Like many children who grew up in the age of video, my introduction to David Bowie came from the 1986 cult classic Labyrinth. In the film, Bowie played the tuneful yet terrifying Jareth the Goblin King. Flashforward to junior high when I come to the realization that Jareth is that guy who sings that song “Changes” that I’d heard on oldies radio. I think that background is important on how I’ve come to view David Bowie, slightly sinister and full of surprises. As for my favorite Bowie songs don’t expect to see much out of the ordinary. Though I was this close to giving “Magic Dance” some much needed love. I’m not lying when I say that song is pretty sweet.
Oh what the fuck? Yeah, I’m ready to rattle some cages. The Next Day hasn’t even been out for a month but it’s already the general consensus that it’s Bowie’s best in years. And with cuts like “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” it’s hard to argue against that. Moving at a laid back pace and well complimented by Bowie’s whispy backing vocals, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” shines bright.
Remember that part in that movie where they were running? That was awesome!
It’s so danceable! I’m always amazed by how seamlessly Bowie transitioned into 80s new wave. I can already picture myself playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
Anyone under the age of 30 who says “I liked this song before Nirvana covered it” is probably a big liar dumby-face. Though I prefer Nirvana’s faithful adaptation, this is where that mighty seedling was planted. What I do dig about Bowie’s version is the strong middle-eastern vibe. Though I could be mistaking middle-eastern for interplanetary.
There’s a certain operatic quality to Bowie’s ballads. Almost as if you’re listening to a cut from a popular Broadway show. I’m not sue what “Life on Mars?” is about. Sounds like it’s about alienation or something of that nature. Of course I like to imagine it’s about space and I’ll continue to imagine that despite what anyone says.
Bowie is an amazing lead vocalist but sometimes I’m more impressed by his prowess as a backup vocalist. Just think of all the great songs that were made greater by a little bit of Bowie, “All the Young Dudes” and “Satellite Love”, the man has incredible range. The “Ahhs!” on “Soul Love” still put my spine out of place.
The video game Rock Band was crucial in furthering my Bowie education. I have so many memories of shuffling along on fake drums to this song. I love the track’s sassy rock attitude and yet it has a flute break. Leave it to Bowie to make that work.
That classy jazz buildup to my all-time favorite chorus to a Bowie song. Can you believe Bowie originally gave this song to Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits? Da fuck? Anyways, this song also contains my all-time favorite Bowie lyric: “Oh! You Pretty things, don’t you know you’re driving your mamas and papas insane.” It’d be perfect for any coming of age film.
Speaking of “coming of age” I recently rediscovered my love for this song when it was featured prominently in the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I hate to ripoff Colin but it’s hard to not go with Bowie at his most anthemic. Like Colin, I also look forward to Russell Crowe singing this when he stars in the rock opera adaptation of Humpty Dumpty. That’s gonna be egg-ceptional.