David Bowie’s name is on everyone’s lips this week due to the sad passing of the legendary artist after an eighteen-month struggle with liver cancer. It is as difficult to summarize Bowie’s achievements as it is to define him. The innovator and musical polymath’s 111 hit singles—including “Young Americans,” “Starman,” “Under Pressure,” “Rebel Rebel,” and more—only crack the surface of a truly impressive catalog. The circumstances surrounding Bowie’s last great resurgence in the popular consciousness are tragic, but also offer us an opportunity to give his music the scrutiny and respect it deserves. A good place to start is his strident call for optimism and perseverance in “It Ain’t Easy,” a deceptively complex track from the groundbreaking 1972 album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.