David Bowie Faces Past Alter Egos, Tilda Swinton in 'The Stars (Are Out Tonight)' Video

Latest single off 'The Next Day' revisits the Thin White Duke's 'Let's Dance' era

WRITTEN BY
Daniel Kreps

As promised, David Bowie has delivered the video for his latest The Next Day single (and Record Store Day contribution), "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)." While Bowie's last video "Where Are We Now?" simply had the singer's face projected on a severed mannequin head, in "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," Bowie is up and acting like it's The Hunger all over again. He's joined by actress Tilda Swinton, and the casting is perfect: For years, Swinton has been copying Bowie's similarly androgynous The Man Who Fell to Earth look, so it's fitting that the Thin White Duke and his actress doppelganger should share the screen as an elderly couple who are pestered by their famous neighbors that represent a wilder, carefree era of Bowie's life.

The clip was directed by music video vet Floria Sigismondi, who previously helmed Bowie's "Dead Man Walking" and "Little Wonder" vids 15 years ago. (If the cinematography looks familiar, it's the work of Fight Club director of photography Jeff Cronenweth.) The song itself harkens back to early '80s Bowie, similar to the dance-rock singles "China Girl" and Tonight's "Blue Jean."

Based on the hijacked Heroes cover that Bowie is using for The Next Day and the Berlin-minded lyrics to first single "Where Are We Now?," it's apparent that Bowie's new album gazes back into the singer's varied discography, and on "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," the session guitarists on The Next Day do their best impression of Bowie collaborators Stevie Ray Vaughn and Carlos Alomar.

Truthfully, it's more fun listening to Bowie revisit his fluorescent '80s music than trying to keep step with the younger artists that have emerged during his 12-year hiatus, and "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" is another above-average new song from a singer we feared we'd never hear new songs from again.

Check out the latest single's lyrics over at Bowie's Facebook page. The Next Day is due out March 26th while the Record Store Day 7" of "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)," backed by "Where Are We Now?" arrives at indie shops on April 20th. This new track is available on iTunes right now!

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