By Jeremy Gordon
November 23, 2015 at 4:44 p.m. EST
Photo by Jimmy King
More details about the making of David Bowie’s new album ★ (pronounced Blackstar) have been revealed, as Rolling Stone reports.
James Murphy performed percussion on two tracks, though he was originally slated to be one of the album’s producers alongside Bowie and longtime collaborator Tony Visconti. “[Murphy] was there for a brief time, but he had his own projects to go off to,” Visconti told Rolling Stone.
Mark Guiliana, who played drums on the record, added: “His role was never really defined. He brought in some synths and some percussion and had a ton of ideas.”
Back in 2013, Murphy remixed Bowie’s “Love Is Lost”. He also covered Bowie’s “Golden Years” for the score of While We’re Young, which was released earlier this year.
Visconti also said they listened to “a lot” of Kendrick Lamar while working on the album. “We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record,” he told Rolling Stone. “He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”
Lead single “Blackstar” was also originally more than 11 minutes long, but was cut to 9:57 because iTunes doesn’t post singles longer than 10 minutes. “It’s total bullshit,” Visconti said. “But David was adamant it be the single, and he didn’t want both an album version and a single version, since that gets confusing.” His bandmate Donny McCaslin claimed the song is about ISIS.
Other songs on the album include “Girl Loves Me”, “Dollar Days” (which Bowie wrote in the studio), and “I Can’t Give Everything Away”. It also includes the previously released “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore”.
★ is out January 8.
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this story, it was erroneously asserted that the song “Girl Loves Me” was claimed to be about ISIS. In the Rolling Stone interview, McCaslin was discussing the album’s title track.
Artists: David Bowie, LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy
Tagged: David Bowie, James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem