Two years ago to today on January 10, 2016, David Bowie aka David Robert Jones died from liver cancer just two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Blackstar, in his New York City apartment. According to information on the internet he had been diagnosed18 months prior but the news of his illness was not yet made public.
The loss of David Bowie struck a nerve around the world many still cannot believe he is gone, his music was not just the voice of a generation, but it was also the soundtrack to our lives since the 60’s.
John Strauss was one such person that was profoundly affected by his death, according to Strauss. During the time we were working on the most recent Ten Jinn release, Sisyphus, came the very sad news about the passing of David Bowie. At the time (though we were very busy with working on the album and dealing with the upcoming release in 2017)
I suggested to the other Ten Jinn members that as soon as Sisyphus was completed, we should record a David Bowie tribute record before preparing for live shows or recording the next Ten Jinn Record, Worlds (the Four Worlds of the Hopi).
While I was very excited about the prospect of playing live again and getting on to Worlds (I even completed the first draft of the score) I felt very strongly about taking this detour in order to pay my respects to an artist, who was probably the single most important influence in my development as a musician in general and vocalist in particular.
Choosing the songs for the record was not an easy thing (as there are so many great Bowie tunes) but one thing we decided on right away was to avoid any of the major hits from the 1980s or things we thought a lot of other people might do.
Since I was the one doing the lead vocals on the record, the band mostly supported me in the suggestions I made. At one point I thought it would be really cool to do a version of Blackstar, but since it was from Bowie’s last album, it seemed perhaps a bit disrespectful to do so soon after his death. In the end, we decided on material mostly from the 1970s with a couple of tunes from the late 1990s thrown in. All of the songs on this record have deep meaning for me and, in no particular order, include:
1) Aladdin Sane
2) Future Legend
3) Diamond Dogs
4) Life on Mars
6) I’m Afraid of Americans
7) Dead Man Walking
8) Rock and Roll Suicide
The album Ziggy Blackstar (A Tribute to David Bowie) was released October 5th2018 at ProgStock a very new prog festival in Rahway, New Jersey. The album featured 2 singles to date, Life on Mars and I’m Afraid of Americans the album has since received much high praise from the critic, rad and even the fans of David Bowie.
The first Video for Ziggy Blackstar (A Tribute to David Bowie) will be “I’m Afraid of Americans” track 6 on the album
Ziggy Blackstar Album Credits:
The Band: Ten Jinn
John Paul Strauss – lead and backing vocals/keyboards.
Mark Wickliffe – drums/bass/electric guitar/backing vocals.
Ken Skoglund – electric and acoustic guitars.
Mike Matier – electric guitar.
Matt Brown – piano solo (Aladdin Sane).
Joe Geiger – fretless bass (Dead Man Walking).
Helena Skoglund – backing vocals (Life on Mars/Fame/Future Legend).
J.T. Holmström – saxophone (Diamond Dogs).
Album Production Credits
Arranged by: Ten Jinn.
Produced by: John Paul Strauss, Mark Wickliffe, and Ken Skoglund.
Mix engineers: Ken Skoglund (Sound Control Sweden). John Prpich (Radd Studios, Los Angeles).
Mastering engineer: Ken Skoglund (Sound Control Sweden).
Cover Art by Nick Katona, Revolution Studios, Orlando, Florida Vocal editing by Steve Deutsch.
What the critics are saying
Ten Jinn have done a splendid job of doing an album entirely of Bowie cover songs. They struck the right balance between tribute and originality.
Kev Rowland Power of Prog and Prog Archives
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