The Thin White Duke is back! After a ten year hiatus, David Bowie has returned with a new single and he's announced his 24th studio album, "The Next Day", is due on March 12.

The first single, "Where Are We Now?", was released on Bowie's 66th birthday Tuesday and the song topped the iTunes chart in the UK shortly after its release.

Bowie's rep thanked fans for giving the reclusive star a birthday to remember by sending his new song to the top.

"The response... has been incredible and what nicer way to wish David Bowie a Happy Birthday than with all the positive responses on TV, radio, newspaper and social media sites," read a message posted on the singer's new website. "The reaction from iTunes users has also been remarkable with... the single, Where Are We Now?, currently at #1 on the UK iTunes site."

Bowie worked on the album in secret with longtime producer Tony Visconti for the last two years, and Visconti promises fans will love the new disc.

"I've been listening to this on headphones, walking through the streets of New York, for the past two years," he tells BBC News. "I have not tired of a single song. I think the material on this album is extremely strong and beautiful. If people are looking for classic Bowie, they'll find that on this album. If they're looking for innovative Bowie, some new directions, they'll find that on this album too."

Visconti also calls it "quite a rock album".

As far as the cover art goes, designer Jonathan Barnbrook collaborated with Bowie to come up with the design, which features a reworking of the singer's classic "Heroes" album with, simply, a white box covering most of the original cover image with the new disc's title and the word "Heroes" crossed off.

"We understand that many would have preferred a nice new picture of Bowie but we believed that would be far less interesting," Barnbrook says in a post on his blog. "We dare to think this is something new. Normally using an image from the past means, 'recycle' or 'greatest hits' but here we are referring to the title The Next Day.

"The Heroes cover obscured by the white square is about the spirit of great pop or rock music which is 'of the moment', forgetting or obliterating the past.

"However," he adds, "we all know... we cannot break free from the past. When you are creative... it seeps out in every new mark you make (particularly in the case of an artist like Bowie)... People will judge you always in relation to your history..."

Judge for yourselves, we're just looking forward to hearing the rest of it.

Unfortunately Bowie reportedly has no plans to do any press or perform any concerts in support of the new album.

For now though, check out the strange, yet mesmerizing video for the melancholy piano ballad "Where Are We Now?" below.