Detailed Pedia

The Next Day

The Next Day
The album cover features a black and white photograph of Bowie's face with his hands held up. A white box obscures his face and much of the photograph with a text in the center reading "The Next Day". On top, the text reading "Heroes" is crossed out.
Studio album by
Released8 March 2013 (2013-03-08)
RecordedMay 2011 – October 2012
StudioThe Magic Shop and Human Worldwide (New York City)
Genre
Length53:17
Label
Producer
David Bowie chronology
A Reality Tour
(2010)
The Next Day
(2013)
Nothing Has Changed
(2014)
Singles from The Next Day
  1. "Where Are We Now?"
    Released: 8 January 2013
  2. "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)"
    Released: 26 February 2013
  3. "The Next Day"
    Released: 17 June 2013
  4. "Valentine's Day"
    Released: 19 August 2013
  5. "Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)"
    Released: 13 December 2013 (12")

The Next Day is the 25th studio album by English musician David Bowie, released over several dates in March 2013 through his ISO Records label, under exclusive license to Columbia Records. It marked Bowie's return to recording after retreating from the public due to a heart attack on the A Reality Tour in 2004. Co-produced by Bowie and longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, the album was recorded in New York City at the Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios between May 2011 and October 2012. It featured contributions from new musicians and returning contributors, including Gerry Leonard, Earl Slick, Gail Ann Dorsey, Steve Elson, Sterling Campbell and Zachary Alford. The sessions took place under complete secrecy, with all personnel involved signing non-disclosure agreements.

Musically, The Next Day is primarily a rock album, featuring elements of art rock. Numerous commentators highlighted references to Bowie's prior works. The dark lyrics were partly inspired by the artist's readings of English and Russian history, and cover different types of conflict and topics such as tyranny and violence. Meanwhile, the characters vary from soldiers, assassins, school shooters, and street gangs. The cover art was designed by Jonathan Barnbrook and is an adapted version of his 1977 album "Heroes", featuring a white square containing the album's title obscuring his face and the "Heroes" title crossed out.

The debut single "Where Are We Now?" and news of the album were released online with no prior announcement on 8 January 2013, Bowie's 66th birthday. Within hours, he made headlines around the world, surprising fans and media who had assumed that he had retired from music. Preceded by a viral marketing campaign, The Next Day topped charts around the world and debuted at number one and two on the UK Albums Chart and Billboard 200, respectively. It was his first UK number-one album since 1993 and his highest charting US album since 1976. Several singles with accompanying music videos were released throughout 2013. Outtakes and additional remixes appeared on The Next Day Extra in November.

The Next Day was met with critical acclaim and was regarded as a return to form for the artist and his best work in decades. Many highlighted the performances of the band and Bowie himself and invited positive comparisons to prior works. However, some felt the music lacked innovation and found the album overlong, a sentiment echoed by Bowie's biographers. Among the first surprise albums of the 2010s, The Next Day was included in the 2014 revised edition of Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Background

Bowie performing in November 2003 during the A Reality Tour, his final concert tour.

In late June 2004, David Bowie underwent angioplasty for a blocked artery, which led to the premature cancellation of what became his final concert tour, the A Reality Tour. Following surgery, Bowie largely withdrew from the public eye. Over the following years he was spotted walking around New York City, at various local venues and making occasional appearances at concerts by artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire and David Gilmour. His final live public performance took place on 9 November 2006 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, where he performed "Changes" (1971). He made several on-screen appearances, but the only studio recordings he made during the period were small contributions to other artists such as TV on the Radio and Scarlett Johansson. He also mostly cut off contact with many of his prior collaborators after the surgery, including his longest working partner Tony Visconti, whom he began speaking to again after 2006. His former bassist Gail Ann Dorsey stated in early 2010: "I really don't know what he's up to at the moment. I just hope that, as much as anyone else, as a fan of music, that he returns."

Rumours circulated that Bowie was in poor health, particularly after he declined repeated invitations to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Others speculated he was suffering from cancer, to which Noel Gallagher commented in 2011 that "I know [Bowie] hasn't been very well, but we need him." Visconti refuted these rumours in 2013, who stated: "He does not have cancer. If there's one thing I would like to dispel it's the rumours about his ill-health. He's incredibly fit and takes care of himself. Obviously after the heart attack he wasn't too thrilled but he has an amazing family and friends."

In November 2010, Bowie contacted Visconti "out of the blue" while he was working in London with Kaiser Chiefs on their album The Future Is Medieval (2011), wanting to record some demos. A few days later, Visconti returned to New York and joined Bowie in the studio with his former musicians, guitarist Gerry Leonard and drummer Sterling Campbell. The four worked for five to seven days at 6/8 Studios in Manhattan's East Village, a tiny rehearsal room which Leonard likened to "a little dungeon". The demos, which Bowie had crafted during his hiatus, were created on digital recorders and complete with basslines and drum patterns. According to Visconti, the ensemble primarily wrote notes on the demos and did not record any material until the final day. After about a dozen demos were made, primarily consisting of keyboards and wordless guide vocals for melodies, Bowie returned home and went silent for four months. Visconti later said that he spent the time writing and developing the material.

Recording

A gray-haired man with glasses and a black shirt standing in front of a microphone
Bowie's longtime collaborator Tony Visconti (pictured in 2007) co-produced The Next Day.

In April 2011, Bowie began searching for a studio in New York City to record at in complete secrecy. According to biographer Nicholas Pegg, the first venue chosen, whose identity remains undisclosed, was discarded before recording began. Visconti later told The Guardian that the studio's personnel quickly exposed the secret. Bowie instead chose a venue close to his home, Crosby Street's the Magic Shop. The studio's owner, Steve Rosenthal, later admitted: "It's not an exaggeration to say that we didn't know what was going on until the day that David showed up." Recording officially began on 2 May 2011, with Bowie and Visconti acting as co-producers.

Engineer Mario J. McNulty, who had worked on Reality (2003), joined Bowie and Visconti at the Magic Shop. McNulty set up workstations for each player in the location's small "live" studio room, which had little separation between the players. Bowie was set up with a Baldwin piano, his Korg Trinity synthesiser, a six-string and twelve-string acoustic guitar, a tambourine and a digital mixer used to reference the demos. Bowie placed emphasis on studio experimentation, which Pegg likened to the early sessions for his 1995 album Outside. Visconti commented: "He gets us to feel a song might be about an assassination, so everyone gets in that mood. None of the songs are pre-written, he jots down notes and I keep the microphone settings the same for each song so we can return to it." At Bowie and Visconti's request, McNulty applied studio processing on the mixing board so, upon playback, it would "sound like a record on playback". Bowie would disappear with the music "to make sure he was on the right track", then bring the band back together to take the next step in recording when he was ready. Visconti described the recording sessions as "intense", but they stuck to regular hours.

First block

Recording at the Magic Shop took place in blocks on and off until the autumn of 2012. Various players, who in Visconti's words, had "a lot of Bowie DNA between them", contributed throughout the sessions. For the first two weeks in May 2011, Leonard was joined by Dorsey on bass and former Heathen (2002) and Reality guitarist David Torn. Dorsey later described the tracks as "different from anything else that's going on in the world". Campbell, who had touring commitments with the B-52's, was replaced by Earthling (1997) drummer Zachary Alford, who would play on most of the album's tracks. According to Alford, most of the songs were completed in two to five takes, recording one to two tracks per day. Leonard recalled that the sessions moved relatively quickly, but never felt rushed: "David likes to work hard in short bursts and get it done."

Songs recorded during the first block included "The Next Day" and "Atomica" on 2 May, "How Does the Grass Grow?" and "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die" on 3 May, "If You Can See Me" on 4 May, "Dancing Out in Space" on 4 and 7 May, "Like a Rocket Man" on 5 May, "Born in a UFO" on 5 and 10 May, "Heat" on 6 May, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" on 9 May and "So She" on 12 May. Many of the May tracks received subsequent work later on, including additional overdubs by other musicians; according to Pegg, the initial version of "Born in A UFO" was scrapped entirely and recorded later on. After the initial May sessions, recording halted until September. During breaks from the studio, Visconti would walk the streets of New York listening to music from The Next Day on his earphones: "I was walking around New York with my headphones on, looking at all the people with Bowie T-shirts on—they are ubiquitous here—thinking, 'Boy, if you only knew what I'm listening to at the moment.'"

Second block, overdubs and vocals

Over the summer of 2011, Bowie recorded demos with Leonard, including the co-written "Boss of Me" and "I'll Take You There", at the latter's home in Woodstock, before the next block of recording began in September. Lasting only one week, the players included Leonard, Alford and Heathen bassist Tony Levin, replacing Dorsey who was touring with Lenny Kravitz. Songs tracked during this block included "I'll Take You There" and "God Bless the Girl" on 12 September, "Love Is Lost" and "Where Are We Now?" on 13 September, "The Informer" and "Boss of Me" on 14 September, "I'd Rather Be High" on 15 September, and "Dirty Boys" two days later on 17 September.

After the second block, Bowie began cutting vocals with Visconti on and off from September to January 2012. These were recorded at Human Worldwide Studios, owned by Visconti's son Matthew, where the majority of the backing vocals and other overdubs were also added. Lead vocals recorded during this time included "The Informer" on 21 September, "Where Are We Now?" on 22 October, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" on 26 October, "God Bless the Girl" on 2 November, "Heat" on 5 November, "Love Is Lost" on 19 November, "Boss of Me" on 26 November and "How Does the Grass Grow?" on 16 January 2012; he also tracked every instrument aside from drums on an instrumental track titled "Plaid" from 19 to 20 January. Bowie initially struggled with lyrics and vocals, with Visconti saying "In the beginning he was finding his voice". Dorsey and Leonard were initially afraid the artist would abort the album, while Magic Shop assistant engineer Brian Thorn stated: "I had no idea if the album would even be released. I was prepared to sit on it for as long as I needed to."

The musicians were given little information when they were not recording. Leonard later recalled "I heard they were doing vocals and a little bit of strings or saxophone or piano". Saxophone overdubs were provided by Steve Elson, who had worked with Bowie on records from Let's Dance (1983) to Heathen. Meanwhile, new arrival Henry Hey, whose previous credits included works with George Michael and Rod Stewart, contributed piano overdubs over several sessions at both the Magic Shop and Human Worldwide on tracks such as "Where Are We Now?", "The Informer", "God Bless the Girl" and "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die". Hey was hired by Bowie at Visconti's recommendation after the two had worked together on a Lucy Woodward jazz album. Visconti later told Pegg: "I loved his versatility and flawless technique.[...] [He] has a lovely, calming personality." On Bowie's work ethic, Hey also told Pegg: "David was always interested to hear what a particular musician might do on a song before he gave any guidance. It's a great way to work as it allows people to put forth their most prominent instinct on a passage. After that, he might mention parts of what you played that he liked [or did not like][...] yet he was always such a gentleman about it."

Third block and final overdubs

In March 2012, Leonard was brought back to the Magic Shop for additional guitar overdubs, while Bowie continued tracking lead vocals. His second batch of tracks included "You Feel So Lonely You Die", "Like a Rocket Man" and "I'll Take You There" on 2 March, the last of which he returned to on 5 and 14 March, "The Next Day" on 16 March, "If You Can See Me" on 4 April, "Dirty Boys" on 8 May and "I'd Rather Be High" the following day. The third and final block of recording commenced in late July 2012. Visconti took over on bass, while Campbell and long-time guitarist Earl Slick joined the sessions.

Songs recorded included a new version of "Born in a UFO" on 23 July, "Valentine's Day" the following day and "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" on 25 July; Slick contributed overdubs to "Dirty Boys" and "Atomica". Slick was "pleasantly surprised" at the invitation to play on the album and described the sessions as "relaxed and fun". Bowie tracked a final round of vocals in the autumn of 2012: "Valentine's Day" on 18 September, "Born in a UFO" on 26 September, "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" the following day, "Dancing Out in Space" on 8 October and "So She" on 23 October.

Secrecy

If he had told people two years ago that he was making a new album, he would have been flooded with opinions on what it should be like.

—Tony Visconti on keeping the album a secret

Bowie took great pains to keep the recording of the album secret, requiring people involved to sign non-disclosure agreements. The Magic Shop ran with a skeleton crew of only one or two employees on days when Bowie was there. Visconti remembered having difficulty keeping silent, telling Q magazine in 2013 that "the hardest thing has been the past two years telling people I was working on a secret project [and] they'd immediate [assume it was Bowie]". Slick additionally struggled with the secret, telling Mojo that "it was rough. I was bursting to tell people that I'd been back in the studio with David, that he looks good, he's singing his ass off, that we got this great album. And I couldn't say a thing." Bowie's label were also unaware of the sessions; Columbia Records' PR firm in the UK learned of the project only a few days before the album was released.

Studio manager and assistant engineer Kabir Hermon recalled having a few close calls throughout recording. In October 2011, King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, who played on "Heroes" (1977) and Scary Monsters (1980), posted on his blog about a dream he had in which he received an invite from Bowie to work on a new project. The post initially attracted publicity despite Fripp having zero knowledge about Bowie's return to the studio. Once the new album was officially announced, claims that Fripp turned down an invitation to play on the album were denied by the guitarist himself, who said, "I haven't spoken to David for a while and I wasn't approached [to take part in the album]", adding "I'm not angry at all. No one is hurt, I'm not upset, just keen for clarity." Another close call occurred in July 2012, when Slick was spotted by a cameraman outside the studio.

Music and lyrics

The Next Day started out trying to do something new but something old kept creeping in.

—Tony Visconti, 2015

Commentators primarily characterised The Next Day as a rock album, mainly featuring art rock. Visconti echoed these sentiments in an interview with the NME, whom he described The Next Day to as "quite a rock album". The Guardian's Alexis Petridis further wrote it as "superior but relatively straightforward rock music". Comparing the rock sound to Bowie's previous works, commentators likened it to the music of Scary Monsters. Visconti described the material as "extremely strong and beautiful". He added "if people are looking for classic Bowie they'll find it on this album, if they're looking for innovative Bowie, new directions, they're going to find that on this album too." A few critics viewed The Next Day as an extension of its two predecessors, with Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of Financial Times stating that it is "as though it were indeed recorded on the next day and not after 10 years of unexplained inactivity". Nevertheless, the tracks feature styles and references to many of Bowie's past albums, from Ziggy Stardust (1972), Young Americans (1975) and Low (1977), to Never Let Me Down (1987), Outside and Hours (1999).

The lyrics throughout The Next Day are pervaded by dark themes, leading Pegg to describe it as one of Bowie's "bleakest" albums. Unlike the spiritual ideals that encapsulated Heathen and Reality, Pegg relates the lyrical themes on The Next Day to Bowie's 1967 self-titled debut album, Lodger (1979) and Tin Machine (1989). Different types of conflict concern many of the tracks, from physical, emotional and spiritual, to cultural and ideological. Simon Reynolds of The New York Times found imagery of "decay, debility, and dejection". Pegg additionally notes that "in song after song we are confronted by images of tyranny and oppression, violence and slaughter." Numerous probe the mind-sets of different individuals, many of whom feel abandoned or lost, either out of reach or out of their depth. In his book Ashes to Ashes (2019), biographer Chris O'Leary found "repeated images of emigration and exile, of teenagerhood trying to survive in inhospitable climes; assassins and hitmen, revolutionaries and soldiers." Regarding the wide assortment of characters, Uncut's David Cavanagh wrote: "A primary characteristic of The Next Day is the way in which it catapults us from one scenario to another, often across continents and centuries, requiring us to readjust and get our bearings." According to Visconti, Bowie spent time during his sabbatical from music reading books on medieval English history, Russian history and monarchs of Great Britain, which were reflected in the album's lyrics. Pegg compares it to the material on Hunky Dory (1971) and Station to Station (1976). Petridis commented that "the lyrics are so dense and allusive you occasionally feel in need of a set of York Notes to get through them." The presence of younger characters was also highlighted by Pegg and Cavanagh.

Of the 29 songs recorded during the sessions, 14 were chosen for The Next Day's final tracklist. In April 2013, Bowie personally sent a list of 42 words, which he considered relevant to The Next Day, to novelist Rick Moody. Moody told The Rumpus that he requested a "sort of work flow diagram" for the album, assuming he would not receive a response and was surprised when he received a list of words "without further comment". Pegg dissected the list and attributed three words to each track:

Songs

A black and white photo of a middle-aged man on a stage with no shirt on
Several tracks drew comparisons to Bowie's late-1970s works with Iggy Pop (pictured in 1987).

The Next Day opens with the ferocious title track, which employs a funk rock groove with gaunt guitars that Pegg compares to the new wave of Lodger and Scary Monsters. The dark lyrics concern a condemned man facing a horrific penalty; according to Pegg, the target is "the oppressive and corrupt edifices of organized religion in general, and of the Christian church in particular". While O'Leary considers the announcement of "Here I am, not quite dying" a response to the Flaming Lips' "Is David Bowie Dying?" (2011), Pegg analyses further and declares that the line transcends the song itself to become "an existential battle-cry not just for an ageing rock star, but for the entire process of forging into the future, of creating new work and living new life, even as death looms larger." "Dirty Boys" marks an "abrupt detour" from the opening track, using a slower-tempo, stuttering staccato rhythm emphasised by Slick's guitar and Elson's baritone saxophone, which Visconti likened to "stripper music from the 1950s". A few commentators drew comparisons to Iggy Pop's Bowie-produced 1977 album The Idiot, particularly the songs "Nightclubbing" and "Tiny Girls". The lyrics spy on a delinquent street gang, which Pegg parallels to Bowie's 1966 track "The London Boys". Visconti described the track as "a euphemism, and song, for all the glam rock stars that have ever been."

"The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" provides commentary on celebrities, following a washed-out celebrity assessing newer ones. Chris Roberts described it as "both a hymn to celebrities and a damnation of same" in The Quietus; in The Second Disc's Joe Marchese's words, "an ironic comment from one of the biggest stars of all time." Set to a rich rock melody, Hunter-Tilney called the track "a sexagenarian take on the Hollywood depravity" of Aladdin Sane's "Cracked Actor" (1973). In his review of the album for Rolling Stone, Rob Sheffield considered "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" about "two lovers looking at the night sky, where they see the whole universe buzzing with activity [...] They feel the stardust in their hearts blaze to life. And they suddenly feel like they're part of the cosmos, if only because they're together." Pegg orates Sheffield's take as proof that Bowie's songs offer more than one interpretation. According to Visconti, "Love Is Lost" is "not about a love affair, but how everyone has cut down their feelings in the internet age." The perspective is a 22-year-old in their darkest hour: he or she has lost his or her sight while looking into the past. Musically, the track employs the distorted snare drum effect previously used for Low. Overall an organ-heavy rock drudge, Pegg places the "prowling rhythm track" somewhere between "the trick-shot ska of 'Ashes to Ashes' [1980] and the robotic glide of early Kraftwerk" over a "coolly remorseless keyboard" and "splashes of snarling guitar".

"Where Are We Now?" is about Bowie's time living in Berlin in the late 1970s. He casts himself as "a man lost in time" comparing and contrasting the divided Cold War-era city he used to live in and the modern-day city reunified with Germany, including various references to changes the city went through after the Berlin Wall's fall in 1989. Recalling Reality's "The Loneliest Guy" and Hours's "Thursday's Child", the reflective track utilises an elegant, subdued instrumental, relinquished with a piano part from Hey, who augmented Bowie's original. Visconti felt the song's melancholic tone was "very different" from the rest of the album. Set to a boastful, burly and inviting melody, with glam guitars and 'sha-la-la-la' backing vocals, O'Leary finds "Valentine's Day" the catchiest song on the album. Cavanaugh noticed a touch of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" from his Bowie co-produced 1972 album Transformer. However, the dark lyrics concern a school shooter, specifically a character named Valentine on the day he will become famous. Inspired by the increasing amount of school shootings in the United States in the preceding years, including the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. O'Leary analyses the title as "a day to commemorate lovers is some grubby killer's day of indiscriminate revenge".

The "chaotic centerpiece" of the album, "If You Can See Me" features shifting time signatures and chord progressions, recalling the drum and bass styles of Earthling and anticipating the free jazz experimentation of "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" (2014). It also features prominent backing and co-lead vocals from Dorsey. Pegg finds it one of the album's "more impenetrable lyrics", featuring "lacerated, fragmented images and occasional nonsense-words", which drew comparisons to Outside. Visconti suggested that "identities switch between someone who may be Bowie and a politician", to which Pegg dissected that "Bowie is conjuring an abstract everyman, an embodiment of every deranged leader who ever lived." "I'd Rather Be High" offers a culmination of the album's lyrical ideals, concerning a young traumatised soldier in the desert who laments that he would "rather be high" and succumb to his emotions. O'Leary argues that the track presents a broader theme: "civilization's recursive betrayal of its youth." Pegg similarly states that the protagonist "stands for every teenager who has ever been sent to kill and be killed for his country." Billboard's Phil Gallo found the music a piece of neo-psychedelia reminiscent of works by the Beatles and the Smiths, with swirling guitars and a military-style drumbeat.

An older man playing a guitar
Guitarist Gerry Leonard (pictured in 2015) co-wrote "Boss of Me" and the outtake "I'll Take You There".

"Boss of Me" is the first of two Bowie–Leonard penned tracks from the sessions; Leonard composed the central riff and distinctive chord structure. Pegg and O'Leary deride the track as the album's weakest link, featuring "hackneyed and inconsequential" lyrics about a small town girl, while boasting one of the album's most wider-ranging melodies. The former and Cavanaugh also highlight its "irksomely unoriginal" title. Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly relates its "gospel-glam strut" to Aladdin Sane's "Watch That Man". Visconti described "Dancing Out in Space" as "a song about another music artist, possibly a conglomeration of artists." Containing references to Georges Rodenbach's Bruges-la-Morte (1892), the story is about a widower obsessed with his dead wife and subsequently with her double, although O'Leary deduces the lyrics as "a little more than crossword clues without answers". Musically, the track is a camp, bouncy pop song with a Motown-inspired beat. Pegg likens its chord structure and soundscape to Heathen's "A Better Future". Some compared its bouncy nature to Pop's "Lust for Life" (1977), which Bowie co-wrote and co-produced.

"How Does the Grass Grow?" returns to wartime with a lyric that juxtaposes life before and after the atrocity. "Dark, dismal and horrifying, yet infused with a perverse beauty", Pegg calls it one of the album's "hidden gems". O'Leary opines that the song acts as one of the album's "connecting hubs" with its thematic links to other songs. Bowie shares a songwriting credit with the Shadows' Jerry Lordan, as the melody of the "ya ya yay a" line is taken directly from that group's 1960 chart-topping instrumental "Apache". A few outlets contrasted it with Lodger's "Boys Keep Swinging" (1979). The heaviest track on the album, "(You Will) Set the World on Fire" is a pompous mid-1980s rocker, echoing Bowie's cover of Pop's "Bang Bang" on Never Let Me Down. It takes place in 1960s Greenwich Village amid protests occurring during that time. In Visconti's words, the song is "about a young female singer who gets discovered in a nightclub in the 1960s. [...] It's not about anybody specific, but a couple of people who sang alongside [Bob] Dylan."

"You Feel So Lonely You Could Die" contains noticeable references to Ziggy Stardust, utilising the drum beat of "Five Years" in the outro, the guitar figure of "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" throughout and even the vocal arrangement from The Man Who Sold the World's "The Supermen" (1970). In Consequence of Sound, Cat Blackard commented: "This is more than a head-nod to some of his most famous work – the song itself is a likely suspect as a follow-up, or perhaps prelude to that story. The lyrics easily fit into Ziggy's future world of indifferent, over-indulged youths, five years before humanity's end." The title is a near-verbatim quotation from Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" (1956), while the song itself is a waltz ballad with a vibrant soul-rock arrangement. Regarding the lyrics, Visconti stated, "it sounds like a love song, [but it is actually] about Russian history, from the time of the Cold War and espionage, and about an ugly demise." "Heat" is a quieter, texture-filled mood piece that musically echoes Outside's "The Motel" and the late 1970s works of Scott Walker, whom Bowie noted as an influence multiple times after 1979. Pegg describes the track as "a profoundly imagined, superbly controlled piece of work which gathers up the distilled loneliness, self-doubt and existential anxiety of fifty years of songwriting, and boils them away on a slow, relentless simmer." Alongside lyrical references to Japanese author Yukio Mishima, the lyrics are connected to spiritual uncertainty.

Outtakes

"God Bless the Girl" was at one point slated to be on the album, but was ultimately demoted to a bonus track on the Japanese release. Described by O'Leary as The Next Day's edition of Young Americans and "Underground" (1986), the music builds throughout its runtime and combines an acoustic Bo Diddley riff with electric ambient guitar out of Heathen. The lyrics follow a girl named Jackie, who was "aiming for the stars but landed on the clouds", and has ran out of options. "So She" is a lively 1960s-inspired pop number that contains references to Bowie's past material, from the beat of Reality's "Days", the ambient guitars and layered vocal harmonies of Hours and a slide guitar from that album's single "Seven" (1999). According to Visconti, it is "a wistfully sung love song. It kind of makes me feel romantically sad. Harmonically it is quite sophisticated for such a short piece." "Plan" is the first instrumental on a Bowie album since "Brilliant Adventure" from Hours. The music is reminiscent of the Berlin albums, primarily the ambient tracks from Low and "Heroes", giving what Pegg calls a "sinister and hypnotic" effect. "I'll Take You There" is the second of two Bowie–Leonard penned tracks from the sessions. The song is a driving rocker that echoes Bowie's 1980s works, from the guitar stylings of "Ashes to Ashes" to the "thrashier numbers" on Never Let Me Down and Tin Machine. Meanwhile, its direct lyrics follows the hopes and dreams of two refugees who aspire to start anew in the United States.

"Atomica" was left unfinished by the time the album released; its lead vocal was not recorded until 26 August 2013. Visconti commented: "Some songs, like 'Atomica', needed more work and were assigned to the back burner for future releases." Similar to the album's title track, the song features a guitar-heavy sound with, in Pegg's words, a "bass-slapping post-glam groove" that recalls the 1988 re-recording of "Look Back in Anger" (1979). Musically, "The Informer" is driven by a funky beat against, in Pegg's words, "an intricate sound-sculpture" of layered instruments that echoes the Scary Monsters track "Teenage Wildlife" (1980). The lyrics, meanwhile, are in debt to Martin McDonagh's dark comedy In Bruges (2008), in which a narrator admits to committing an unspecified tragedy which has led to a violent death, but his true identity, whether a police informant or contract killer, is unclear. The title of "Like a Rocket Man" recalls Elton John's "Rocket Man" (1972), which some commentators saw as an imitation of Bowie's "Space Oddity" (1969). Described by O'Leary as "catchy [and] subversive", the lyrics concern a girl addicted to cocaine, amidst themes which echo Bowie's mindset during his Station to Station period. Pegg analyses it as Bowie poking fun at his younger self. "Born in a UFO" was developed from an unreleased track recorded during the Lodger sessions. As such, it musically resembles late-1970s new wave, particularly other Lodger tracks like "Red Sails" and "DJ", and early Elvis Costello and Talking Heads. It lyrically delves into the world of a science fiction B-movie of the 1950s. Pegg and O'Leary recognise the track as a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, with its title referencing "Born in the U.S.A." (1984) and its verse melody echoing "Prove It All Night" (1978).

Artwork and packaging

We wanted to do something different with it. Very difficult in an area where everything has been done before – but we dare to think this is something new.

—Jonathan Barnbrook on the cover

The cover art for The Next Day is an adapted version of the "Heroes" cover, with a white square and the album's title, in austere black Doctrine font, obscuring Bowie's face, and a line drawn across the original album's title. It was designed in September 2012 by graphic artist Jonathan Barnbrook, who previously designed the typography for Heathen and co-designed the Reality artwork. Barnbrook later told the NME that the design for The Next Day went through many changes: "the starting point was an image he had of this concert he did at Radio City. He was telling me about how isolated he felt at that time, and that was the basis of the feeling he wanted." The image, depicting a stick-thin Bowie leaning at a 45-degree angle gripping microphone stand, was flipped upside down and used as the download image for the "Where Are We Now?" single. On the decision to use the "Heroes" cover, Barnbrook commented:

"We tried out every single Bowie cover there's been, but it ended up as "Heroes" because it's such an iconic album, and the image on the front has the right kind of distance. Originally the album was going to be called Love Is Lost, which is one of the other tracks. But The Next Day, in combination with the "Heroes" image, and what the album is saying about somebody who's looking back at his age... it just felt appropriate."

When Visconti first saw the cover, he assumed it was a joke conceived by a fan. Analysing the cover in his book Ashes to Ashes, O'Leary argues that it signifies "the day after being heroes". Barnbrook later released several abandoned designs for the David Bowie Is exhibition, which opened in March 2013 at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Alongside the image used for the "Where Are We Now?" single, other rejected designs included the Aladdin Sane cover defaced with red paintbrush strokes and the Pin Ups (1973) cover with black circles obscuring Bowie and Twiggy's faces. According to Pegg, another rejected design departed from the obscured theme and instead depicted the album's title against "a riot of op-art monochrome patterns" in the style of Bridget Riley.

Announcement

By the time The Next Day was being recorded, journalists, biographers and commentators were convinced that Bowie had effectively retired. In The Complete David Bowie, Pegg writes that keeping the album a secret was effective at maintaining an unbothered work environment, as any pre-emptive announcement would have generated publicity and led to questioning that would have affected the final product: "By keeping the project a secret, David was able to work in peace, to retain control over the timing and the ultimate outcome of the project – and even to decide, should he wish so, to abandon it altogether." Additionally, Pegg assesses that since the release of Reality, the rise of social media and smartphones enacted a new age that embraced spoilers and leaks, making it increasingly difficult to keep things completely secret. As such, Bowie wanted to "maintain a total information blackout" until he was ready to announce. Radiohead had achieved a similar scenario with their 2007 album In Rainbows, although Pegg comments that, unlike The Next Day, it was widely known they were recording at the time. Sony Music label president Rob Stringer did not learn of the album's existence until October 2012, when he was invited to hear a few tracks.

They wanted it to look like there had been no pre-planning. This thing was going to just drop from the sky – David Bowie just reappears... This is a serious cultural moment which deserves headlines.

—Alan Edwards explaining the pre-release in the 2016 documentary Music Mongels

Late in 2012, Bowie decided to surprise release "Where Are We Now?" as the opening single on 8 January 2013, his 66th birthday, with no prior announcement. Visconti said: "It was his idea to just drop it at midnight on his birthday and just let things avalanche." To accompany the release, Bowie enlisted Tony Oursler, whom he previously worked with on the Earthling Tour and the music video for "Little Wonder" (1997), to create a video for "Where Are We Now?" that reflected the song's introspective mood. In the video, Bowie's head appears video-projected alongside Oursler's wife Jaqueline Humphries's on two animal puppets, while the lyrics appear over grainy footage of Berlin. Alan Edwards, who was in charge of Bowie's PR in the UK for years, learned of the single only four days in advance. With little time to plan, Edwards informed some of his most trusted journalist colleagues to run headlines on the morning of release to appear as though there had been no pre-planning. The video was uploaded to YouTube in the early hours of the morning, with his website announcing that listeners could buy the single on iTunes and pre-order The Next Day. Within a couple of hours, Bowie made headlines around the world. The single peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Bowie's highest-charting single since 1985's "Absolute Beginners". Despite the single's melancholy sound, "Where Are We Now?" did little to anticipate the album's overall sound.

Release

A viral marketing campaign was launched to promote The Next Day on 15 February 2013, which grew out of the concept behind the album cover, taking seemingly ordinary images and subverting them through the addition of a white square. "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" was released as the second single on 26 February 2013. A music video in the form of a short film was premiered the previous day, featuring Bowie and actress Tilda Swinton. It peaked at number 102 in Britain, which O'Leary attributed to excitement winding down after the first single. Two days later, the album was streamed in its entirety on iTunes. Through his own ISO Records label, and in association with Columbia, The Next Day was released over several dates in different regions: 8 March in Australia, New Zealand and several European countries; 11 March in the UK and other territories; 12 March in North America; and 13 March in Japan. Similar to the artist's two previous albums, The Next Day was released in both standard and deluxe editions on CD, with the latter featuring the bonus tracks "So She", "Plan", and "I'll Take You There". The double LP edition included both the bonus tracks and the single deluxe CD, while the Japanese CD included the bonus track "God Bless the Girl".

On 4 November 2013, all four bonus tracks, plus an additional four previously unreleased tracks and new remixes of "Love Is Lost" and "I'd Rather Be High", were released as The Next Day Extra, alongside a DVD containing the music videos of the first four singles. The four previously unreleased songs on Extra were left unfinished by the time the original sessions concluded, with additional work carried out in August 2013. Visconti stated: "Most of the lyrics were completed [...] but David added some extra lyrics and sang some new vocals. [...] The new versions were then completely fleshed out and freshly mixed for the new release." Out of 29 songs spooled for The Next Day, 22 saw official release in 2013. According to Visconti, the remaining seven tracks were all discarded by the time Bowie began recording what would be his final album Blackstar (2016), as none of them contained melodies nor lyrics. He told Pegg in 2016 that only one of the tracks had a working title, "Chump", while the rest were identified with numbers related to Bowie's notes.

Commercial performance

The Next Day debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 94,048 copies in its first week. It was Bowie's ninth number-one album in the United Kingdom, and his first in twenty years since Black Tie White Noise (1993). The album fell to number two the following week, selling 35,671 copies. In its third week, it slipped to number three on sales of 23,157 units. In the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at number two with first-week sales of 85,000 copies, earning Bowie his largest sales week for an album in the Nielsen SoundScan era. It debuted behind Bon Jovi's What About Now and became Bowie's best US chart placement yet, beating Station to Station's number three position. The Next Day has sold 208,000 copies in the US as of December 2015.

Elsewhere, The Next Day topped the charts in several countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland, while reaching number two in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. It also peaked at number five in Greece, Hungary and Japan, number 13 in Mexico, and number 55 in South Korea.

Later singles and promotion

An older man wearing headphones and DJing
"Love Is Lost" was remixed by James Murphy (pictured in 2013) in mid-2013, which was released as a single and appeared on The Next Day Extra.

The music video for the title track was released online on 8 May 2013. Featuring actor and Bowie's friend Gary Oldman as a debauched priest, the video challenged Christian teachings and caused short-term outrage related to its themes and messages; Bowie received denouncements from Christian and Catholic leaders, including Catholic League president Bill Donohue. Pegg states that in addition to its religious commentary, the video is "yet another dire warning not to place our faith in the hands of ideologues, of prophets, of messiahs, of people who begin by giving you everything that you want." A month later on 17 June 2013, "The Next Day" was released as a 7" single on square white vinyl. "Valentine's Day" was released as the album's fourth single on 19 August 2013 as a limited 7" vinyl picture disc. Its accompanying music video provides commentary on gun control in the United States; Bowie grips his Hohner guitar like a firearm. "Love Is Lost" was remixed by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy in mid-2013. The full ten-minute remix debuted on 10 October on Shaun Keaveny's BBC Music 6 show and subsequently appeared on The Next Day Extra, while a four-minute edit was unveiled at the Mercury Prize ceremony on 30 October 2013; The Next Day was nominated but lost to James Blake's Overgrown (2013). An accompanying video, directed by Bowie himself, debuted the following day and only cost $12.99. Bowie also appeared in a Louis Vuitton ad with model Arizona Muse where he played a harpsichord and sang "I'd Rather Be High".

In contrast to his assiduous promotion for both Heathen and Reality, Bowie declined all interviews and undertook zero live performances for The Next Day, besides the music videos, occasional photoshoots and the list of words he sent to Moody. Visconti, who became the "Voice of Bowie" throughout the year and carried out numerous interviews about the album, told the Times in January 2013 that Bowie would "never do another interview again". Regarding the media silence, Leonard commented the same year that he was solely using the album, artwork and videos themselves as artistic statements, rather than "getting on the phone with everybody and setting it up with all kinds of chatter", concluding that "I really think it's just part of his aesthetic right now". The Next Day was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014, while "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" was nominated for Best Rock Performance.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.1/10
Metacritic81/100
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic
The A.V. ClubA−
The Daily Telegraph
Entertainment WeeklyB
The Guardian
The Independent
NME
Pitchfork7.6/10
Rolling Stone
Spin5/10

The Next Day was released to acclaim from music critics, and was hailed as Bowie's strongest album in decades. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream critics, the album has received a metascore of 81, based on 44 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Several deemed it a return to form and successful comeback, while in The Independent, Andy Gill hailed it as "the greatest comeback album in rock'n'roll history", adding that the work is "as good as anything he's made". Critics deemed it the artist's best and most rewarding work since Scary Monsters and Outside. In The New York Times, Reynolds addressed the album as "Bowie's twilight masterpiece", while David Chui of CBS News went as far as calling it the artist's "strongest work to date". The Evening Standard gave the album four out of five stars, writing "Bowie reborn is dark, daring and dazzling, confidently inviting comparison with his finest work."

Neil McCormick declared in The Daily Telegraph that the album stands as a "bold, beautiful and baffling electric bolt through its own mythos", while in The Guardian, Petridis found it "thought-provoking, strange and filled with great songs". In a review for BBC Music, Jude Clarke affirmed The Next Day as an "innovative, dark, bold and creative" release that "only David Bowie could make", further hailing "Heat" as "a brilliant example of what makes our finest, bravest musician of the past 40 years so irreplaceable." Mojo's Mark Paytress judged it as "Bowie's most impassioned and convincing work in decades", while in Q magazine, Andrew Harrison applauded "a loud, thrilling, steamrollingly confident rock and roll album full of noise, energy, and words that – if as cryptic as ever they were – sound like they desperately need to be sung." Meanwhile, Time Out's Oliver Keen welcomed The Next Day as an "intelligent, memorable and even a little provocative" addition to Bowie's discography. Keen further argued that Bowie's return "reminds us that great pop songs are actually meant to go somewhere", whereas modern songwriting is "content to ride one static and often unchanging loop".

Several highlighted the performances of the band and Bowie himself. On the vocal performances, The A.V. Club's Jason Heller wrote: "The Next Day isn't great simply because it's the return of Bowie. It's great because it's the return of Bowie's voice: rich, delicate, smoky, wise. And, yes, shaded with the first expectant blush of mortality." In Uncut, Cavanagh found the artist's singing "magisterial", utilising a wide assortment of voices flawlessly "that other singers will be left wondering how he does it". Paste's Douglas Heselgrave commended Bowie's genuine engagement in the songs, arguing that it is "as if he has rediscovered the joy and satisfaction of writing and performing challenging music."

Many critics recognised the album's acknowledgement and embracement of the artist's past and to create a modernised sound. In NME, Emily Mackay said that "Above all, this album is about songcraft. Rather than reinventing Bowie, it absorbs his past and moves it on, hungry for more." Billboard's Phil Gallo wrote that Bowie and Visconti "have struck gold in creating a work that is modern and well-connected to the artist's fabled sonic-past." Drawing comparisons to his previous works, Edna Gundersen of USA Today wrote: "The glitter rock, plastic soul and electronica albums of the '70s stand among Bowie's tallest achievements, and the elegance, urgency and versatility of his 2013 return provide powerful proof that pop music's craftiest chameleon has lost none of his sound vision." Blackard found the songs dense, varied and packed with puzzles that would make repeating and rewarding listens for fans, as did Heselgrave, who stated that the album offers "an embarrassment of riches that should keep listeners busy for weeks and months to come."

However, several found the album lacking in innovation. Cavanaugh found its middle section lacking compared to the rest, but nevertheless highlighted the lyrics, aggression and intelligence throughout. Pitchfork's Ryan Dombal found the music bounces from style to style, "casually suggesting past greatness while rarely matching it". Despite noting a lack of innovation, Marchese stated that the album enjoys repeated listens, while Slate's Geeta Dayal argued that "it's a welcome reminder that Bowie still exists and he's still working to refine his vision." Jim Beviglia of American Songwriter concluded that The Next Day "proves that Bowie... is back, invigorating his listeners even as he stupefies them."

Despite its acclaim, a number of critics expressed mixed feelings on the album, including thoughts that it was overlong. Roberts commented: "so more than half the album is fantastic, and the rest is very, very strong." One of the few negative reviews to emerge from the UK was in The Wire. Mark Fisher called The Next Day an album of "quotidian mediocrity", saying it was entirely undeserving of its wide acclaim and that the "wave of hyperbole it generated point[ed] to a wider malaise in contemporary music" because it proved that anything of low artistic merit could achieve success via "artfully timed PR". Although he found it the artist's most "substantial" album since Let's Dance, Michael Gallucci of Ultimate Classic Rock found the album lacked direction and focus in some tracks. Spin magazine's Alfred Soto criticised The Next Day as "an album that didn't need to be made", arguing that the collision of different ideas results in "colorless abstractions" such as "Where Are We Now?" and "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die". He also criticised the artist for taking a long hiatus, only to return with an album that sounded like its predecessor. A few also deemed it inferior to his 1970s works.

Aftermath and legacy

After years in the wilderness, David Bowie returned with an intelligent, muscular, urgent album of powerful, brilliant songs. It was a greater gift than we had any right to expect.

—Nicholas Pegg, 2016

With the release of multiple projects throughout the year, the media frenzy surrounding Bowie lasted throughout all of 2013. Regarding the artist's legacy in the build up to The Next Day's release, Chui stated: "Even before The Next Day, Bowie's legacy remained much intact and he had nothing really more to prove. But Bowie is simply not another artist who rests on his past laurels. He remains a restless and creative spirit who always looks ahead and not back, as The Next Day indicates. [...] If any lesson is to be learned from Bowie's return, it's that you could never truly count the man out." Likewise, Petridis hoped Bowie would continue making records afterwards, as "listening to a new album by most of his peers makes you wish they'd stick to playing the greatest hits." Bowie's first project following The Next Day was the experimental jazz track "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)", recorded in collaboration with bandleader Maria Schneider, and released on the compilation album Nothing Has Changed (2014). Bowie's final album, Blackstar, was recorded while he was suffering from liver cancer and, according to Visconti, was the artist's "parting gift" for his fans before his death on 10 January 2016, two days after Blackstar's release.

The Next Day was among the first surprise albums of the 2010s. According to Pegg, the surprise release of "Where Are We Now?" the first of its kind by a major artist and would be utilised by artists such as Beyoncé for her albums Beyoncé (2013) and Lemonade (2016). Summarising the significance of the release, Pegg writes:

"The fact that he managed to keep The Next Day a secret until the moment of his choosing was little short of miraculous, and within the context of his own career, the 'Where Are We Now?' coup went beyond a simple PR stunt. At a stroke, it transformed his years of silence into a work of art in their own right. To paraphrase that famous line from The Usual Suspects [1995], the greatest trick that David Bowie ever pulled was convincing the world that he'd retired."

In The Complete David Bowie, Pegg praises the album's diverse moods, from the nostalgia of "Where Are We Now?" to the force of the title track. He primarily agrees with critics in praising the performances, particularly Bowie's, and Visconti's production, but likewise finds the album overlong and drags in its middle section, which he attributes to the "sheer quantity" of the tracks. Nevertheless, he argues that "if the only charge to be levelled against The Next Day is that it offers a surfeit of riches, then there's nothing much amiss". O'Leary also agrees that the album is overlong, commenting that Bowie could have easily made it a triple album during the analog age, but as it stands in the streaming era, The Next Day is "a fluctuating set of tracks whose sequence and length depends on the listener's mood and patience."

In 2016, Bryan Wawzenek of Ultimate Classic Rock placed The Next Day at number 13 out of 26 in a list ranking Bowie's studio albums from worst to best, finding "strong songwriting" amidst non-innovative but overall enjoyable music. Including Bowie's two albums with Tin Machine, Consequence of Sound ranked The Next Day number 11 out of 28 in a 2018 list, with Pat Levy calling it "a late in the game home run for Bowie" and vastly superior to its predecessor Reality. The album was included in the 2014 revised edition of Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing

All lyrics are written by David Bowie; all music is composed by Bowie, except where noted.

The Next Day – Standard edition
No.TitleMusicLength
1."The Next Day" 3:27
2."Dirty Boys" 2:58
3."The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" 3:56
4."Love Is Lost" 3:57
5."Where Are We Now?" 4:08
6."Valentine's Day" 3:01
7."If You Can See Me" 3:15
8."I'd Rather Be High" 3:53
9."Boss of Me"4:09
10."Dancing Out in Space" 3:24
11."How Does the Grass Grow?"4:33
12."(You Will) Set the World on Fire" 3:30
13."You Feel So Lonely You Could Die" 4:37
14."Heat" 4:25
Total length:53:17
The Next Day – Deluxe edition/Vinyl edition
No.TitleMusicLength
15."So She" 2:31
16."Plan" 2:02
17."I'll Take You There"
  • Bowie
  • Leonard
2:41
Total length:57:19
The Next Day – Japanese Deluxe edition
No.TitleLength
18."God Bless the Girl"4:11
Total length:61:30

The Next Day Extra

The Next Day Extra – 2-CD + DVD edition (disc 2)
No.TitleMusicLength
1."Atomica" 4:05
2."Love Is Lost" (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA) 10:24
3."Plan" 2:02
4."The Informer" 4:31
5."I'd Rather Be High" (Venetian Mix) 3:49
6."Like a Rocket Man" 3:29
7."Born in a UFO" 3:02
8."I'll Take You There"
  • Bowie
  • Leonard
2:41
9."God Bless the Girl" 4:11
10."So She" 2:31
Total length:40:45
The Next Day Extra – 2-CD + DVD edition (DVD)
No.TitleLength
1."Where Are We Now?" (Video)4:35
2."The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" (Video)5:54
3."The Next Day" (Video)2:59
4."Valentine's Day" (Video)3:09
Total length:16:37

In addition to the physical release there is a 7-track digital EP bundle that excludes the deluxe edition bonus tracks.

The Next Day Extra EP – Digital edition
No.TitleLength
1."Atomica"4:05
2."Love Is Lost" (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)10:24
3."The Informer"4:31
4."I'd Rather Be High" (Venetian Mix)3:49
5."Like a Rocket Man"3:29
6."Born in a UFO"3:02
7."God Bless the Girl"4:11
Total length:33:31

Personnel

Credits adapted from the liner notes of the deluxe edition of The Next Day.

  • David Bowie – vocals (1–15, 17); guitar (1, 16); string arrangement (1, 3, 15); acoustic guitar (3, 13–15, 17); keyboards (4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 15–17); percussion (16)
  • Tony Visconti – string arrangement (1, 3, 13–15); guitar (2, 13, 15, 17); recorder (3, 9); strings (5); bass guitar (6, 12, 15)
  • Earl Slick – guitar (2, 6, 12)
  • Gerry Leonard – guitar (1–5, 7–15, 17); keyboards (15)
  • David Torn – guitar (1, 3, 7, 10, 11, 13–15, 17)
  • Gail Ann Dorsey – bass guitar (1, 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 14, 17); backing vocals (3, 7, 9, 11–13, 17)
  • Tony Levin – bass guitar (2, 5, 7–9)
  • Zachary Alford – drums (1–5, 7–11, 13–17); percussion (7)
  • Sterling Campbell – drums (6, 12); tambourine (12)
  • Janice Pendarvis – backing vocals (3, 9, 12, 13, 17)
  • Steve Elson – baritone saxophone (2, 3, 9); clarinet (3)
  • Henry Hey – piano (5, 13)
  • Maxim Moston – strings (1, 3, 13–15)
  • Antoine Silverman – strings (1, 3, 13–15)
  • Anja Wood – strings (1, 3, 13–15)
  • Hiroko Taguchi – strings (1, 3, 13–15)

Production

  • David Bowie – production (all tracks)
  • Tony Visconti – engineering, mixing, production (all tracks)
  • Mario J. McNulty – engineering
  • Kabir Hermon – assistant engineering
  • Brian Thorn – assistant engineering
  • Dave McNair – mastering
  • Jonathan Barnbrook – cover design
  • Jimmy King – photography
  • Masayoshi Sukita – original photograph of Bowie for "Heroes"

Charts

Certifications

Sales certifications for The Next Day
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria) Gold 7,500*
Canada (Music Canada) Gold 40,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat) Gold 10,951
France (SNEP) Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI) Gold 100,000^
Ireland (IRMA) Gold 7,500^
Italy (FIMI) Gold 30,000*
Netherlands (NVPI) Platinum 50,000double-dagger
New Zealand (RMNZ) Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV) Gold 10,000*
Sweden (GLF) Gold 20,000double-dagger
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland) Gold 10,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Platinum 300,000double-dagger

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also

This page was last updated at 2022-05-25 01:38 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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