It’s been almost a full year since David Bowie’s passing broke the hearts of millions of fans, and although we have a treasure trove of music by which to remember him, there is likely nothing new to be received from Bowie himself. Or so, one would assume. David’s more diligent fans have discovered the opposite to be true, however, uncovering secret messages in the artwork contained with the vinyl album release of Bowie’s last studio album, Blackstar. Little by little, different secrets hidden amid the artwork on the Blackstar album sleeves indicate that, while David Bowie has left us, he didn’t do so without having his final say.
Blackstar Contains Secrets David Bowie Wished To Share
The Blackstar mysteries were only recently discovered when one ardent David Bowie fan discovered that leaving the Blackstar album sleeve exposed in direct sunlight results in the discovery of a galaxy of stars. NME reports that, as surprising and impressive as that optical illusion may be, it’s not the only secret to be uncovered by Bowie fans in their exploration of the physical, vinyl Blackstar album.
Jonathan Barnbrook, Bowie’s album designer, has even shared that fans aren’t imagining things. In fact, he reveals that there are many more hidden secrets to be uncovered.
Chris Grey, another one of David Bowie’s fans, wrote directly to NME to share his own discovery. He says it’s all contained within the booklet that comes as a part of the Blackstar album.
“I noticed that their [sic] is a very quirky design on the page where the lyrics ‘Girl Loves Me’ appears. I was pretty sure this was an instruction – and so it transpired.”
Grey uncovered a very intriguing secret in the designs on that page, though, as he shares it takes some ingenuity to uncover and appreciate the “Girl Loves Me” artwork to its fullest.
“What you have to do is bring the booklet to within about 10cm of a wall in a blackened room and shine a torch on the images that appear in the booklet (such as the stars, the man and woman, the ‘Lazarus’ title etc, etc,) and what you get is a range of fantastic coloured and 3D images,” reveals Grey of Bowie’s last album. “The lyrics also appear 3D with red shadow colouring…”
Barnbrook adds an aura of intrigue as he reveals that Grey’s discovery is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg and adds that there is much more to be uncovered by Bowie’s more diligent fans. He also tells of “one big thing,” which has, up to this time, remained completely undiscovered. Jonathan says people will know it when they see it, but also suggests that some may never uncover that final secret.
David Bowie Remembered One Year Later
David Bowie passed away on January 10, and as we near the one-year anniversary of that sad day, the Hollywood Reporter has shared the thoughts of one of those closest to Bowie. Henry Hey was closest to David at the time of his passing. Because he was connected with Bowie’s off-Broadway Lazarus. It was that project to which Mr. Bowie had devoted much of his time. Even when most other people might have resigned themselves to rest and comfort, David spent his final days working hard to make sure Lazarus, his final legacy, was everything he hoped it to be.
Lazarus is unique in that it also produced a cast album, featuring songs from the live production, which is something very uncommon with off-Broadway performances, but it was something David Bowie really wanted. It would be another gift from a dying king, and as fate would have it, Henry Hey, the show’s music director, shares that recording began on the day of Bowie’s passing.
“None of the cast knew about David’s situation,” says Hey, who had been aware of Bowie’s illness. “I wrote to the cast and said, ‘Look, we have to do this thing because this is what he wanted.’ And everybody showed up and gave it their all.”
Hey says even facing terminal illness had not dulled Bowie’s boyish fascination with creating something new. David showed up each day, eager to see how the Lazarus cast and crew would shape and mold his work, making it their own in innovative ways.
“He was excited to see what other people would do with his work. It was almost like a ball game with him,” reveals the Lazarus music director. “He would throw the ball up in the air and see what you were going to do with it.”
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Getty Images]