Aside from the absolute quality of the new Bowie album, what the release of his new music demonstrates is that the music industry is starting to pull its weight again after years of not quite knowing what it is doing.
With streaming models appearing to stabilise, Apple Music coming to the fore alongside Spotify and others, and the rise (again) of vinyl, pop music is coming back to be an important part of cultural life.
With Adele being the biggest entertainment seller of the year, beating the gaming and video industries, music is also coming back to be an important part of economic life as well.
But the sector is still relying on established acts. Why Bowie is particularly important is that he shows that the quality of output from older generations is not doomed to decline. That could mean that as Madonna, Coldplay, Radiohead and Adele all get older, the music business does not quite have to panic as they once did.
But only if they can stay as vital and relevant as Bowie has done.
On his 69th birthday, David Bowie has released an album that proves rock’n’roll is wasted on the young. In the main, artists of Bowie’s age either drift gently into the retirement years by crooning albums of 1930s standards, or carry on in a summer of endless youth and pretend nothing has changed since the days when having a groupie on the tour bus and a wife at home was nothing to be ashamed of.