chapter  3
Culminating Sounds and (En)visions: Ashes to Ashes and the case for Pierrot
Pages 21

David Bowie's album covers are a valuable resource for researchers across many disciplines. Some work has been done in 'reading' specific covers in order to support deeper investigations into, particularly, Bowie's music and cultural impact. Intersecting popular music, portraiture and visual art, the album cover was a vital marketing device and primary means of communicating information between artist and audience, particularly during the time in which the first eight of these covers were released. The author concentrates on eight covers that demonstrate a progressive diminishing 'authorship', starting with David Bowie's self-titled debut (1967) and concluding with Diamond Dogs (1974). He also includes a consideration of The Next Day (2013) as an addendum. Bowie's approach to album cover art throughout the enormous body of work he has produced is unique. Similarly, the kinds of messages he has so convincingly conveyed through his album cover artwork remain unmatched by any other artist or band.