David Bowie, who gave rockers songs like “Space Oddity,” and “Heroes,” passed far too soon, but even after his death, Bowie might still represent a future for classic rock. Harry Styles certainly hopes so.
Sir David Bowie’s music is being commemorated in British postage stamps according to The Guardian and preserved in the Library of Congress according to CNN. Perhaps though the most effective way to preserve David Bowie’s music, and classic rock as a genre is to reassign it to a new generation of rockers.
Harry Styles, also a British-born musician, and also, like David Bowie, drop dead handsome, and already phenomenally famous, wants to keep classic style rock alive, by continuing to create new music in the style of the greats like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, The Beatles, and Queen according to the Hamilton Spectator.
Harry Styles music has been compared to David Bowie’s by the few music professionals who have heard it. Could Harry Styles actually write another “Heroes” or “Space Oddity”
As David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album finds its place in the Library of Congress, and Great Britain honors their fallen knight of rock and roll, with not one, but ten different commemorative postage stamp designs, Harry Styles is inspired to follow in the footsteps of David Bowie’s greatness.
Comparing Harry Styles to David Bowie might seem strange, especially to those who know music, but Harry Styles has reportedly stepped up. So, could Harry become the next David Bowie? Styles is trying hard to capture a David Bowie kind of style.
David Bowie’s commemorative postage stamps were released in March in Britain, and will still be on sale when Harry Styles releases his debut single April 7, with his album coming out very soon as well. Is this a coincidence, or an omen?
David Bowie has already given the world a wealth of music, that in many ways feel as fresh as if it had been written yesterday. For some at least, songs like “Heroes” and “Space Oddity” feel far fresher than the vanilla pop music that has taken over the charts throughout the twenty-first-century.
Harry Styles has unparalleled fame but wants to be taken seriously as a musician. His band, One Direction, now on an extended hiatus, has a popularity that perhaps supersedes the Beatles, but Harry Styles is the first to admit that One Direction was nowhere near where the Beatles were musically, or David Bowie either, and Harry Styles obviously regrets that aspect of his early career and wants to improve the overall quality of his music.
David Bowie was a masterful musician that created stories, lyrical metaphors, musically complex compositions, characters, and personas with his music. “Space Oddity” is a story about an astronaut, but the metaphor is clearly speaking about exploring inner space more than outer space.
Will Hary Styles create this sort of lyrically masterful music? One of David Bowie’s verses from “Heroes” is quoted on Google Play is so amazingly inspiring, it moved a generation. Can Harry Styles move this generation and make them feel powerful?
“I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns, shot above our heads (over our heads)
And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)
And the shame, was on the other side
Oh, we can beat them, forever and ever
Then we could be heroes, just for one day”
One Direction with Harry Styles replicated The Beatles fame, but not their overall musical skills. Harry Styles told The Independent nearly two years ago after watching a Beatles documentary, there were strong parallels but not in the music.
“Stepping off the plane, the girls, the madness, it was exactly the same as when we got there – just 50 years earlier. But none of us think we’re in the same league as them music-wise. We’d be total fools if we did. Fame-wise it’s probably even bigger, but we don’t stand anywhere near them in terms of music.”
David Bowie was an artist, rock hero, and a role model in his day and many young bands in the seventies and eighties took inspiration from his powerful voice, lyrics, and music. Now David Bowie’s music could be stirring another generation, not to simply play his songs like “Heroes” and “Space Oddity” as cover tunes, but to create new songs within his genre.
Harry Styles greatest strength could also become his greatest obstacle, though. Harry Styles is a teen heartthrob famous for bubble gum pop music, thanks in part to Simon Cowell, who exploded Harry Styles band One Direction to superstardom in 2010 and pushed them into a marketable mold.
David Bowie came along in a different era. One in which the musician was already fixed into a genre and already an accomplished and confident musician, before getting a record contract. Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and the rest of their generation of musicians built their own careers from the ground up, performing in clubs and seedy bars. Slowly the best musicians rose to the top, packing experience under their belt in the process.
Harry Styles came into One Direction fame, through the X-Factor show, when he was only 16. Harry didn’t have the rough and tumble experiences that rockers like David Bowie and Mick Jagger went through. While it is a blessing in many ways, it also has left Harry Styles with a subtle image problem.
In David Bowie’s era musicians were tough, strong, hard, rebellious and emotionally powerful. They lived by their wits and their creativity, and even though record companies tried to control them. Musicians were not just iconic, they were true heroes, artists, and prophets. People like Jim Morrison had already taught them that allowing the artist to create was the best way to sell music.
Harry Styles in an almost unprecedented deal with Columbia records got complete artistic freedom in a three album deal. Harry Styles has gained the upper hand, finally, and can write music as he sees fit, much as David Bowie did in his career.
While Harry Styles’ A-list fame, places him in a unique position to take Billboard’s Top 10 by storm, and perhaps set the tone for future musicians, people do have a preconceived set of expectations for Harry Styles, but Styles plans to set a detonator on his former image, and explode his musical career by releasing groundbreaking new music that reportedly sounds a lot like David Bowie.
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David Bowie gave the world amazing songs like “Heroes” and “Space Oddity.” David Bowie gave us characters like Ziggy Stardust that were fantastically creative. Is it possible that 23-year-old Harry Styles can accomplish anything similar? Many in the music world scoffed at the idea, but the proof will come out this month, in April, for better or worse.
David Bowie has inspired Harry Styles to aim for “Heroes” and “Space Oddity,” as a path to that commemorative postage stamp level of greatness David Bowie achieved.
[Featured Image by Patrick Riviere And Jason Merritt/Getty Images]