David Bowie’s final music video, released just four days before his death, has taken on new meaning in the wake of the legend’s passing.
The video, which sees Bowie convulsing in a hospital bed, opens with the lyrics “Look up here, I’m in Heaven!” and ends with the lyrics “Oh, I’ll be free / Just like that bluebird / Oh, I’ll be free / Ain’t that just like me?”
The videos for Lazarus and Bowie’s previous single, Blackstar, both feature a skull motif and are loaded with references and allusions to death and resurrection.
Bowie passed away yesterday, surrounded by his family, after privately living with cancer for 18 months.
Producer Tony Visconti has since confirmed that Bowie’s final album, Blackstar (released on his 69th birthday, just two days before his death, and widely hailed as an instant classic), was intended as a parting gift to his audience.
“He always did what he wanted to do,” Visconti said in a statement on his Facebook page.
“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 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.”
Tim Lefebvre, who played bass on the album, says the album was intended as Bowie’s final testament.
“He created this album knowing that he was going to die and he never let go till the end,” Lefebvre told Rolling Stone.
“It’s his testament, a final part of his heritage, a last gift for all of us. Do you realize the generosity of this immense artist? We are often so full of self-pity; in the meantime David worked, giving all of himself with a smile, despite the sickness.”
It’s unlikely there are any more videos to promote the Blackstar LP left in the chamber — Johan Renck, who directed the clips for both Blackstar and Lazarus, had already said prior to Bowie’s death that there was nothing else on the way.
“One could only dream about collaborating with a mind like that; let alone twice,” Renck said in a press release at the time of Lazarus‘ release.
“Intuitive, playful, mysterious and profound… I have no desire to do any more videos knowing the process never ever gets as formidable and fulfilling as this was.
“I’ve basically touched the sun.”