In honor of the late, great David Bowie, who died on January 10, 2016
As many people are aware, David Bowie's album Diamond Dogs contains several references to George Orwell's classic dystopian science fiction story 1984 (most notably, the songs 19841 and Big Brother). Diamond Dogs is a concept album loosely based upon the book, but originally, the relation between Bowie's album and Orwell's novel was supposed to be much closer.
When Bowie started working on the material that would become Diamond Dogs, he initially intended for it to be a musical adaptation of 1984; unfortunately, negotiations between the musician and Orwell's estate eventually fell through, and the estate refused to sell Bowie the rights.
Why did David Bowie's proposal for an adaptation of 1984 fall through? Did Orwell's estate ever explain why they denied Bowie the rights to the adaptation?
1The thematic ties to Orwell's novel are even more pronounced in the original version of this track than they are in the version heard on the album; the song was originally much longer, and was titled 1984/Dodo.