Bowie - A Hero for More Than Just One Day

In those 10 years, he produced 11 albums -,,,,,,,,,,- many of which stand comparison with any albums of any era. And, as a result, more than a dozen will find themselves in the Official Albums Top 100 today.

Five days after the awful news of his death, David Bowie will be back dominating the Official Charts again later today. The nation will have paid tribute to its musical hero.

We are all familiar with this tradition now - a great, iconic artist passes away, the media responds by playing their music around the clock and fans say goodbye by refilling their music collections with the songs of their favourite artist.

In the case of David Bowie, there is something different at play however. With his 26th studio album only released last Friday (on his 69th birthday), he was always going to have a Number 1 album this week. Sales reports through last weekend left no room for doubt, the acclaim for his extraordinary Blackstar album had ensured it was set to become the first chart topper since Adele took over the summit seven weeks ago.

It is important to underline this fact - that Blackstar was always on course for Number 1, even before Monday's sad news. And that in itself says everything about Bowie's continuing relevance, five decades since Space Oddity became his first UK hit in 1969.

It is a fact which also underlines his position as a creator, not just of great smash hit singles, but deep, resonant albums which have stood the test of time and will remain all-time greats for years to come. Remind yourself of all of Bowie's singles and albums and where they charted in the UK. When Uncut unveiled a list of the 200 greatest albums of all time just last month, seven of them were Bowie albums - more than any other act. Indeed, while the passing of many other artists (such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse) have resulted in resurgence of their greatest tracks, in Bowie's case, the greatest impact will be on these bodies of work.

Of course, we will all have a favourite Bowie single - whether it is Heroes, Space Oddity, Life On Mars, Starman, Let's Dance, Ashes To Ashes or any of the many others - but it is his role as the creative genius behind a slew of genuinely great, innovative albums which truly sets Bowie apart.

In the period from 1971 to 1980, Bowie found himself in the middle of a hot streak which has rarely (if ever) been matched, before or since. In those 10 years, he produced 11 albums - Hunky Dory, The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, Aladdin Sane, Pin-Ups, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station To Station, Low, Heroes, Lodger, Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) - many of which stand comparison with any albums of any era. And, as a result, more than a dozen will find themselves in the Official Albums Top 100 today.

When it comes to the boy from Brixton, everyone had their own favourites. He was such a prodigiously talented artist, who touched so many diverse and far flung musical bases, there is an album in the Bowie canon for everyone. And so much of it was so remarkable.

Speaking personally, my favourites are Ziggy Stardust and Scary Monsters. For the current generation of music fans, the issues I faced as a young Bowie fan are non-existent though - while I plumped for Ziggy because it was the only Bowie album for sale in the only shop in our small town which stocked albums, anyone looking to explore the Bowie canon in 2016 can do so easily, thanks to the digital download and streaming services which make every note of it available instantly.

How long we will continue to see Bowie's musical imprint cast across the Official Charts, it is impossible to know just yet. But as music magazines prepare to pay their tributes, as TV and radio continue to reflect on his legacy, as events such as the Brit Awards pay their respects, it could be some time yet.

To use his own words, Bowie is our king - and our hero, for more than just one day.


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