The Next Day (song)

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"The Next Day"
David Bowie - The Next Day single cover art.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album The Next Day
Released17 June 2013 (2013-06-17)
RecordedThe Magic Shop
(New York, New York)
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"
"The Next Day"
"Valentine's Day"
Music video
"The Next Day" (Explicit) on YouTube

"The Next Day" is a single by English rock musician David Bowie, from his 24th studio album, The Next Day. The song caused controversy before the single's release due to its perceived mocking of Christianity, which some Christians considered obscene.[3][4][5]

It was released as a white-square-shaped vinyl 45, as a 'limited' edition release. Both sides featured the track.[6] The single reached 179 on the UK Singles Chart.[citation needed]

Music video[edit]

The music video debuted on 8 May 2013. It was directed by Floria Sigismondi, who also directed the video for the preceding single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)", and features English actor Gary Oldman and French actress Marion Cotillard, along with David Bowie. Bowie plays a Christ-like figure while Oldman acts the role of a bishop.[7] The video depicts Bowie performing in a bar called The Decameron—reference to the Boccaccio's masterpiece known also for its satirical depiction of clergymen—and populated with religious figures and half-naked women.[7][8] The video also portrays Marion Cotillard's character (who is presumed to be a prostitute) suffering from a gruesome stigmata, with the detailed depiction of the blood bursting from her wounds, while the priest is dancing with her.[9][10][11] Other horror elements such as eyeballs served as food are also present. The music video ends with the stigmatized woman apparently born again as an innocent girl and Bowie saying simply, "Thank you Gary, thank you Marion, thank you everybody."[12] Bowie then disappears.


Bowie, Cotillard and Oldman as depicted in the video

The video gained wide attention and caused a controversy. It was banned from YouTube just two hours after its release due to "violation of YouTube's Terms of Service."[4][12][13] However, the video returned on the website shortly after its removal, with an age restriction. A YouTube spokeswoman stated: "With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it."[3][13][14]

The video also triggered many backlashes and criticisms from various Christian organizations. Bill Donohue, the leader of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, heavily criticized it and David Bowie, calling the video "a mess" and referring to Bowie as "a switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London".[15][16] The former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, also criticized the song as "juvenile" and urged other Christians to "rise above." He also stated that he doubted whether Bowie would have the courage to use Islamic imagery."[17] Also, Andrea Williams of Christian Concern questioned the point of the video while Jack Volero of Catholic Voices referred to it as "desperate".[17]

As a reaction to the controversy and Donohue's criticisms, Bowie's official website issued a response, titled "The Next Day the day after". The writing contains an explicit response to the depiction of "the served eyeballs", which is acknowledged to be a reference to Saint Lucy.[18]



  1. ^ Hyden, Steven (11 March 2013). "The Next Day: David Bowie's Big Return Is Whatever You Need It to Be". Grantland. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  2. ^ Gerard, Chris (2 November 2015). "David Bowie's 'Heroes' to 'The Next Day'". PopMatters. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  3. ^ a b "David Bowie's 'The Next Day' video criticised by Catholic church". NME. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b Phillips, Amy (7 May 2013). "Watch David Bowie's Bloody, Religious "The Next Day" Video, Starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ Savage, Lesley (9 May 2013). "David Bowie's new religious-themed video causing controversy". CBS News. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Smart, Gordon (9 May 2013). "David Bowie's star cast vid so gory YouTube banned it". The Sun. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  8. ^ Ramisetti, Kirthana (8 May 2013). "YouTube gives David Bowie 'The Next Day' video adult-only rating". Newsday. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  9. ^ Danton, Eric R. (8 May 2013). "David Bowie Features Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard in 'The Next Day'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  10. ^ Ebby, Margharet (8 May 2013). "David Bowie unveils controversial 'The Next Day' video featuring Marion Cotillard, Gary Oldman". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  11. ^ Gallo, Phil (8 May 2013). "David Bowie Releases 'The Next Day' Video". Billboard. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  12. ^ a b Saunders, Louise (8 May 2013). "David Bowie's explicit video The Next Day, starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, banned from YouTube after just two hours". Daily Mail. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  13. ^ a b Casciato, Paul (8 May 2013). "YouTube puts adult-only rating on David Bowie's new video". Reuters. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  14. ^ Savage, Lesley (9 May 2013). "David Bowie's new religious-themed video causing controversy". The Independent. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  15. ^ Pelly, Jenn (9 May 2013). "Catholic League Disses David Bowie's "The Next Day" Video". Pitchfork. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  16. ^ Danton, Eric R. (9 May 2013). "David Bowie's 'The Next Day' Clip Attacked by Catholic League". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  17. ^ a b Bingham, John (8 May 2013). "David Bowie's new video 'juvenile', says Archbishop". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  18. ^ "The Next Day, the day after". Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  19. ^ Discogs - Zachary Alford - (profile & discography)

External links[edit]