bowie"?

 
I vote yes
 gmichaelt wrote:
Is the lower line of star bits meant to spell out "Bowie"?

 
 
Oh, wow - never saw that until you mentioned it.
 
Man, this song is an amazing composition...I can't ever just listen to it without the visuals of the video running through my head. And I don't think it would've had near the haunting impact it does, had he not left it as a farewell.
Wow!  Sounds so other worldly.  Thank you for playing. The video is way too "arty" for me.  

 
David Bowie is dead. Is David Jones?
Safe journey, David...
Is the lower line of star bits meant to spell out "Bowie"?
If you ran "Major Tom" through an AI transcoder, and resurrected the sax from "Let's Dance", added a tech beat and slightly sweet, yet shaky vocals ("Low"), you'd have this phenomenon. Video is unsettling, too. 

Bon Voyage.... 
This is my favorite song off this LP so far...
Absolutely!

Well done BillG

Regarding the song, it's a natural extension of the things he was doing during the Black Tie White Noise period, which got overlooked. That's a great album if you want more like this. 
RIP legend..
oh wow....
thank you Bill!
{#Heartkiss}
Love that man!
Proper haunting
wondered when you were going to play this
STAR ETERNAL