What does the ‘Blackstar’ album mean?
It’s a question that, seemingly, is much agonised over by fans and theorists all over the world.
When David Bowie tragically passed away just two days after releasing his 25th album, the album became the subject of hundreds of articles, all trying to find clues to Bowie’s intended meaning.
Of course, it’s obvious that the album is about death, and his co-producer Tony Visconti even called it a ‘parting gift’ for his fans. But what happens when the English Lit graduates (no offence, I am one!) come along and draw imaginary conclusions from invented evidence?
Here are the top five probably (definitely) unlikely interpretations of the album.
No list of unlikely interpretations would be complete without at least one reference to the illuminati, a supposed secret society of the most powerful figures in the world. One website suggests their video contains “undeniable proofs” that not only was Bowie’s death an illuminati sacrifice, but also that he was a “prophet of Satan”. Who knew the illuminati made music this good?
As a true artist, Bowie undoubtedly had an interest in symbolism, often hinting towards obscure occultism. Certain commentators have suggested that Bowie was a member of a secret society called The Golden Dawn, which taught magic, astral travel and communication with angels. According to this interpretation, Bowie’s career, along with Blackstar, is full of symbols and references to his actual ascendance to a higher being.
Nibiru (Planet X)
Nibiru, or Planet X, is a supposed planet on a collision course with Earth, a doomsday event that will bring about the end of humanity. According to this theory (as far as we can gather), the Blackstar represents Nibiru, and Bowie knew about the widespread cover-up of this future event but wanted to alert the general public through his music.
Faked his own death
According to one obsessive fan, Bowie’s narcissism and lack of funeral is unequivocal proof that he faked his own death. No reason, explanation or real evidence is put forward, but apparently it’s all there in the songs…
After some dodgy calculations that would make any maths teacher squirm, one fan concluded that Bowie definitely planned his death. Apparently the number three is involved somewhere, the winter solstice plays a part and of course gravitational waves. Seems pretty watertight to us!
Whatever your interpretation of Blackstar, we can all agree that Bowie made music that meant different things to a lot of people. It’s testament to Bowie’s intelligence and creativity that his music and lyrics can be enjoyed on a surface level and can be pored over for symbols and deeper meanings. Maybe it doesn’t matter what you take from the album, so long as you love listening!
You can find the sheet music for Blackstar here – and maybe theorise for yourself, but don’t forget to enjoy the music first.