Bowie album, exhibition, tour?

If the British music industry issued quarterly statements, the 2013 news might be rather surprising. Move over One Direction, the biggest ripples this year have been made by a 66 year-old recluse making a return from retirement.

David Bowie’s comeback album Next Day, already greeted with rave reviews in the global press, went to number one in the UK album charts, his first chart-topper for 20 years. Meanwhile, in keeping with Bowie’s multi-media profile, the exhibition David Bowie Is . . . at the Victoria and Albert Museum has already sold 42,000 advance tickets ahead of the March 23 opening. Whether Bowie will turn up for the opening party remains uncertain, although he allowed curators access to his archive.

The album was a well-kept secret too, but its emergence has been the perfect promotion for the museum exhibition that is an in-depth retrospective collection of memorabilia from throughout Bowie’s career. The highlight may be a collection of 60 of the garish stage costumes that Bowie wore on tour in the 70s and 80s. The gift shop even includes a paper doll that you can dress up in costumes from Ziggy to Thin White Duke.

There is considerable speculation that Bowie might even play some tour dates in 2013. His wife Iman seemed to hint that was possible. Producer Tony Visconti earlier said that dates were unlikely. "He made that very clear to the label that he wasn't going to tour or do any kind of ridiculously long album promotion," Visconti said. "I spoke to him and he said, 'I'm really adamant I'm not gonna do a tour.' And he said, 'If I might, I might do one show.' But who knows when?"

Still, Visconti remained completely discreet about the recording of the album, so it’s hardly likely he is going to be any more forthcoming about a possible tour.

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