The Next Day is Bowie's first album since 2003's Reality, and it was announced as something of a surprise. Bowie on January 8 (his birthday) dropped a video for a new song entitled "Where Are We Now," with no prior indication that he was working on new material.
A video for the album's second single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" debuted earlier this week with a new music video. That video, directed by Floria Sigismondi, stars Bowie and Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton as a married couple whose lives are disrupted by a celebrity couple.
Pre-orders for The Next Day have grabbed the album the top spot on the iTunes charts in 34 countries. In the United States, the album had a Top 5 debut. It is set for release on March 12. The Next Day will be available to stream on iTunes until its release.
iTunes streaming has become a popular means of generating publicity for high-profile albums before their release. Previous artists to stream full albums over iTunes include Matchbox 20, Jack White, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.