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Tony Visconti On New David Bowie Material
Luke Turner , January 8th, 2013 17:42

In BBC interview, producer gives a fine bill of health and promise of rockier tracks!

More great news on David Bowie, following the surprise appearance of the brilliant new track 'Where Are We Now' this morning. Tonight, the BBC has spoken with Tony Visconti, and the producer talked not only about the recording of the new material, but also given very encouraging reports about Bowie's health. "David is extremely healthy, he's rosy-cheeked, he smiles a lot," Visconti said via Skype from New York. "During the recording he was smiling, he was so happy to be back in the studio. From the old days I recall that he was the loudest singer I've ever worked with. When he starts singing I'd have to back off, and go into another room and just leave him in front of a microphone, he still has that power in that chest and in his voice. We all know he had a health scare in 2003, 2004, but he's a very healthy man I can assure you, I've been saying this for the past few years. I couldn't explain why I know that, but I worked with a very healthy and happy David Bowie in the studio."

Visconti also gave some insights into the sessions for forthcoming album The Next Day "We never spent more than two to three weeks at a time recording, then we might take off as much as two months," he said. "Usually we'd work on one or two songs in an afternoon, and whip them into shape so they'd sound like great rock tracks. At that part there won't be any final vocals, there won't be lyrics. That's the way I've been working with him since The Man Who Sold The World, he hasn't really changed in his approach."

Intriguingly, Visconti said he was as surprised as anyone else by Bowie's choice of track to make his return on his 66th birthday, and says that the album, when it arrives, is very diverse: "I think it's a very reflective track for David. He certainly is looking back on his Berlin period and it evokes this feeling… it's very melancholy, I think. It's the only track on the album that goes this much inward for him. It's quite a rock album, the rest of the songs, so I thought to myself why is David coming out with this very slow, albeit beautiful, ballad why is he doing this? He should come out with a bang. But he is a master of his own life. I think this was a very smart move, linking the past with the future, and I think the next thing you hear from him is going to be quite different.

"I've been listening to this on headphones walking through the streets of New York for the past two years, and I have not tired of a single song. I think the material on this album is extremely strong and beautiful, and if people are looking for classic Bowie they'll find it on this album, if they're looking for innovative Bowie, new directions, they're going to find that on this album too."