David Bowie's new album, The Next Day (coming out on March 12, but streamable free now on iTunes), may or may not turn out to be the comeback he wants. But one thing is definitely different in the world since his last album, Reality, came out in 2003: YouTube. It’s easy to forget that, just a few years ago, it was difficult to take a comprehensive look back into the audio-visual history of pop performers. Even longtime Bowie fans will be surprised at some of the footage available these days. What follows are some of my favorites from his pre-MTV era, in no particular order. All that's required for full enjoyment is to keep in mind that virtually everything about Bowie at the time — his sexuality; his dress; his dry, crisp sound; and his impenetrable archness — were new and genuinely aesthetically challenging. If you're curious about Bowie and want to see just why his allure resonates so strongly to this day, take a look at some of the once-rare footage available online.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
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