Poll, Day 3: Readers’ Favorite Bowiesongs, 50-26

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We enter the outer circle of top Bowie songs, as chosen by blog readers. If, like me, you were a sorta-Catholic kid who was weirdly fascinated by the hierarchy of angels (oh, you weren’t, eh?), you might say we’re in the Second Sphere, home of Powers, Virtues and Dominions.

Speaking of angels, the speaker in the first song of the Top 50 was one:

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50. Look Back In Anger (73 points, 69 votes, 1 #1 vote).

If I’m going to take a solo, I’m going to take a rhythm guitar solo.

Carlos Alomar.

It’s a TIE for 49-48 (don’t worry! there aren’t many now): matrimony and blood.

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Be My Wife (74 points, 70 votes, 1 #1 vote).

A mime sketch of a rock star making a rock video, yet too comically glum and sulky to go through the required hoops, and lacking the necessary gung-ho conviction…the character (because it isn’t really Bowie, it’s a fellow, a sad sack, a thin-lipped melancholic) makes to play his guitar and gives up halfway through the phrase. He just can’t be bothered.

Momus, on the promo video.

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The Hearts Filthy Lesson (74 points, 66 votes, 2 #1 votes).

The filthy lesson in question is the fact that life is finite. That realization, when it comes, usually later in life, can either be a really daunting prospect or it makes things a lot clearer.

Bowie, 1995.

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47. Oh! You Pretty Things (75 points, 71 votes, 1 #1 vote).

All the nightmares came today and it looks as though they’re here to stay.

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46. Bring Me the Disco King (77 points, 65 votes, 3 #1 votes, one specified the “Loner” remix).

Once we’d put down the song against Garson tinkering away, it didn’t need any more. That was the song.

Bowie, 2003.

It’s a TIE for 45-44, with a drunk John Lennon or Chris Burden (RIP, both) drawing something awful on the carpet.

Joe the Lion! (78 points, 70 votes, 2 #1 votes).

Art doesn’t have a purpose. It’s a free spot in society, where you can do anything.

Chris Burden.

It’s Monday.
You slither down the greasy pipe—so far so good—no one SAW you
hobble over any FREEway
you will be like your DREEEEEEEEEEEEEAMS
tonight!

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Breaking Glass (78 points/votes).

He probably did that shit yesterday in somebody’s room! David’s writing some shit about life here!

Dennis Davis, recalling hearing Bowie’s vocal for the first time.

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43. Fantastic Voyage (79 points, 71 votes, 2 #1 votes).

The recurrent “learning to live with somebody’s depression” motif that forms the song’s chorus reminds us that we all get whacked out when we’re depressed, but that the chief of a nuclear nation can get whacked out, too, and then we’re all in trouble.

Charles Shaar Murray and Roy Carr.

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42. TVC 15 (80 points, 76 votes, 1 #1 vote).

Despite its quadraphonic sound and hologramic televisions, “TVC 15” was at heart a Fifties teenage death ballad, like “Teen Angel,” “Endless Sleep” or “Last Kiss,” where the singer recalls how his girl perished and wonders whether to join her in death.

Rebel Rebel (still available for Christmas gifting).

Anybody who can merge Lou Reed, disco and Huey Smith — the best I can do with the irresistible ‘TVC 15’— deserves to keep doing it for 5:29.

Robert Christgau.

Onward. Though I admit I’ll never love this song, over the years I’ve come to respect it, and how much it means to a lot of people. I’m glad it’s here…

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41. Time (81 points, 73 votes, 2 #1 votes).

I’ve written a new song on the new album which is just called “Time,” and I thought it was about time, and I wrote very heavily about time, and the way I felt about time—at times!—and I played it back after we recorded it and, my God, it was a gay song!

Bowie, 1973.

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40. Fame (82 points, 78 votes, 1 #1 vote, one specified for the “Fame 90” remix).

When ‘Fame’ came out, that was the first time Bowie had bridged going to AM–he was always FM.

Carlos Alomar.

The fucking price of fame. Somebody had made a transfusion of the wrong blood type into Yoko. I was there when it happened, and she starts to go rigid, and then shake, from the pain and the trauma. I run up to this nurse and say, ‘Go get the doctor!’ I’m holding on tight to Yoko while this guy gets to the hospital room. He walks in, hardly notices that Yoko is going through fucking convulsions, goes straight for me, smiles, shakes my hand and says, ‘I’ve always wanted to meet you, Mr. Lennon, I always enjoyed your music.’ I start screaming: ‘My wife’s dying and you wanna talk about my music!’ Christ!

John Lennon, 1980.

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39. Modern Love (85 points/votes).

I’ve left behind “Ziggy Stardust” in favor of “Modern Love,” though the endless “ah-dern-LOW-OH-OVE” vamping at the end of the latter gets exhausting.

Rob Sheffield, on his Bowie karaoke picks.

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38. Fashion (88 points, 84 votes, 1 #1 vote).

[The disco scene] seems now to be replaced by an insidious grim determination to be fashionable, as though it’s actually a vocation. There’s some kind of strange aura about it.

Bowie, 1980.

When I started this blog in 2009, I didn’t know the next song—I’d heard the album a few times but the track had left no impression on me. But when I got to it in due course, I was stunned: why did no one talk about how great it was? So I tried to make the case for its brilliance in the blog entry, and I hope, in some way, that I helped its standing here:

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37. Win (89 points, 81 votes, 2 #1 votes.)

I would listen to the album in my room and when ‘Win’ came on I would feel as though I was swimming in my fish tank.

Commenter “Red Fields,” 2013.

A mild, precautionary sort of morality song.

Bowie, 1975.

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36. Absolute Beginners (90 points/votes).

When Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, who were producing the Absolute Beginners soundtrack, heard Bowie’s studio demo of “Beginners,” they were flummoxed, as they had no idea how to improve it. “We’ve been handed this one on a plate,” Langer recalled saying in the elevator afterwards.

When I started going through the ballots, I was wondering what the post-“retirement” consensus pick would be. Pretty soon, it was obvious…

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35. Where Are We Now? (93 points, 89 votes, 1 #1 vote).

It did make me cry. It’s what the song is about. I totally identify with what he has done. I know exactly how he feels. It’s like a lament.

Herbie Flowers.

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34. Suffragette City (95 points, 83 votes, 2 #1 votes).

“Suffragette City” is just so cool.

Woody Woodmansey.

I remember very clearly the physical reaction I felt listening to “Suffragette City” [for the first time]. The sheer bodily excitement of that noise was too much to bear. I guess it sounded like…sex. Not that I knew what sex was.

Simon Critchley.

And it’s a straight run from Suffragette City across the plains to..

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33. Warszawa (96 points, 92 votes, 1 #1 vote).

You may also say that Bowie immortalized a certain image of the city, his inner Warsaw. I thought it always one of the most solemn, uncanny Bowie songs, and a proper homage to my city, which is until this day quite sinister.

Agata Pyzik (who’s now writing a 33 1/3 book on Japan’s Tin Drum).

It’s time for a TIE for 32 and 31 (hey, it’s been a while). Possibly the oddest cohabitation of the survey, but both songs are about transcendence, in a way.

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Let’s Dance (97 points, 89 votes, 2 #1 votes, 1 vote specifying the single edit).

When David and I were doing tons and tons of pre-promotion on the album that would become “Let’s Dance”, after we did all this research, David summed what this album was going to be, by a picture he found of Little Richard getting into a Cadillac. Little Richard was getting into his red drop-top Cadillac with his ‘do’ like that (leans forward) and he had a red suit, red Cadillac, bam, had the pomp, and David held it up and said: “(English accent) Nile, that’s rock ‘n’ roll.”

Nile Rodgers.

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Word On a Wing (97 points, 81 votes, 4 #1 votes).

In times of spiritual crisis, when the very self is being swept away, the Higher Self comes to the rescue, terrible as an army with banners. [If successful, one has a sense of calm] like a ship hove-to, securely riding out the storm.

Dion Fortune.

Well, so much for the epic ‘Station to Station’ ballads…but wait?

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30. Wild Is The Wind (99 points, 87 votes, 3 #1 votes).

“Romance is coming back, Warren,” I said.

“You know what’s coming back?” Warren said. “Everything. And then it’s going away for good.”

George W.S. Trow.

I recorded it as a homage to Nina [Simone]…Her performance of this song really affected me.

Bowie, 1993.

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29. Strangers When We Meet (101 points, 85 votes, 4 #1 votes, 12 votes specified the Outside version, 2 the Buddha of Suburbia one).

The only time his cut-up lyrics moved me, thanks to that gorgeous vocal. All the stresses fall on unexpected places.

Alfred Soto.

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28. Quicksand (102 points, 98 votes, 1 #1 vote, 1 vote specified the 1971 demo).

My knowledge had to be the only important knowledge. I wouldn’t own up to the fact I didn’t know it all.

Bowie, 1999.

Brett Anderson: You mention [Aleister Crowley] in ‘Quicksand.’

Bowie: Well that was before I tried reading him. Hahaha! That’s when I had his biography in my raincoat so the title showed. That was reading on the tube.

NME interview, 1993.

Well, he had to show up at some point: all hail the leper messiah. And the last song in this list to have reached its position solely by strength of numbers, no #1 votes:

Ziggy Stardust

27. Ziggy Stardust (103 points/votes).

Later, Dave [Marsh] and I talked about Bowie. What was it that was missing? ‘Innocence,’ Dave suggested. But maybe it’s just that unlike Lou Reed (who will never be a star here, either) or Iggy (who just might), Bowie doesn’t seem quite real. Real to me, that is—which in rock-and-roll is the only fantasy that counts.

Ellen Willis, 1972.

As David Bowie appears, the child dies. The vision is profound—a sanity heralding the coming of consciousness from someone who—at last!—transcends our gloomy coal-fire existence. David Bowie is detached from everything, yet open to everything; stripped of the notion that both art and life are impossible. He is quite real, impossibly glamorous, fearless, and quite British. How could this possibly be?

Morrissey, Autobiography.

And a fitting end just before the Top 25. Turn and face the strange..

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26. Changes (104 points, 100 votes, 1#1 vote).

Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it!

Next: The Top 25 Bowie Songs.

86 Responses to Poll, Day 3: Readers’ Favorite Bowiesongs, 50-26

  1. fluxkit says:

    Well, at least my #1 vote for Look Back in Anger helped it into the top 50.

  2. Phil Obbard says:

    “Wild is the Wind” beats out “Word on a Wing”. Wow.

  3. Galdo says:

    Oh, I thought ‘Joe the Lion’ would be so much higher! It’s my number one pick. I’m happy ‘Absolute Beginners’ did so well I wasn’t expecting so many votes. And yes, reading the entry for ‘Win’ made me pay more attention to that song and I did vote it too!

  4. Shane75 says:

    Fot the record: “Absolute Beginners” did get a #1 pick: mine. (I bought the 45 single in 1986, when I was 11, loved it then and still, and it was the song that made me a fan and check out all he’d done before, which was an adventure).

    • col1234 says:

      shit, really? That would tie it with Suff City. sorry man.

      edit: um, I don’t see this ballot. Looked through the emails and don’t see an Absolute Beginners #1, nor anything from your screenname or the email you’ve used here. I don’t think I got your ballot. Please re-send it so i can see?

      • Shane75 says:

        Send 23 nov to bowiesong@gmail.com from the email used here. (I got worried the day before, remember, because Under Pressure mwstw version wasn’t mentioned). Now I see it should have been: bowiesongS!! Damn.

      • col1234 says:

        that’s what happened! i’m sorry!

      • henry_8 says:

        Chris-I’m also getting a little bit worried you didn’t receive my ballot.I had a vote for “Let me sleep beside you”,& would be very surprised to see it in the top 25,unless I’m going to be!

      • col1234 says:

        this has come up a couple times & just to dispel the confusion: if you don’t see your song, it most likely got more than 1 vote but less than 30. There are over 150 songs that fall into this “limbo” . So “Let Me Sleep Beside You” got 12 votes.

      • Shane75 says:

        Too bad, my mistake.
        For what it’s worth my top 30:

        #1 absolute beginners
        station to station
        “heroes”
        Young Americans
        hearts filfty lesson
        wild is the wind
        repetition
        where are we now
        life on mars
        Five years
        candidate (ryko bonus version)
        sound and vision
        all the madmen
        right
        sweet thing/candidate/sweet thing reprise
        I’m deranged
        the motel
        Big brother
        Rock n roll suicide
        word on a wing
        warszawa
        Under pressure – Bowie & Gail Ann Dorsey/mwstw single live version
        Cat People (Putting Out Fire) – OST Cat People
        golden years
        The Buddha of Suburbia (version 1)
        dead against it
        something in the air
        It’s no game pt 1
        Look back in anger
        afraid

  5. Dave L says:

    Leave it to Chris O’Leary to turn a simple song list into an event. Well done, sir, fun reading.

    I’m surprised by how well the Let’s Dance tracks are doing in this countdown.

    Surprised that “Fame” only hit #40, beat out by two Let’s Dance songs.

    So just to whet our appetite for the top 25, can you tell us whether there are any big surprises? Any “how the hell did that get into the top 25” entries?

  6. fantailfan says:

    I swear I put “Changes” on my list, but after 44 years I’m just sick of it.
    The vocals did it for me for “Strangers when We Meet.”
    I dropped “Warszawa” because it was an instrumental… now the album, that’s something else.
    I expected “Fame” to be higher, but I didn’t include “Young Americans.”
    “TVC 15” is idiotic, but (taking punk into account) 1976 was an idiotic year, musically. And I mean that in a more or less good way.

    6 of my picks here – total 17 in the top 100. I expect two of my remaining 13 not to be in the top 25.

  7. Nick says:

    Reading the results over the past few days I have been preparing myself for the appearance of Modern Love. I didn’t anticipate it being so highly ranked amongst the readers of this blog. Really, there are so many songs that are far superior to choose from:/

  8. tarff26 says:

    12 of my top 30 made it onto the list so far. I think it’s pushing it to expect Crystal Japan, 7 Years in Tibet and HDTGG in the top 25 though😦

    Please to see Hearts Filthy Lesson relatively high up the chart. The blog entry here really opened that song up for me to the extent that, obviously, its one of my favourites.
    Great work on the list compiling and additional comments Chris. 8 days til santa drops your book into my stocking

  9. Eight more of my picks here: Warszawa (my number 6), Bring Me the Disco King (my 7), Word on a Wing (my 8), Where Are We Now? (my 17), Joe the Lion (my 20), Let’s Dance (my 23), Quicksand (my 26), and Strangers When We Meet (my 30). I’m doing very very well so far. The list is awesome, can’t wait for the top 25.

  10. Deanna says:

    I put “Bring Me the Disco King” at #1… I doubt I will ever be convinced to love another Bowie song more than that one.

    I’m actually a bit intrigued (but not surprised) at how many personal “meh” songs showed up in this range. Many classics like “Fashion”, “Fame”, “TVC15”, etc, never really did much for me beyond their inherent appeal as Bowie songs. But that’s the nature of the game I guess! At least there are no songs on this list that I actively hate.

    (I must shamefully report that as I typed this, “Glass Spider” started playing on iTunes and I haven’t pressed skip)

    • I vote #1 for Bring Me The Disco King too! It’s not quite my favorite Bowie song, but it’s awfully close, and I figured it could use the bump. I was hoping it would make the top 30, but I guess that was wishful thinking. Still, it was a very decent showing!

      • Deanna says:

        Ahh, I just saw this after commenting on your other post! Thanks for that! I’m glad others love it like I do.

      • I really really love BMTDK! It was originally my #2 pick. Such an evocative song, and a wonderful showcase for Mike Garson’s incredible talent! On top of that, Chris’s entry on the song is one of my favorites on this blog!

  11. Great, thanks, that’s reassuring. You’re doing a marvelous job. The pictures, the comments and quotes to every song… Beautiful.

  12. gcreptile says:

    7 more picks of mine, so 19 already done and I suspect that “Dead Man Walking” fell into the gap.
    On another day, Win would have made my top 30. But it gets really hard to rank beyond the top 10.
    The “classic” classics, Ziggy Stardust, Changes, Suffragette City… don’t make it that high, perhaps slightly surprising. The general public would probably put them higher, probably based on name recognition.
    I’m glad to see Strangers When We Meet do well.

    • gcreptile says:

      Sorry something else, I think Absolute Beginners deserves to be higher. As the press likes to say “Best album since Scary Monsters…” they should say “best song since Absolute Beginners”.

    • BenJ says:

      FWIW I voted for “Dead Man Walking.” I don’t think I specified on my ballot, but more the album version. Those last few seconds of Garson piano really add something.

  13. audiophd says:

    Love seeing the two Station to Station ballads going back to back. I only voted for WITW, but WOAW just missed the cut of my top 30.

  14. MarinaSofia says:

    That will teach me to not vote – my beloved Changes is only 26?!!!

  15. Bowietie Daddy says:

    Win… 37???!!! Come on! What’s wrong with you, Humanity? Wait… Absolute Begginers… 36???!!! I give up, I’m almost crying. It should be number 1… well, maybe number 2. Epic, beautiful, poignant… I know it’s a song everybody knows, but…

    PS: I love the joke hidden behind the picture accompanying Warsawa.

    • col1234 says:

      also a private joke for me, because people have sent me a link to that video like 144 times over the years.

    • ecsongbysong says:

      Bowietie Daddy, you and I are on a wavelength: “Win” and “Absolute Beginners” were my #1 and #2. I hear you on feeling like they should have placed higher, but I’m just glad they didn’t fall into that sad no-man’s-land between the “only one vote” songs and the “thirty votes or more” songs. There’s a pathos-filled nihilistic play, one that wouldn’t be too much more pretentious than “Lazarus” come to think, in imagining what those songs talk about as they wander in limbo for eternity. I’m imagining a moving subplot about the tender relationship developing between “Fall Dog Bombs The Moon” and “New Angels Of Promise.”

      To everyone who voted: Three #1s for “Wild Is The Wind,” and four #1s for “Strangers When We Meet”? I’d like to buy each and every one of you a drink.

      • Bruised Passivity says:

        I’ll gladly take you up on that drink.🙂 Picking Strangers ( the outside version) was the easiest decision I made for this poll. The vocal performance (while arguably not as strong as Wild is the Wind) still gives me the chills even after hundreds of listenings.

      • Anonymous says:

        I would raise my glass for the 4 great human beings who voted Word on a Wing as their number 1, too. It’s a song so moving!

      • Bowietie Daddy says:

        I raise my glass for the 4 great human beings that voted Word on a wing as their number one song, too. One of the most moving David’s tunes.

  16. Ian W. Hill says:

    Ah, so THIS is the zone of the DB songs (with notable exceptions) that I don’t like nearly as much as everyone else… (caveat: still generally like them; it’s Bowie). That said, I’m stupidly pleased that “Fame,” “Ziggy,” and “Changes” didn’t wind up higher.

    I had 13 of my picks in the bottom 50 (and 1 one-voter, “Baby Can Dance”), but only 2 here, where I was hoping some of my unsung hero tracks might live. While I KNOW some of my picks are going to show up, this doesn’t bode well for things like “We Prick You,” or “Afraid,” or “Fly,” or… wait, “Always Crashing in the Same Car?” “Scream Like a Baby?” Well, I know it was hard for all of us…

    And while I’ve been more and more happily surprised at how HIGH some favorites have ranked, “Suffragette City” at only frickin’ #34?! REALLY?

  17. BenJ says:

    This is how it sometimes goes with me. When I was in my early teens I heard “Fashion” for the first time. Immediately I hated it. To me, the then-current pop star Bowie was acceptable if not too exciting. The early seventies Bowie with the blood orange hair rocked. But this grating noise from a couple years in the past? I didn’t know what to do with it and just wanted it to end.

    Cut to the present. Guess who gave “Fashion” its #1 vote?

  18. audiophd says:

    Running some quick stats on what we have so far, it looks like we’re skewing towards older tracks as we get higher in the countdown: http://1drv.ms/1O9CpCE
    Granted, I used arbitrary groupings and the error bars are huge, but the trend is pretty apparent. We’ll see if it continues with the Top 25.

    • col1234 says:

      when i’m done will be happy to send the excel file with all votes to you (and anyone) who wants to have fun with it.

      note: this is just vote totals, no one’s personal info is on it.

      • audiophd says:

        Sounds good! I love me some stats. A couple more: the overall average release year approx. 1983 (median 1977); average track number for album cuts is 5.15; average length 4:34.

      • Paul O says:

        By “average track number” you mean when it occurs on the album? Like Kooks, Quicksand, Lady Stardust, Cracked Actor, Time etc. all all Tracks 5 or 6 of their respective albums?

      • audiophd says:

        Yes, that’s correct.

  19. Maj says:

    80 points for TVC15. Oh dear oh dear. Yeah I know a lotta people like this one but still oh dear.

    As I said on Twitter when I was putting together the top 30 & struggling w/ not putting the rest of Station to Station on it, this one would probably be my #1 Most Hated song.
    It didn’t start that way, the hate has developed over the years. Will probably ease again in a couple of years. It’s OK.

    Anyhoo. Again, a few of my selections here. Had no idea so many other people are into Fantastic Voyage. About a decade ago it would have made my #1 song.
    Absolute Beginners…hands down the best thing that ever came out of that musical thing. Even though my love for it has waned recently due to overplay I had to put it on my list just because…it’s a brilliant pop song. And probably Bowie’s best straight-up-ish pop song.

    Strangers… would have been in strong competition to be my no. 1 hadn’t I decided early on what my no. 1 would be. Is probably my no. 2 or 3. Not that it matters. So good to see quite a lot of people appreciating it as well.

    • col1234 says:

      i knew you were a TVC hater—I nearly prefaced that entry with a “look out Maj!” comment

    • Michael says:

      Fantastic Voyage is incredible. The “… how can I!” vocal at the end it’s just mind blowing. Amazing stuff. Big fan of this one.

    • Vinnie says:

      Listening to “Absolute Beginners” for the first time in maybe a year (overdosed on Bowie after seeing … Is in Chicago last Christmas) — this song is done so perfectly, plucking those heart strings – one of the best

  20. J. A. F. says:

    From “Suffragette City” to “Warszawa”…that nearly encapsulates Bowie’s golden decade.

    And then “Let’s Dance” to “Word On A Wing”! Awesome juxtapositions!

  21. ragingglory says:

    I’m fascinated to see some of the instrumentals doing so well, eg Subterraneans and Warzawa. The funny thing is looking at my list I only chose one song from Low/Heroes yet those were my #2 and 3 albums. I absolutely adore A new career in a new town as well, and it was a fantastic moment for me personally when he played it on the Reality tour on a rainy night in Wellington, New Zealand. Felt like he played it just for me LOL

  22. Paul O says:

    This is an eerie, amazing, annoying, delightful, confusing list. (In other words, perfectly suitable for the subject).

    Three Let’s Dance tracks *and* Absolute Beginners in the top 50? Such low placements for Changes, Suffragette and Diamond Dogs?

    That said, happy to see favorites that didn’t fit into my top 30 making it to this section of the list: The Hearts Filthy Lesson, Breaking Glass, TVC15, Time, Fame, Fashion, Win, Where Are We Now? (my “honorable mention”), Word on a Wing, Strangers When We Meet and Quicksand.

    I am seriously nervous now, with only nine of my top 30 making it into the lower 25: Changes (26), Ziggy Stardust (27), Wild Is the Wind (30), Suffragette City (34), Oh! You Pretty Things (47), Lady Stardust (56), Panic in Detroit (59), Diamond Dogs (77) and Cracked Actor (82). What are the chances of the other 21 all making it into the top 25?

    I’m especially anxious about my #1…

  23. MC says:

    Ok, 7 of my picks are here: Be My Wife, Joe The Lion, Fame, Warszawa, Sufragette City. Ziggy Stardust, and Wild Is The Wind. I would have expected the Ziggy tracks to rank a little higher, but I’m not really surprised with the placement of Changes, Let’s Dance, and Fame. To me, as beloved as they all are, I always got the impression (as some have indicated) that these are songs more valued by casual fans than by hardcore Bowiephiles. Now Fame was a must for my personal Top Ten as it was the first Bowie song I ever heard, back when it was getting saturation radio play in 1975. I have a distinct memory of watching DB performing it on the Cher Show, at the tender age of 5, then the next morning imitating the man for a couple of disinterested schoolmates. Of such things are lifetime fandom made.
    As for the list as a whole, I heartily approve of most of it, a good mix of hits and amazing deep cuts like Win. More than a few tracks skirted my Top 30, cuts like Breaking Glass, Word On A Wing, and Quicksand, which on another day might have made my list.

    • MC says:

      Ok, I just watched the Cher Show rendition of Fame on YouTube, and jeez, does DB ever look wasted. But cool as f#@% regardless, and given his state at the time, it’s impressive that he’s not lip-synching. (It’s a far cry from his Soul Train appearance.) It’s good to see my 5-year old self had taste. (And of course, the song is killer.)

  24. Paul O says:

    “Three Let’s Dance tracks *and* Absolute Beginners in the top 50?” Top 100, that is…

    “…only nine of my top 30 making it into the lower 25…” Again, into the lower 75 of the Top 100.

  25. RLM says:

    Be My Wife was my #1, it has been my favourite Bowie song for as long as I can remember. As soon as I submitted the list I began to wonder if perhaps Fantastic Voyage might have quietly snuck into the top spot in my affections. But now I’m glad BMW is somebody’s top Bowie song on the Most Important Bowie Poll of All Time, it deserves it.

    Very surprised by the high placement of Strangers When We Meet, I have enjoyed it on casual listens but will have to get a bit closer and see what all the fuss is about.

  26. roobin101 says:

    Should I hold out any hope still for Untitled One?

  27. Sky-Possessing Spider says:

    For anyone interested, today’s Daily Telegraph online has listed 20 essential David Bowie songs. Check it out at http://www.telegraph.co.uk
    (there are quite a few surprise choices, I think.)

  28. Mike says:

    Ok. Just listened to the song Lazarus. It’s fantastic. Clearly grounds to start this all over again. And, um, I won’t miss the deadline this time

  29. Well, it seems my strategic #1 vote for Bring Me The Disco King was not enough to get it to the top 30, but it did put it above Hearts Filthy Lesson and Oh! You Pretty Things, which is cool. Now, I hope the placement of my actual favorite Bowie song is not going to make me kick myself for not placing it #1!

    • Deanna says:

      Oh no, I had hoped the other two #1s for BMtDK were genuine love! Nevertheless, I applaud your effort at boosting my favorite song!

  30. Bruised Passivity says:

    I found 11 of my top thirty on today’s list: Look Back in Anger, Be My Wife, Bring Me the Disco King, Breaking Glass, Modern Love, Win, Absolute Beginners, Where Are We Now? Word On A Wing, Strangers When We Meet and Quicksand. I am pleased to see the songs I desperately wanted to include on my list like Fantastic Voyage, Wild is the Win, TVC 15 and Time getting some love. I have to say thought, I don’t understand the high ranking for the Joe the Lion – I find the recording quality so poor on this particular track as to render it nearly unalienable. Just my impression.

    By the way, for those that can watch, Michael C. Hall is scheduled to perform “Lazarus” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.

  31. JMarcG says:

    Okay, either my email didn’t make it through or there’s a ton of folk who like Ian Fish, and The Mysteries… Kinda fishy, and mysterious. And if it didn’t make it, glad to see there’s at least one other Do Anything You Say fan out there too!

  32. Vinnie says:

    I have open two tabs so I can “Live Tweet”/ React to the list with genuine expression:

    49. “Be My Wife”? Oh no. Every Bowie fan should use this in their marriage proposal. What a damned lovely song.

    45. “Joe The Lion” — Humanity is Lost. Give America to Daesh. “Joe The Lion” is David Bowie’s crowning achievement. All the drugs should be had while this song is on; all the good feelings and good times. Is it about Chris Burden? Technically, yes. But “Joe The Lion” is really about living your life to the fullest, and achieving your dreams.

    Today, my dreams were shattered. #RIPJoeTheLion

    40. “Fame” – if there’s ever been a better use of a John Lennon quote, Chris..

    39. Rob Sheffield, let me by you a drink, because I’m at the same place in my life — “Modern Love” IS the Bowie karaoke song.

    36. “Absolute Beginners” – good job team, this one is a stunner. When Bowie fans don’t know it, I’m stunned.

    34. “Suffragette City” – I listen to Ziggy so infrequently anymore that “Suffragette City” and “Hang On To Yourself” are now one song. do do da da da da, “You’ve got to hang on, hang on to your – Wham! Bam! Thank you mam!”

    30. “Wild Is The Wind” – Love me love me love me say you do — I don’t care if it’s a cover, sweet damn, Bowie does *it* on this song. I’d like to hear this song over the end credits of my life, in my death bed. Top 5. Maybe my #2.

    29. “Strangers When We Meet” – bested “Wild Is The Wind”? OK..

    27. “Ziggy Stardust” – Bowie fandom: saved. Well, everyone, you didn’t drop the ball — every time someone says this is “Bowie’s best song,” I cringe, go home and listen to Scary Monsters (Good, not the best)

    26. “Changes” – shocked!

  33. princeasbo says:

    Fame ’90? You’re ‘avin’ a giraffe mate!

  34. GG55 says:

    Fame has got to be about 198 on the long and celebrated list of Bowie songs. Never understood why people think it is so good. Young Americans on the other hand…

  35. Just four for me this time, Disco King, Hearts Filthy Lesson, Win and Wild is the Wind (curiously in the same order).
    Today’s regret is not adding Absolute Beginners to my list. It’s a fantastic single amidst an otherwise rocky period. EMI must have hated him for it.

    It’s interesting to see Fame, Ziggy and Changes not make the top 20. I didn’t even consider voting for any of them. While they might be heavyweights in the Bowie singles catalogue, I’ve always feel lesser within the contexts of their respective albums (Can Changes compare to Life on Mars? Could the Ziggy Stardust song ever contend with the rest of the Ziggy Stardust LP? Just what is Fame’s purpose on Young Americans other than to sell units on the basis of its Lennon association?)

  36. Phil Obbard says:

    So, if I read this correctly, his highest placing post-1980 track is “Strangers When We Meet” at #29, right?

    And his highest placing post-1980s LPs were OUTSIDE (at #8) and HEATHEN (at #12). Not bad.

    • col1234 says:

      yes, think so. Where Are We Now was lower, right?

      of course if we ran this poll again now, blackstar would probably be top 10, both song and LP

      • Mikeb says:

        “Lazarus” for sure

      • Phil Obbard says:

        “Where Are We Now” at #35, “Let’s Dance” at 32/31.

        Would be interesting to run this poll again in 1-5 years’ time, and see how assessments change (particularly of his post-1980 work, and maybe more so post-Tin Machine) in light of the inevitable tributes, new compilations, cover versions, books etc. that will follow.

        (And when that time comes, I’ll volunteer to help collect/organize results!)

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