I want to say something contradictory here. On the one hand Bowie has to be understood in a tradition of musical theater, which I think is Brechtian, and has to be understood in a tradition of contemporary art. I think Bowie should be spoken of in the same breath as Marcel Duchamp. And he worked in all these different media, and his influence is incalculable across all these domains. All of this is true. But if all of that existed, if all of that artifice existed without the songs, we wouldn’t be talking about him now. He was good at all these different things, but he was really, really good at making songs. And it’s those songs that stand up, and they form a coherent body of work for a number of reasons. But maybe it’s just because they’re really good [laughs]. They’re able to register with people in this incredibly powerful way. His fate was to be a pop star because that was the medium in which he could work in that particular historical period. If he was around now who knows what he might be.

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