If You’re Searching for Answers to the Mysteries David Bowie Embedded in Blackstar, READ THIS!

No artist has ever so carefully stage-managed a death as well as we saw with David Bowie and his Blackstar album. As soon as he died, it became very obvious that he was trying to tell us something with the songs, the lyrics and the video for “Lazarus.” But what, exactly?

Yes, the “Lazarus” video made for some interesting and obvious hindsight viewing. But what other clues and hints did Bowie drop? He knew his cancer was terminal–a diagnosis that was confirmed in November–but he had no idea that he was going to die two days after Blackstar was released. It’s easy to imagine Bowie sitting back in his New York apartment watching people slowly deconstruct the album as his health slowly decline. Alas, he never got the chance.

People have been pouring over the album for hidden messages. Examples:

  • What’s the significance of a “black star?” Yes, there’s the cancer lesion theory, but is there more?
  • Is there an Elvis connection?
  • What’s the “villa of Ormen?”
  • What does Norway, an old girlfriend and a Tumblr have to do with it?
  • Can we infer anything in the fact that this is the first Bowie album not to feature his image on the cover? What about t
  • What about the design of the vinyl edition? Is there a Unicode message in plain site in the album artwork? (Hint: ★ means something to coders.)
  • Does Aleister Crowley pop up somewhere?
  • We’ve seen that smiley face on the astronaut’s jacket in the “Lazarus” video before. But where?

So far, we have more questions than answers. But this article in The Guardian goes a little ways towards explaining some of these mysteries. Anyone want to weigh in?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

8 thoughts on “If You’re Searching for Answers to the Mysteries David Bowie Embedded in Blackstar, READ THIS!

  • January 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm
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    A friend of mine has an interesting theory about Blackstar:

    “Kanye West says he has no plans to record a David Bowie tribute album… but maybe Bowie thought he might? Read the lyrics to Blackstar carefully(!)

    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
    I’m the great I am, I’m a blackstar
    I’m not a white star, I’m a blackstar
    I’m a blackstar, I’m not a gangster
    I’m not a pornstar, I’m not a wandering star
    I’m a star star

    Kanye is always going on about how he’s a rockstar / star of stars… and he’s clearly a black star. And that he’s not the atypical black gangster persona. ‘I’m the great I am’ – that rings true.”

    Maybe the entire album is laced with commentary like this? Or maybe we’re just looking for meaning to fill that Bowie-shaped hole?

    Reply
  • January 22, 2016 at 7:41 pm
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    I thought the same thing!!! Whether we like to admit it or not, Kanye is a bit of a genius. He’s packing some major creativity and fearlessness, (maybe not quite as much) much like the Duke himself.

    Reply
  • Pingback: A Journal of Musical ThingsWait: There are MORE David Bowie Albums Coming? - A Journal of Musical Things

  • January 24, 2016 at 10:09 pm
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    Black Star: a possible reference to PlanetX, the supposed tenth planet in our solar system.

    Reply
  • January 25, 2016 at 10:34 am
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    oh, and when he said it was about ‘Isis’ – he didn’t mean terrorists.

    Reply
  • November 16, 2016 at 11:28 pm
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    David Bowies original cover of the “The Buddha Of Suburbia” does not feature him on the front, this was produced in 1993, he does appear on the back….

    Reply

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