Duffy / Bowie – ‘Five Sessions’

Chris Duffy & Kevin Cann


  • Illustrates Brian Duffy’s five different photographic shoots with David Bowie, documenting Bowie’s career and pioneering reinvention, as well as Duffy’s special relationship with the artist over almost a decade
  • Includes some of the most famous Bowie images together with out takes and rare shots
  • Foreword by Sir Peter Blake

“Talking about a creative session is like talking about a boxing match. It happened because there was a little bit of magic in the room that night. I’ll say it myself, it’s a fucking great cover.” Brian Duffy

Brian Duffy defined the image of the 1960s, and was as famous as the stars he photographed. Together with David Bailey and Terence Donovan, he is recognised as one of the innovators of “documentary” fashion photography, a style which revolutionised fashion imagery and furthermore the fashion industry.

Duffy’s most famous photograph dates from the 1970s and is the iconic and revolutionary cover of David Bowie’s album Aladdin Sane, a shot that became the defining look of Bowie’s long career, and has been referred to as the Mona Lisa of pop. The photographer and the rock star collaborated on four other projects: Ziggy StardustThe Man Who Fell to EarthScary Monsters (and Super Creeps) and Lodger. They worked together during the pivotal years of Bowie’s career; when the king of glam was assuming and discarding extraordinary personas, Duffy was capturing them all.

Written by David Bowie’s biographer, Kevin Cann, Duffy/Bowie – Five Sessions features anecdotes and stories from those attending the shoots – including Tony Defries (Bowie’s manager at the time of Ziggy Stardust); Celia Philo (designer) & Philip Castle (airbrush artist) from the famous Aladdin Sane shoot; Francis Newman (Duffy’s studio manager); May Routh (costume designer) from The Man Who Fell to Earth; Geoff MacCormack (musician and Bowie’s childhood friend); Derek Boshier (art director of Lodger); Natasha Kornilof costume designer for Scary Monsters; Edward Bell (artist); Steve Strange (musician) and Duffy’s son, Chris, who also worked on the Scary Monsters session. Included are many unseen images and behind the scenes photographs.

“It wasn’t until we saw the contact sheets the next day I remember thinking, God this is spectacular. You just knew you had cracked it, boy, did you know it.” Celia Philo

– See more at: http://www.accdistribution.com/uk/store/pv/9781851497652/duffy-bowie/kevin-cann-chris-duffy#sthash.U1T20cRc.dpuf

Buy the book: http://www.duffyphotographer.com/product/duffy-bowie-five-sessions/


Amazon Reviews

I love this book! The photos are beautiful, many I’ve never seen. An amazing photo of Bowie with a Scotty dog! But my favourites are Aladdin Sane – particularly the rare shots. It’s a beautiful reference book of Duffy and Bowie’s work together and it’s very thorough, with some early Duffy history too (he was a bit of a wild child, ‘nicking things’ during the war he says).
At the start it actually mentions that the book was intended to be just a catalogue – well this is much more than a catalogue, it’s just over 200 pages too.
Also, there are 3 or 4 fascinating insights into their work together (I’ve still to read it all properly) and also about David Bowie that I never knew of and I’ve read quite a lot about Bowie over the years

What’s not to like about this book? The most Iconic photos of David Bowie on this planet! This has to be a must buy item for any Bowie fan and they won’t be disappointed. A great insight to behind the scenes of the shoots, almost like you’re being taken on a guided tour as the shoot was happening. So many great photos and many that haven’t been seen before, nice also to see The Spiders From Mars photos included in this book.
All in all it’s a better than great book, well packaged with glossy photos of many of David Bowie’s most Iconic photoshoots including Aladdin Sane, Lodger, Scary Monsters and some behind the scenes photos of The Man Who Fell To Earth.
I’d recommend this book anyday….. Duffy Bowie : Five Sessions we salute you!!!! 🙂

There were so many pictures that I had not previously seen, brilliantly put together with plenty of good colour throughout. The text was a decent legible size too. A must for any Bowie fan and a follower of Duffy’s work.

A must for all Bowie fans out there… you really get a great feel for what it was like to be at these photo sessions with the great man that is David Bowie. Amazing pictures by an amazing photographer.

If you are looking for a Bowie book that has something new to see and say you can’t go wrong. The amount of unseen pictures makes this well worth the money. Very interesting insights into the 5 sessions.

Fascinating insight into the making of some of the iconic album covers of the last 50 years.



What the press have said about this book…

 “Of all the photographers David Bowie worked with in the Seventies, Brian Duffy may have had the most impact on the singer’s ever-changing image.” Rolling Stone 

 “Think of David Bowie and it’s likely that an image by photographer Brian Duffy will spring to mind. Duffy was pivotal in helping Bowie forge his changing personae and this book looks back at five landmarks in the singer’s career.” Harrods Magazine

  • David Bowie ~ Scary Monsters contact sheet
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  • Dave Bandage
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  • Aladdin Sane negative
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  • Woody
  • Aladdin Sane Eyes open
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  • Aladdin Sane Classic
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  • David Bowie ~ Ziggy Stardust Alternative costume
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chrisduffyDuffy / Bowie – ‘Five Sessions’