David Roberts Jones, Bowie since late 1964, recorded his first song in 1963. His first song under the Bowie name came out in 1966.

Friday was Bowie's 69th birthday. Many artists would be content to rest on past glory. David Bowie has never been one to do that. He released a complex and challenging new avantgarde and dark experimental progressive jazz rock album today called Blackstar.

50 years ago, the first single under the name Bowie came out under the band name David Bowie and the Lower Third. That song is here:

And here is a smoking live version from Paris, 1999:

A half century later, the man of many faces has released his 25th studio album Blackstar. The video for "Lazarus" was released Thursday and is one of the most disturbing but beautiful things he's ever made:

Happy birthday to a man I've admired most of my life, whose musical genuis and forward thinking has never ceased to thrill and stun me. And here's to many more years of never letting the past dictate the future.