Speed Reads

No Plan

Celebrate David Bowie's 70th birthday with a new Bowie EP, video

David Bowie would have turned 70 years old on Sunday, Jan. 8, and Tuesday, Jan. 10, is the first anniversary of his death. To mark the occasions, Bowie's final studio recordings were released last Saturday night as an EP, No Plan, which is also the name of one of the four tracks and a new music video. Three of the new songs — "No Plan," "Killing a Little Time," and "When I Met You" — are repackaged from the cast recording of the Bowie musical Lazarus, released in the fall, and the fourth, "Lazarus," is on Bowie's final album, Blackstar; he recorded all four songs during the Blackstar studio sessions.

The "No Plan" video, directed by Tom Hingston, features the words to the haunting Bowie song flashed across TV sets in Newton Electrical, a reference to Bowie's character in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Thomas Jerome Newton, who was revived as the main character in Lazarus.

Bowie's life and art were also celebrated in a documentary broadcast on the BBC Saturday night, David Bowie: The Last Five Years. Though Bowie appears only as a fleeting still image in the "No Plan" video, he is in the video for "Lazarus." In the documentary, director Johan Renck said he found out afterward that Bowie learned his cancer was terminal while filming "Lazarus," three months before his death. Despite Bowie appearing in a hospital bed with gauze over his eyes, Renck said he did not view the "Lazarus" video as being about Bowie's cancer. "To me it had to do with the biblical aspect of it — you know, the man who would rise again," he said. "It had nothing to do with him being ill."