Hans Mount Rushmore of David Bowie songs. There are no real surprises on this list. I have a lot of Bowie favorites but these are the four I settled on. After I had my list I remembered that Mojo had a David Bowie Top 100 a few years back so I looked up what their list was- below is their Top 10. All four of my picks are in their Top 5. As I was working on this I asked my friend Gunther what his Bowie Rushmore would be- he had told me years ago that Bowie was not only a favorite of his but an artist who in ways changed his life. Gunther’s Rushmore- 1 Space Oddity 2- “Heroes” 3- China Girl 4- Ashes To Ashes.
MOJO’S TOP 10 BOWIE SONGS
1. Life On Mars? – Hunky Dory – 1971
2. Heroes’ – Heroes – 1977
3. Starman – The Rise And Fall Of… – 1972
4. Sound And Vision – Low – 1977
5. Changes – Hunky Dory – 1971
6. Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide – The Rise And Fall Of… – 1972
7. Young Americans – Young Americans – 1975
8. Always Crashing In The Same Car – Low – 1977
9. Ziggy Stardust – The Rise And Fall Of… – 1972
10. Ashes To Ashes – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – 1980
- LIFE ON MARS?: from Hunky Dory 1971: Pitchfork named Life On Mars? the best song of the 70s- The Daily Telegraph’s chief rock critic Neil McCorkmick has it at #1 on his all-time Top 100. When I thought about this Mount Rushmore this was a no doubt #1 Bowie. If you haven’t seen the television show- [we are talking about the original UK version} Life On Mars- which uses the name and song as its basis- see it- Badfinger turned me on to the show last summer– great show. https://powerpop.blog/2017/10/06/life-on-mars-the-best-television-show-of-the-2000s
- ‘HEROES’: from “Heroes” 1977 From Bowie’ Berlin period. The song tells the story of two lovers one from West Berlin, the other from East Berlin [ this was back when there was the Berlin Wall} When Bowie died in 2016 Germany’s government thanked Bowie for helping to bring down the wall. Bowie author David Buckley has written that “Heroes” “is perhaps pop’s definitive statement of the potential triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The song wasn’t a big hit upon release but of course is now one of his signature songs. Musician Larry Kirwan who hosts Celtic Crush every week last year did his version of Heroes- Heroes Belfast- I have attached it below the Bowie original.
- CHANGES from “Hunky Dory 1971. Two of my four Bowie songs are from my favorite Bowie album- Hunky Dory. I would bet if I stopped 50 people and asked them to name a David Bowie song- this is the one that would get the most votes. This is also the last song that Bowie played live at his last concert in 2006. It still blows my mind that this song didn’t even crack the Top 40. Also is there a better song to sum of David Bowie and his career? He was forever changing.
- STARMAN from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust 1972: Had to have a song from his most famous album right! This was a key song in Bowie’s rise. Released as a single ahead of Ziggy- Bowie at this point had only one hit in the UK- Space Oddity a couple years earlier. He appeared on Top Of The Pops and did this song- and that performance was a difference maker- Starman which was lingering on the charts started to shoot up the charts and peaked at #10. That performance below–