She says Where Are We Now? – the surprise track that broke Bowie’s 10 year silence last month that focuses on his time in Berlin – reminds her of an era she’d rather forget.
Angie writes in the Mail on Sunday: “I can’t help but wonder what happened to the musical innovator. I’m not trying to be unkind, but I can’t escape the feeling that the retro-introspective mood of the song has one message: ‘I’m not going to be here much longer, let’s talk about the past.’
“There’s nothing about the sound that’s new either. The subject matter is tired: it’s a nostalgic look back to the last time he was at the forefront of pop music.”
But she says that’s not the worst part. “The record romanticises and mythologises a period of David’s career I recall with distaste.
“What I remember of Berlin, where we lived for three years in the late 70s, is lots of sitting around night clubs with David pretending he was an extra from Cabaret witnessing the rise of the Nazis.
“To his fans, he was just being another of his characters. But I suspect the main audience for the performance was me. Our marriage was over. He knew I would have no truck with fascism. I think he was, if only subconsciously, pushing me past the limits of what I considered acceptable.”
Members of Bowie’s band have said Where Are We Now? is not representative of the rest of upcoming album The Next Day, released next month.
Nevertheless, Angie recalls a time when watching her husband write for an inspirational experience. She says: “He was at his most content composing. Music floated from his mind and fingertips. He would strum the 11 strings on his 12-string Harptone guitar, wander to the piano and play a few bars, then off to forage for rice pudding in the kitchen. After some run-throughs, he would pad into wherever I was and say: ‘Come hear this.’
“For six or seven years we were in it together. It was a quite extraordinary time and such good fun. I’m still very proud to have been involved.”
Meanwhile, the time Bowie spent in Berlin with Iggy Pop is to be the subject of an upcoming biopic. Lust For Life producer Egilo Tossell says the divided city of West Berlin will be the leading character. It’s to be directed by Gabriel Range.