Bowie to put out first album in three years

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The Independent Culture

David Bowie, whose musical career has been on hold since walking out on Virgin Records, is to release his first album in three years this summer.

Columbia Records yesterday announced a seven-album deal with the performer, with the first release, Heathen, due out on 11 June.

Bowie complained of "bumping heads with corporate structure" last year when he walked out on Virgin Records, which is part of the troubled EMI group. He said: "Many times I've not been in agreement with how things are done. ... I've dreamed of embarking on my own set-up for such a long time and now is the perfect opportunity."

At the time he said he would be releasing material through his own fledgling company, ISO, but the label has now been signed to Columbia.

For the new album Bowie has revived his partnership with Tony Visconti, with whom he worked on classic, pioneering LPs such as Low, Heroes, Lodger and Scary Monsters.

Bowie said: "After my first couple of meetings with the guys at Columbia it was apparent that their enthusiasm for what Tony and I are doing right now borders on boundless."

The chairman of Columbia, Don Ienner, said: "David Bowie is simply one of the most distinctive, influential and exciting artists of our time, and Heathen is a remarkable addition to his incredible body of work.

"Music needs David Bowie right now, and we couldn't be more proud that he has chosen Columbia as his new home."

Bowie is expected to mark the new release by touring in Europe and America. He will also be the curator of this year's Meltdown Festival on London's South Bank.

Noted for his innovation and reinvention in a career spanning three decades, Bowie was among the first artists to make new material available on the internet. But later releases have not proved as successful commercially or artistically.