In an article on the recently released David Bowie Box five album set, Mike Schiller muses on the PopMatters site that the cycle of albums issued in the set constitutes essentially a "mid-life crisis" reinvention for Bowie, as a conscious effort to get away from the "mature artist" comfort zone he had occupied for much of the eighties.
It’s hard to ignore the timing of the transformation coinciding with the tremendous popularity of one Trent Reznor and his Nine Inch Nails. Perhaps Reznor’s success was the reason he couldn’t put off this persona he’d been toying with for so long. Perhaps, rather than inspiration, Reznor provided context, a way that Bowie could finally step into the new character(s) that had been nagging at him for years previous. It was a way out of the rut he had dug for himself.
Read the whole of the article here
Meanwhile, here's the two men together on one stage in 1995, performing the Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt"