Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Good news for 2018 — #3


There is a school of thought that everything really turned to shit only after David Bowie died. While I can’t lay all of the blame on Mr. Bowie, and would never do so, I do have to say it seems like a large contributing factor. Without Bowie in our universe, things got undeniably worse, and that suggests a cause-and-effect relationship.

So here’s the good news:  There will be new music from David Bowie.

We may not get Mr. Bowie himself back — although with the Thin White Duke, one can never be sure what form he might manifest — we will get more of his music.

Oh, it may not come out in 2018 — it might be 2019, or 2020, or, in an homage to his song “Five Years,” it might come out in 2021, five years after his death — but it will come out.

Here’s how I know this:  The Beach Boys recorded most of their truly great music 50 years ago, and it’s still coming out. (Witness the recent boxed collections — that’s a plural, collections — of Beach Boys music recorded in 1967 that came out this year.)

Also, how many new Michael Jackson albums have come out since MJ himself moonwalked off this plane of existence? How many posthumous Johnny Cash albums (some of them pretty good)?

Three-quarters of The Monkees are still with us, and they released a pretty terrific new album last year. I listen to it constantly. It’s so great that it has convinced me that their old music was better than I ever thought. Now, after all these years, yes, I’m a believer! Well, the other day I was listening to it yet again, and had a question about a particular song, and went to Mr. Google, and here’s what I found out:  There were other great songs recorded in those sessions that didn’t make it onto the album. Of course! And they are available for your listening pleasure if you buy various packagings of that album — if you buy it on vinyl, or from the Japanese, or in a deluxe version, and so forth. This reminds me that it’s almost certain that additional songs were recorded for Blackstar that just didn’t make it on the album.

Our Major Tom may have sung “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust,” but I must point out that dust is everywhere — and David Bowie will live on. Knowing that there will be new music should make us eager for at least those elements of our immediate future.

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