It’s been the Year of Bowie. Just about a year ago I stood in front of David Bowie and Iman’s Manhattan home and thought hey, I should listen to like all of his stuff. And now I’ve done it – aside from the occasional rough draft, outtake, collaboration, or film appearance, which I’ll gladly continue to fill in, in no particular order, as I go on.
I feel as if I can now award myself a small diploma in Absolute Beginner Bowieology. Maybe even Intermediate Bowieology. At least enough to have graduated from the ‘For Dummies’ level of Bowie Insight. And so, as with every ‘For Dummies’ book, here’s the Part of Tens. There are no actual tens, but are you really going to get hung up on that?
My Fifty(Three) Favorite Songs
Also known as the best Bowie survey playlist ever. Note: MY FAVORITE, not THE BEST, which is how I come to have two songs from Baal and only one from Earthling. Make your own!
My Top Four Films
‘Cause there aren’t even five that I really, truly like, honestly. But these I like a lot. Especially those first two.
Top Five Hairstyles
Because you know it’s about the style as well as the substance.
1. The …hours… era
2. The Hunky Dory era
3. The one that, if it were a song title, would be called King Mod (your shoes are crap)
4. The Ziggy era, natch
5. The Earthling era
Top Nine Music Videos
All the Albums in Order of My Preference
Do I really love Space Oddity more than I love Young Americans? Apparently I do. Links go to my blog post about each album.
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
The Next Day
Station to Station
Scary Monsters…And Super Creeps
The Man Who Sold the World
Bertholt Brecht’s Baal
Black Tie White Noise
Buddha of Suburbia
Never Let Me Down
Tin Machine I and II
Album I Totally Didn’t Expect to Love and Did: Diamond Dogs
Album That Grew On Me: Scary Monsters
Album That I Should Probably Give Another Chance To: “Heroes”
Albums I Feel Bad About Not Liking Better: Earthling, Pin Ups
And Last But Not Least: Top 11 Songs Countdown
Essentially these are all the songs where I could seriously put my mp3 player on ‘repeat track’ and just leave it that way until someone intervened. Worth revisiting anytime.
Here’s a playlist of just these eleven songs.
It’s just fun. Quotes Cary Grant, sort of. Plus those tight pants.
#9 – ‘Warzsawa’ from Low
POW: Instant portable cathedral.
The pinnacle of Bowie writing about something horrible with a heartbreakingly beautiful soaring melody.
It’s that key-center change – it gets me right here. Plus great instrumentation.
Heart on sleeve intricate actorly emotion and intellectual challenge to received wisdom. And beautiful.
Sheer happiness, plus it’s about religion (no, really).
I have no idea why I’m so obsessed with this song. I’m obsessed with the way he says “two sheets,” even. It’s like a compulsion out of a past life.
I can listen to it dozens of times and still have a little peak experience every time he goes “inspiration have I none….”
All the sacred music meets all the popular music in this cri de coeur.
Yeah, it’s the obvious one, but come on: the whole of the 1970s is worth it for this song. Hot tramp, I love you so. You bet.