David Bowie's 25th album, Blackstar, was lauded in its own right, but with the sad news of his passing arriving today, the release takes on a new poignancy.
References to his death were clear in the music video for Lazarus, from the opening line: 'Look up here, I'm in heaven / I've got scars, that can't be seen' to the image of his frail body dressed in black climbing inside an armoire.
Producer and musician Tony Visconti collaborated with Bowie for years, working with him intermittently from the 1969 Space Oddity LP right through to the new Blackstar album (2016).
On Facebook today he paid tribute to his friend, and discussed how Bowie managed to turn even his death into art.
"He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life - a work of Art," he wrote.
"He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry."
Comments Visconti previously made to the LA Times about the record now take on a new meaning, suggesting production was a race against time due to Bowie's declining health.
"Because of the secrecy around 'The Next Day,' it sounded like I was out of work for two years. I couldn't mention it," Visconti said. "★" took a fraction of the time to record, but both albums reflect a new way of composing for Bowie.
An icon and indisputable music legend, Bowie died aged 69 following a "courageous" battle with cancer, surrounded by family.
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