Lazarus (David Bowie song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Lazarus"
David Bowie - Lazarus cover art.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album
Released 17 December 2015
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015 at The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios
(New York City, New York)
Genre
Length
  • 6:22 (album version)
  • 4:05 (video edit)
Label
Songwriter(s) David Bowie
Producer(s)
David Bowie singles chronology
""
(2015)
"Lazarus"
(2015)
"I Can't Give Everything Away"
(2016)

""
(2015)
"Lazarus"
(2015)
"I Can't Give Everything Away"
(2016)
Music video
"Lazarus" on YouTube

"Lazarus" is a song by English rock musician David Bowie. It was released on 17 December 2015 as a digital download, making it the second single from his twenty-fifth studio album, Blackstar (2016). It is Bowie's last single to be released during his lifetime. The single received its world premiere on BBC Radio 6 Music's Steve Lamacq on the day of its release as a single.[3] In addition to its release on , the track is used in Bowie's off-Broadway musical of the same name.[4] The official music video, directed by Johan Renck, was released on 7 January 2016, three days before Bowie's death.

Bowie never performed the song live, but on 17 December 2015, Michael C. Hall appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, singing "Lazarus" to promote both the single's release and the musical running at New York Theatre Workshop starring Hall.[5]

"Lazarus" was Bowie's first top 40 hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 in more than 28 years, landing at number 40 in the week after his death.[6]

Billboard ranked "Lazarus" at number 40 on their "100 Best Pop Songs of 2016" list.[7] Pitchfork listed "Lazarus" on their ranking of the 100 best songs of 2016 at number 5.[8] In the annual Village Voice's Pazz & Jop mass critics poll of the year's best in music in 2016, "Lazarus" was ranked at number 8.[9]

Background[edit]

According to Bowie's producer Tony Visconti, the lyrics and video of "Lazarus" and other songs on the album were intended to be a self-epitaph, a commentary on Bowie's own impending death.[10][11][12]

Music video[edit]

Bowie in a deathbed, as depicted in the music video

The official music video for "Lazarus", featuring a shorter edit of the song lasting just over four minutes, was uploaded on 7 January 2016 to Bowie's Vevo channel on YouTube.[13] The video was directed by Johan Renck (who also directed the music video for Bowie's previous single, "") in November 2015; during the week of shooting, doctors reportedly informed Bowie the cancer was terminal and that they were ending treatment.[14] The filming location was a studio in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.[15] The video is shown in a 1:1 aspect ratio and prominently features Bowie, appearing with a bandage and buttons sewn over his eyes, lying on a deathbed. A director's cut exists restoring the original widescreen aspect.[16]

The video finishes with Bowie retreating into a dark wardrobe. In the scenes featuring the wardrobe, Bowie is wearing a diagonally striped suit referencing the back cover of the 1991 CD reissue of the Station to Station album, where he is pictured sitting on the floor drawing the kabbalistic Tree of Life.[17][18] The Tree of Life is also referenced in the Station to Station lyrics, a "magical movement from Kether to Malkuth".[19][20]

The video was nominated for three awards: Best Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Editing, at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.[21]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download
No.TitleLength
1."Lazarus"6:22

Personnel[edit]

Personnel adapted from liner notes.[22]

Musicians
Technical personnel

Charts[edit]

Weekly[edit]

Chart (2015–16) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[23] 72
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[24] 38
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[25] 10
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[26] 45
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[27] 14
Finland Download (Latauslista)[28] 22
France (SNEP)[29] 35
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 77
Hungary (Single Top 40)[31] 8
Ireland (IRMA)[32] 48
Israel (Media Forest)[33] 10
Italy (FIMI)[34] 23
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[35] 89
Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)[36] 35
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[37] 32
New Zealand Heatseekers (Recorded Music NZ)[38] 9
Poland (LP3)[39] 1
Portugal (Hung Medien)[40] 13
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[41] 49
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[42] 42
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[43] 16
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[44] 45
US Billboard Hot 100[45] 40
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[46] 3
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[47] 17

Year-end[edit]

Chart (2016) Rank
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[48] 68

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Worldwide 17 December 2015 Digital download
Italy[49] 18 December 2015 Contemporary hit radio Columbia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The best songs of 2016". Daily Times. December 16, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Jazz Reviews: Review: David Bowie's "Blackstar" – By Michael J. West — Jazz Articles". JazzTimes. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "David Bowie launches trailer of new single Lazarus". The Guardian. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Brandle, Lars (18 December 2015). "David Bowie Shares New Song 'Lazarus': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 18 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Matthew Strauss (18 December 2015). "Michael C. Hall Performs David Bowie's "Lazarus" on "Colbert"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Gary Trust (19 January 2016). "David Bowie Scores First Top 40 Hot 100 Single Since 1987 With 'Lazarus'". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Billboard's 100 Best Pop Songs of 2016: Critics' Picks". Billboard. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  8. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2016". Pitchfork. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  9. ^ "PAZZ+JOP 2016". Village Voice. January 25, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  10. ^ Cooper, Leonie (11 January 2016). "How David Bowie told us he was dying in the 'Lazarus' video". NME. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "David Bowie: Was Lazarus Bowie singing his epitaph?". BBC. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "David Bowie's last release, Lazarus, was 'parting gift' for fans in carefully planned finale". the Telegraph. 11 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "David Bowie – Lazarus". YouTube. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "When Bowie knew he was dying". adelaidenow.com.au. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "David Bowie's last days: an 18-month burst of creativity". The Guardian. 15 January 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "David Bowie – Lazarus (Widescreen Version)". davidbowienews.com. 13 August 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  17. ^ "Rykodisc Reissue CD Station to Station 1991"". CDandLP. 3 August 1991. 
  18. ^ "David Bowie Station to Station publicity photo". Tumblr. 10 January 1976. 
  19. ^ "David Bowie Final Music Video Includes Hidden References to Kabbalah Beliefs". Daily Mail. 27 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Never Before Published Photos Reveal Clues Bowie Left Before His Death". The Huffington Post. 11 April 2016. 
  21. ^ French, Megan (26 July 2016). "David Bowie Receives Four Posthumous 2016 VMA Nominations". US Weekly. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  22. ^ Blackstar (album liner notes). David Bowie. ISO Records. 2016. 
  23. ^ Ryan, Gavin (16 January 2016). "ARIA Singles: Justin Bieber 'Love Yourself' Spends 6th Week at No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 16 January 2016. 
  24. ^ "Austriancharts.at – David Bowie – Lazarus" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Bowie – Lazarus" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Bowie – Lazarus" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  27. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  28. ^ "David Bowie: Lazarus" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  29. ^ "Lescharts.com – David Bowie – Lazarus" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts – Offizielle Deutsche Charts". 
  31. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Chart Track: Week 2, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Media Forest weekly chart (year 2016 week 03)". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  34. ^ "Italiancharts.com – David Bowie – Lazarus". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  35. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
  36. ^ "David Bowie – Chart history". Billboard Mexico Ingles Airplay for David Bowie. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  37. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – David Bowie – Lazarus" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  38. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  39. ^ "LAZARUS – David Bowie" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  40. ^ "Portuguesecharts - David Bowie - Lazarus". portuguesecharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  41. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – David Bowie – Lazarus" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  42. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". 
  43. ^ "Swisscharts.com – David Bowie – Lazarus". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  44. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  45. ^ "David Bowie Scores First Top 40 Hot 100 Single Since 1987". Billboard. 
  46. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  47. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  48. ^ "Hot Rock Songs – Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  49. ^ "David Bowie – Lazarus Radiodate". radioairplay.fm. 19 December 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.