Bowie Pens More Than 100 Songs, Plans New LP

Material written with collaborator Reeves Gabrels for September release said to recall 1971's Hunky Dory.

LOS ANGELES -- Though David Bowie has his hand in just about

everything these days -- from video games, to the Internet, to

commencement speeches -- he still found time to compose dozens of songs

for his next album, due in September.

Guitarist Reeves Gabrels collaborated on the tracks with the legendary

rocker.

"Reeves and I wrote over 100 songs last year," Bowie said during a press

conference here Wednesday.

"But 50 of them are bad," quipped Gabrels.

"But 50 of them are very good," Bowie retorted.

A source close to the singer described the material for the as-yet-untitled

project as reminiscent of Bowie's 1971 album Hunky Dory, calling

it "lush," "beautiful" and "song-driven." Often noted as Bowie's best

work as a singer/songwriter, that album included his ostensible theme

song, "Changes"

(RealAudio excerpt), which launched the chameleonlike artist into the pop mainstream.

The expected first single will be a rocker called "The Pretty Things Are

Going to Hell," according to the source, who did not want to be named.

The tune, written with Gabrels, also will be featured on the soundtrack

to the forthcoming film "Stigmata."

With his sandy-brown hair falling around his temples, a black-clad Bowie

(born David Robert Jones) held a press conference at the House of Blues

on Wednesday to promote "Omikron: The Nomad Soul," a futuristic 3D

action-adventure game from Eidos Interactive.

The game's character Boz, based on Bowie's likeness, plays in a virtual

band with Gabrels and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey in a massive city called

Omikron. "My priority was that I looked about 24 years old," Bowie, 52,

said. The rocker also lent his voice to the project, and he and Gabrels

created original music for the game, including eight new songs.

"The idea of actually doing a soundtrack for anything involved in the

computer orientation was a real magnet for me," Bowie said, adding that

he and Gabrels approached the project like a film soundtrack. The rocker

said his son was "the game merchant in our home," and he studied up

before diving into the project by looking at popular video games.

"What we tried to do, more than anything, was provide the emotional

heart to the game," he said, remarking that the games he researched had a

"cold emotional drive."

One of the songs written for "Omikron," called "New Angels of Promise,"

was previewed in a demonstration of the game. The song, which pivots on

the line "Take us to the edge of time," has a theatrical, sing-along

feel. Bowie smiled and nodded his head as he watched it play on a monitor,

but he said he wasn't sure whether he would release the game's songs on

an album.

Bowie's adventuresome career has spanned more than three decades and

taken him from the glam rock of "Rebel Rebel" to the art rock of

"Heroes"

(RealAudio excerpt) and, most recently, electronica.

Bowie also discussed the songwriting contest he held recently on his

website, BowieNet (www.davidbowie.com).

"We got something approaching 300,000 entries -- every one which I read

myself of course," Bowie said, smirking. The winner, Alex Grant, will be

flown to New York, where he'll join Bowie in the studio.

There Bowie will record a song called "What's Really Happening" using

Grant's winning lyrics, which include the lines, "Grown inside a plastic

box/ Micro thoughts and safety locks/ Hearts become outdated clocks/

Ticking in your mind." The recording of the song will be webcast live on

the site May 24.