LONDON (Reuters) - British singer David Bowie released his first new song in nearly a decade on Tuesday in a surprise launch coinciding with his 66th birthday.
"Where Are We Now?", produced by his long-term collaborator Tony Visconti, is a mournful look back to the time he spent in Berlin in the 1970s with an accompanying video featuring black-and-white footage of the city when it was still divided.
The song, available on iTunes and free to view on his re-launched website, was recorded in New York and will be followed by his first studio album since 2003, "The Next Day", due to hit shelves in March.
Bowie's label Columbia Records said the new song was a "treasure" that appeared "as if out of nowhere", underlining the element of surprise from a release that ends years of speculation among fans over whether he would record again.
"Throwing shadows and avoiding the industry treadmill is very David Bowie despite his extraordinary track record that includes album sales in excess of 130 million not to mention his massive contributions in the area of art, fashion, style, sexual exploration and social commentary," the label said.
The album will consist of 14 songs, and a deluxe edition will feature three bonus tracks.
The glam-rock star shot to fame with "Space Oddity" in 1969, and later with his alter ego Ziggy Stardust, before establishing himself as a chart-topping force in the early 1980s.
Known for his constant desire to re-invent and experiment with different musical genres, Bowie is considered one of the most influential, and unusual stars of the pop era.
(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)