David Bowie‘s longtime producer and friend Tony Visconti, who worked with the late legend on and off since 1969’s “Space Oddity,“ has given a wide-ranging interview to the British publication Music Week in connection with Friday’s release of the Bowie rarities collection The Width of a Circle.
Regarding the making of Bowie’s final album, 2016’s Blackstar, which came out just two days before his death from liver cancer, Visconti says, “Everyone involved knew that David was ill, so it was no secret and it was hard to take.”
The producer recalls, “He told me he’d been having chemotherapy and the next day he told the band and said, ‘We’ll just get this out in the open so we don’t have to talk about it again.’”
“Apart from the shock of those first 10 minutes, the album went on without discussing it again…,” Visconti adds. “[Bowie] said, ‘I always wanted to make a jazz album and this is the closest I’m going to come to it.’ If that’s the last thing he left, we’re blessed, because it is an excellent album.”
However, Visconti says, “According to him, he’d already started writing for the next album. I’ve never heard the music, it’s probably buried somewhere in his archives.”
“But I don’t think any of it will see the light of the day,” he continues. “Because what he meant by ‘writing’ is that he maybe just wrote instrumental backings. He would always leave the melody and lyrics until he got to the studio.”
Visconti also explains why Bowie stopped touring after 2004, noting, “He didn’t enjoy it and it wasn’t important to him. And for a person who did probably 1,000 shows, I would take that as a definite ‘yes’ that he was fed up and had had enough.”
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