Just as fans are coming to grips that Bowie is gone comes word that he wasn’t quite done with us. Yes, Blackstar was carefully constructed exit music for this life and the album is filled with clues for us to discover and discuss, but it apparently wasn’t his final work. Not by long shot.
We knew about five non-Blackstar songs that Bowie had written–producer Tony Visconti told us about them the day after Bowie died–but there’s more where they came from. From Newsweek:
…Visconti’s revelation also prompted questions among fans and even people who knew Bowie well and did not want his publicly available work to end with his last album, Blackstar, which was released two days before his death on January 10. What other products of Bowie’s often highly productive imagination are in his archive, fans began to ask online and in conversation. Will those works be made public? Did he ever write the autobiography that he had at times openly considered and that publishers have previously described as the biggest possible get in the big-money category of rock memoirs? And whose decision will it be to release Bowie’s work?
Bowie’s output can be roughly divided into two categories: his music and the physical objects he left behind. People who were close to him have shared with Newsweek previously unpublished details about what’s in the archive.
According to the person close to Bowie, there is “a long list of unscheduled musical releases that Bowie planned before he died.” These releases, Newsweek’s source says, have been divided into eras and will not necessarily be released in chronological order. It is not yet known whether they will contain previously unheard work, though past rereleases of Bowie’s work have. The first of these compilations will be on sale before the end of 2017.
A cast album for Bowie’s off-Broadway play Lazarus, which opened in December, is also in production. A music industry source close to the singer tells Newsweek, “Bowie was one of those artists who was very engaged and liked to control what was released from the vault.”
Bowie, Cann adds, was smart too. His new projects came out in drips, not a flood. And despite the vastness of the archive, Cann doesn’t think we’ll be seeing much of it anytime soon. “Bowie only gave you just enough of everything to still keep you hungry,” he says. “Blackstar has only come out recently, which is enough for the moment. There’s plenty of time for other things.”
Now that you think about it, it makes that Bowie would have a ton of unreleased material in his archives. We could be enjoying his genius for years to come.