Bowie: The Definitive Collection with Unseen Images

Cassell Octopus. Aug. 2019. 340p. photos. ISBN 9781788401012. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781788401906. PHOTOG
The latest book about performer David Bowie (1947–2016) presents some never-before-seen images that celebrity photographer O’Neill shot of the late icon between 1973 and 1992. After photographing the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as a newspaper photojournalist in the 1960s, O’Neill went freelance. He received a call from Bowie’s manager asking him to photograph the singer’s final closed-studio performance as Ziggy Stardust, after which the artists worked together regularly for the next two years on projects such as Bowie’s Diamond Dogs album cover, live concerts, and photo shoots with the likes of actress Elizabeth Taylor. In 1992, Bowie called O’Neill one last time, which resulted in portraits for a magazine. This striking collection of hundreds of black-and-white and color photos also boasts contact sheets, reprinted magazine articles, quotes from Bowie and O’Neill, and a seven-page foreword of the photographer’s memories of Bowie.
VERDICT Whether consumed chronologically or browsed, this is an enjoyable snapshot of a brief but important period of Bowie’s career. More than suitable for coffee tables and an essential addition to rock music photography collections.

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