The world is collectively mourning the loss of David Bowie right now, with everyone from Kanye West to Iggy Pop to Prime Minister David Cameron penning tributes to the Thin White Duke. The mood at VICE is pretty dour, with everyone drifting around the office while our favorite Bowie songs shuffle through the office speakers, but the news that David Bowie and Brian Eno were planning to collaborate on a new album before his death makes the whole thing hurt a bit more.
Eno and Bowie's most famous collaborations were during the Berlin Trilogy, but they worked together on a number of projects over the years, including 1995's Outside—an album that the pair had planned to revisit and take "somewhere new" before Bowie's death, according to a statement from Eno released by BBC.
David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now.
We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of Pete and Dud. Over the last few years—with him living in New York and me in London—our connection was by email. We signed off with invented names: some of his were Mr. Showbiz, Milton Keynes, Rhoda Borrocks, and the Duke of Ear.
About a year ago we started talking about Outside, the last album we worked on together. We both liked that album a lot and felt that it had fallen through the cracks. We talked about revisiting it, taking it somewhere new. I was looking forward to that.
I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: "Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot." And it was signed "Dawn"
I realize now he was saying goodbye.
Outside was a dystopian, high-concept record, which Bowie hoped would capture "what the last five years of this millennium feel like," but the final product was over-long and weirdly paced and didn't quite work. Now we'll never get to hear where the duo might have taken the album's ideas if they'd had a chance to revisit them again.