David Bowie fans have already jumped on his new single, "Where Are We Now?," as well as the announcement of his new album, The Next Day. Bowie's low profile—he hasn't had a live performance since 2006—have led some to question his health, however these concerns have been denied by his publicists, Guardian reports.

Bowie clearly hasn't been wasting his time in these years off. In fact, The Next Day has been some time in the making, but the album came together through a natural, unhurried process.

“We never spent more than two to three weeks at a time recording," Bowie’s producer, Tony Visconti told BBC News. "Usually we'd work on one or two songs in an afternoon, and whip them into shape so they'd sound like great rock tracks." Visconti added that despite Where Are We Now? being a ballad, much of the album has a rock feel to it.

The Next Day in some ways touches on Bowie's past. The album cover is actually the cover from his 1977 Heroes LP, covered by a white square with "The Next Day" written over it.

“We worked on hundreds of designs using the concept of obscuring this cover but the strongest ones were the simplest—it had to be something that was in direct contrast to the image underneath but that wasn’t too contrived (we know all design is contrived, that is the essence of the word ‘design’),” graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook wrote on his blog. Barnbrook later added, “Obscuring Bowie’s image is also reference to his identity, not only in the past when he changed endlessly but that he has been absent from the music scene for the past ten years. Was this an act to hide his identity or that he has simply become more comfortable with it?”

The Next Day will be released on March 12 in the U.S., March 8 in Australia, and March 11 worldwide. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes for $11.99, and Where Are We Now? can be purchased right now for $1.29.




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