New Killer Star

Album: Reality (2003)
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Songfacts®:

  • Bowie tries to remain positive while addressing apocalyptic fears in the post-9/11 landscape, an idea he clung to as a new dad who worried over his then 3-year-old daughter's future. "It occurs to me that we have been living under a lot of stress in the last few years," he said in a 2003 interview. "The halcyon days are well and truly over. It's just cyclic, isn't it, the anxiety. That's why I keep trying to be positive. The last time, there was the Bay of Pigs [a prelude to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962]. I remember how scared my Mum and Dad were, they really thought that was it, we're gonna go up in a nuclear holocaust. Every now and then you get one of those and you think, 'Well, we pulled back last time,' and I've got a 3-year-old daughter now and we are definitely going to pull back this time because she is going to have a great life, dammit. When I keep coming back to that I can't afford to be negative any more. It doesn't behoove me to be the nihilist anymore, even for creative reasons. I have to be positive.

    Hopefully there is a sense of that on the album. It's not 'woe is me.' It's not a Diamond Dogs. I want the ultimate feeling after hearing it to be a good feeling. That there is something to be said for our future and it will be a good future." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Bowie on the song's political nature: "I'm not a political commentator, but I think there are times when I'm stretched to at least implicate what's happening politically in the songs that I'm writing. And there was some nod, in a very abstract way, toward the wrongs that are being made at the moment with the Middle Eastern situation. I think that song is a pretty good manifesto for the whole record."
  • The singer doesn't appear in the Brumby Boylston-directed music video, which uses lenticular images (a method that uses cylindrical magnifying lenses to produce 3D effects with static images) to create a stylized vision of America that's nearly threatened by a crashing spaceship.
  • The title is a play on "nuclear." President George W. Bush often had trouble pronouncing the word, which came out sounding something like "new killer."

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