by Andrew Dansby / Rolling Stone
17th December 2001
David Bowie has left Virgin Records after a six-year run with the label, and will release his next album on his own ISO label.
“I’ve had one too many years of bumping heads with corporate structure,” Bowie said of his decision. “Many times I’ve not been in agreement with how things are done and, as a writer of some proliferation, frustrated at how slow and lumbering it all is. I’ve dreamed of embarking on my own set-up for such a long time and now is the perfect opportunity.”
Bowie released three new recordings for Virgin, 1995’s Outside, 1997’s Earthling and 1999’s Hours. The label also reissued the majority of Bowie’s back catalog, starting with 1969’s Space Oddity, running through his Seventies and Eighties output for RCA and EMI, and also picking up the 1993 Savage Records release, Black Tie White Noise.
As for the follow-up to Hours, Bowie has been working with longtime collaborator Tony Visconti on the album in New York City. ISO will also be the home for other acts that Bowie will add to the roster. “I want to keep the whole experience at the human level,” Bowie said. “To characterize ISO, I think I would use guitarist Robert Fripp’s phrase and describe it as aiming to be ‘a small, mobile, intelligent unit.'”
Earlier this year, Virgin issued a Bowie compilation, All Saints: Collected Instrumentals 1977-1999.