Christ and Pop Culture, Music and Culture, Rock

“All clichés are true. The years really do speed by. Life really is as short as they tell you it is. And there really is a God–so do I buy that one? If all the other clichés are true…” David Bowie

Last week, Jimi Hendrix reigned in the number two spot on the Billboard 200 and this week that position is filled by David Bowie’s new album The Next Day. It is only fitting that one of Bowie’s songs on the new album (“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”) contains the line,”Stars are never sleeping/ Dead ones and the living,” in light of this surprising takeover of the charts by two classic rockers, one dead and one living. Unlike Hendrix who saw his music as religion, Bowie has explored a pantheon of religious beliefs as he noted in a 2004 Ellen interview: “I was young, fancy free and Tibetan Buddhism appealed to me at that time. I thought, ‘There’s salvation.’ It didn’t really work. Then I went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity… pottery, and ended up singing. It’s been a long road.”

In his darkest cocaine fueled days he turned towards Christianity and wrote “Station to Station” as his contemplation of the stations of the cross. In a February 1997 Q Magazineinterview Bowie stated, “The ‘Station to Station’ track itself is very much concerned with the stations of the cross… I’ve never read a review that really sussed it. It’s an extremely dark album. Miserable time to live through, I must say.”

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