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Bowie preorders explode worldwide

HE’S STILL STARMAN: The Next Day, David Bowie’s first album of new music in a decade (see 1/8 items below) went on presale worldwide yesterday via Columbia and promptly rocketed to #1 at iTunes in 27 countries. And while we don’t have the stats yet, we strongly suspect that views of the new “Where Are We Now” video, which premiered yesterday on Bowie’s site, have also exploded. Writing in The Guardian, Alexis Petridis noted that “the main reason [the album’s release has] created such a fuss is simply because no one knew. It's incredible that, in an era of gossip websites and messageboard rumours, one of the biggest stars in the world, presumed retired, can spend two years making a new album without the merest whisper of it reaching the public. But somehow he did it… It's the opposite of how you're expected to do things: at the very least, a major artist releasing a new album is supposed to drop hints, create an online buzz of expectation, stoke the rumour mill, ensure the biggest audience possible is primed and waiting. Bowie has done none of that: whatever The Next Day sounds like, he's turned it into the biggest release of 2013 by the simple expedient of doing absolutely nothing other than make an album. Furthermore, he's managed to maintain the myth and mystique that was always central to his stardom and his art in a world where rock and pop music has almost no myth or mystique left, an age of 360-degree connectivity, where pop stars are supposed to be perpetually available to their fans via social networking. But as we've already established, David Bowie has always shown a brilliant understanding of how to promote records.” (1/9a)

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