David Bowie is one of the most important names in musical history and today, January 8, the artist would be 74 years old.
With a career marked by reinvention and extraordinary visual presentations – whose aesthetics would influence names like Lady Gaga and Lorde – Bowie remains one of the most critical and commercially successful musicians of all time and carries with him a endless legacy, even being credited as the best rock star of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in the year of her death.
More than that, Bowie has never hidden his sexuality and has become a symbol of LGBTQ + representation since the moment he embraced glam rock and abandoned phonographic traditionalism, giving way to a vanguard that continues to reflect on the contemporary scene with more force than ever (even more given the need to reinvent traditional artists).
To celebrate his legacy, we’ve separated a short (and difficult) list of ten of his best solo songs. This means that songs like “Under Pressure”, which he performed alongside the band Queen, will not appear in our picks.
Keep in mind that we don’t rank any of the iterations, but rather organize them in chronological order.
Check it out below and tell us which one is your favorite:
“SPACE ODDITY”, 1969
The title “Space Oddity” was not chosen for some reason, but to pay homage to the film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, by Stanley Kubrick. Psychedelic folk begins with one of the music industry’s most iconic lines, “Ground Control to Major Tom,” and it was kicked off in a time marked by the space race and interest in the universe. In 2004, the track was included in the Hall of Fame as one of the songs that shaped rock and roll.
“LIFE ON MARS?”, 1971
“Life on Mars?” it’s a song everyone has probably heard at least once in their life, whether it’s in Bowie’s voice, or in various covers and celebrations over time. The mix of glam rock and art rock, produced by the capable hands of Ken Scott, is the backdrop for a sensory and bizarre surrender that criticizes not only the media, but the human being as well.
“ZIGGY STARDUST”, 1972
“Ziggy Stardust” is one of the main tracks from the concept album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” and evokes Bowie’s ego alter ego. Here, the character serves as a messenger to beings from other planets and, like other songs by the artist, is part of the core group that has shaped the music industry.
“Changes” is another David Bowie iteration that everyone has heard at least once. Also included in the Rolling Stone list of the best songs of all time, the track is the supreme sum of pop art and serves as a chameleon manifesto for the one steadfastness of its life: its personality changes. More than that, the roster also proves that the charts mean nothing in terms of quality and importance, as they were below the Top 50 of the Hot 100.
“THE JEAN GENIE”, 1972
Produced by Bowie and his longtime collaborator Ken Scott, “The Jean Genie” was the first single from the beloved “Aladdin Sane” album. The song was released in November 1972 and went on to become one of the artist’s biggest commercial hits, in addition to bringing elements of blues rock and hard rock to a narrative hinting at icons like Iggy Pop and Jean. Broom.
“REBEL REBEL”, 1974
“Rebel Rebel” is cited by music experts as one of the most re-recorded songs of all time and serves as Bowie’s farewell to the glam rock movement that helped its debut in the early 1970s. The Anthem Upbeat has been praised by critics and, in fact, he couldn’t be left out – not with those amazing guitar solos.
“YOUNG AMERICANS”, 1975
After “Rebel Rebel”, David Bowie would say goodbye to the genre that had honored him and would cultivate a phase moved by soul and R&B. “Young Americans”, co-produced by Tony Visconti and Harry Maslin, is one of the great tracks representing this extremely successful era. With an upbeat and at times irresponsible energy, the track is also on the major lists of the best songs in history.
Inspired by the romantic scene between producer Visconti and his girlfriend at the Berlin Wall, “Heroes” may not have been very successful at the time of its release, but it has gained immeasurable importance for us to know about. Bowie career. Telling the story of two lovers separated by war, the iteration has received numerous awards and is still considered one of the best of all time today.
“ASH TO ASH”, 1980
The first single from ‘Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)’ was released in August 1980 and revisited Major Tom, one of the great characters created by the psychedelic and lively mind of David Bowie. Reaching the top of the UK charts, the lyrics save children’s songs of the late 19th century, fueled by the involvement of art rock and new wave.
“LET’S DANCE”, 1983
‘Let’s Dance’ marked a brutal break in David Bowie’s glam rock career, primarily incorporating elements of nu-disco, funk, and new wave – something to be expected, given that Nile Rodgers, founder of the group CHIC , he was responsible for production. Its upbeat atmosphere transformed the iteration into a dance club anthem and the flagship of several soundtracks.
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