‘Blonde’ – stylised on its cover artwork as ‘Blond’ – was released following much anticipation last weekend (August 20), streaming exclusively via Apple Music. It followed visual album ‘Endless’ and the video for lead single ‘Nikes’, released days prior.
Bowie is credited on ‘Blonde’, alongside other big names including Kanye West, Jamie xx, The Beatles, Brian Eno, Pharrell Williams, Elliott Smith, James Blake, Yung Lean, Tyler, The Creator and former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij.
It is not yet known what parts most of these artists played in making the record. However, lyrics from Elliott Smith’s ‘A Fond Farewell’ feature in the track ‘Seigfried’ and The Beatles’ ‘Here, There, and Everywhere’ is quoted in ‘White Ferrari’.
Bowie’s PR initially declined to comment to NME, but later stated that he could “confirm that they did not work together”. It is thought that the credit is for a Bowie picture that appears in the album’s accompanying Boys Don’t Cry magazine (see in the tweet below).
Meanwhile, the way Ocean released ‘Blonde’ has meant Universal Music are to stop releasing any more albums as streaming exclusives.
Ocean was signed to Universal subsidiary Def Jam, but released ‘Blonde’ on his own independent label. This was because Ocean’s visual album ‘Endless’ was released the day before ‘Blonde’ on Def Jam, as an exclusive for Apple Music. With ‘Endless’, Ocean fulfilled his contractual obligations to Def Jam.