Your Favourite Bowie Songs

… and from the same album: Across the Universe.

A song written by one of the era’s greatest singer/songwriters, performed by one of the era’s greatest singer/songwriters.

1 Diamond Dogs
2 1984
3 Ziggy Stardust
4 Starman (it’s been going through my head constantly)
5 Moonage Daydream
6 China Girl (mostly because of Stevie Ray)
7 Cat People (Putting out Fire)

My feeling about Bowie was that he was consistently good, but rarely great. My favorite is definitely “Suffragette City,” though “Starman” and “Changes” are close.

Rebel Rebel is on my current rotation. Love that guitar line.


Fame was the first song I stayed up past my bedtime to listen to. I remember having my little blue Panasonic transistor radio under the sheets with me, tuned to KFRC in the Bay Area. It was getting late - close to 10pm! - and I was just about to give up when it came on.

Aaah! I had planned to start a thread much like this this morning - It was gonna be "What are your favorite (Non-Single) Bowie songs? shakes fist at being thread-ninja’d

Anyway, my current absolute favorite Bowie songs, in no particular order:

  1. Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise). Been my favorite for a couple years now, but it’s always been in my top 10.
  2. Boys Keep Swinging
  3. Sweet Head - this was an outtake from the Ziggy sessions, which wasn’t released until a few years ago. It’s magnificent.
  4. Queen Bitch
  5. The Width of a Circle
  6. The Stars Are Out Tonight
  7. Life On Mars?
  8. Under Pressure
  9. Wild Is the Wind
  10. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)


All the Madmen
Oh! You Pretty Things
Sweet Head -“Until you had Rock you only had God.”
The Jean Genie
V-2 Schneider
Boys Keep Swinging
Ashes to Ashes
China Girl
I’m Afraid of Americans (the super noisy live version with Sonic Youth is my favorite)

I remember the first time I heard “Fame.” It was on an episode of Doogie Howser, MD of all places. I was just a kid. But it was the funkiest groove I’d ever heard and remains one of my favorite Bowie songs.

I’m partial to Panic in Detroit, since I’m from Michigan, plus that bass line makes me happy.

Of his popular stuff:
Let’s Dance
Modern Love

Of his less popular stuff:
Black Tie, White Noise - The whole album
(especially You’ve Been Around)
From the Earthling album- Little Wonder, Dead Man Walking

Life on Mars
Under Pressure
.various interchangeable forgettable glam/dance stuff.

I was sick of it when it was still a hit. It just sits there for me. Good lyric though, I never parsed that out too well.

Moonage Daydream
China Girl
Five Years

Tin Machine seem to get fairly short shrift, but as well as rescuing Bowie from his dire last couple of late 80 albums {although Labyrinth has a couple of gems}, you can hear him and Reeves Gabrels blowing away the synthy over-produced 80s stodge with blasts of ferocious guitar rock. And Heaven’s In Here is just terrifically loud and catchy; afew years later and it could easily be a White Stripes track. Tin Machine was loudly sniffed at when it came out, but post the early 2000s garage-rock revival, what’s surprising is just how fresh it sounds. Give it a spin.

How could I leave that off my list? Love that song.

I haven’t listened to it in a long time but I was very fond of it when it came out. It’s sort of a forgotten part of his career but it was quite good. Reeves does very good work on guitar and Soupy Sales’ kids are a solid rhythm section.

Yeah, that whole phase of his career seems to have been airbrushed out as a sort of aberration, and for the life of me I can’t work out why: maybe it was the whole “band” format rather than Bowie plus sidemen, but contrived humility project not, Tin Machine just made this great noise.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust is my favorite album of his. I couldn’t stop listening to “Starman” and “Five Years” when I was little. I remember hearing the lyric I think I saw you in an ice cream parlor/drinking milkshakes cold and long/smiling and waving and looking so fine/don’t think you knew you were in this song and thinking it was so amazing, to have this little happy scene of ice cream and smiles and people having fun in the middle of this panicked song. I’m still amazed at the concept behind it all - the pure appreciation of massive number of people on Earth, all talking and living and dying.

In “Starman”, I always thought the “cat” DJ playing rock 'n roll was an actual cat - it was years before I realized it was old slang.

Random song drop: “Rock 'n Roll Suicide”. The perfect closer.

It’s so weird to be thinking about him in the past tense . . .

Octarine - I can’t go on YouTube at work, but go on there and search for Bowie Five Years Dinah Shore. It’s heartwrenching - he sounds like he’s about to break into tears for the whole song.

Life on Mars?
Within You (Labryinth)
Space Oddity
Ashes to Ashes
Under Pressure
Little Drummer Boy
Station to Station
This is not America
Scary Monsters

I’ll stop there. I could list whole albums.