The Next Day (song)
|"The Next Day"|
|Single by David Bowie|
|from the album The Next Day|
|Released||17 June 2013|
|Recorded||The Magic Shop|
(New York, New York)
|David Bowie singles chronology|
"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.
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. 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. 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. 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." Bowie then disappears.
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." 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."
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". 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." Also, Andrea Williams of Christian Concern questioned the point of the video while Jack Volero of Catholic Voices referred to it as "desperate".
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.
- David Bowie - lead vocals, electric guitar
- David Torn - guitar
- Gerry Leonard - guitar
- Gail Ann Dorsey - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Tony Visconti - string arrangement
- Zachary Alford - drums
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- Discogs - Zachary Alford - (profile & discography)