Producer Says David Bowie Intended For New Album To Be 'Parting Gift' To Fans

12 January 2016 | 12:00 pm | Neil Griffiths

"I knew for a year this was the way it would be."

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The long-term producer of David Bowie has revealed that he has known for a year that the newly-released album Blackstar would be the singer’s final album and that it was Bowie’s intention for it to be his "parting gift" to fans, following news that he had tragically passed away yesterday after an 18-month battle with cancer.

In a Facebook post Tony Visconti, who first worked with Bowie on his second studio album Space Oddity released in 1969, paid tribute to the rock icon just hours after his death was announced.

"He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way," the post read.

"His death was no different from his life - a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn't, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry."

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Visconti also produced Bowie’s first live album, David Live in 1974, as well as a number of his other studio albums including Heroes, Lodger, Scary Monsters (& Super Creeps), Heathen, Reality and The Next Day.

Similarly, UK designer Jonathan Barnbrook, who designed the artwork for Blackstar as well as Heathen and The Next Day said he was "devastated" by the news.

"David changed my life on so many ways, he was one of the most positive, gracious, inspirational creative people I have met or worked with," Barnbrook wrote in a Facebook post.

"Despite all of the pressure of such a big project he made it fun - it was just me and him, trying something new. and as with all of the people he worked with, he listened to you when you had an opinion, was fulsome in his praise when he liked something."

Brian Eno who worked with Bowie during the Berlin Trilogy in the ‘70s revealed he was sent an email by the artist about a week ago in which he believes Bowie knew it would be his final contact with him.

Speaking to BBC News Eno said of the email, "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 realise now he was saying goodbye."

Some of the musicians who worked with Bowie on the new album have also addressed his death.

Pianist Jason Lindner commented, "I'm deeply saddened, stunned, mystified and completely awed by the power of David Bowie's creativity and determination to produce all he did in the single year I've known him," while bassist Tim Lefebvre said he was "stunned" by the tragic news.

Drummer Mark Guiliana called it "an absolute honor" to have worked with the musician.

"THANK YOU from the bottom of my humble heart for letting me into your life, and in doing so changing mine," he wrote. 

Blackstar is available now.