Poll, Day 4: Readers’ Favorite Bowiesongs, 25-1

First, an announcement.

I’m happy to say that I’ve signed with Repeater Books for Ashes to Ashes, the sequel to Rebel Rebel. Repeater was co-founded by Tariq Goddard, who signed me at Zero for the first book, and I’m very happy to be working with him and the Repeater team. (You can follow Repeater on FB or Twitter.)

The new book will be larger than Rebel Rebel, which is quite a large book. It will start with “Sister Midnight” and will end with whatever songs Bowie’s put out by summer 2017. I hope you enjoy it. And thanks so much to everyone who bought the first book, or is considering buying it.

OK, the last bunch of songs. The big megillahs. The top of the heap. Here goes, with the first book’s namesake, as it turns out:

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25. Rebel Rebel (105 points, 93 votes, 3 #1 votes, 3 specified the U.S. single because they have good taste).

It’s a fabulous riff. Just fabulous. When I stumbled onto it, it was ‘Oh, thank you!’

Bowie.

David Bowie hopped onto the stage…Right in front of my face, this beautiful, hypnotic, strange man was singing to me…I instinctively knew that what I was experiencing was something religious.

Cherie Currie.

Heaven loves ya, no. 24!

dbboys

24. Boys Keep Swinging (108 points, 104 votes, 1 #1 vote).

I played an over-the-top bass part, in the spirit of The Man Who Sold the World.

Tony Visconti.

Bowie played it for me, and said, ‘This is written for you, in the spirit of you.’ I think he saw me as a naive person who just enjoyed life.

Adrian Belew.

dis

23. Drive-In Saturday (109 points, 101 votes, 2 #1 votes, 1 vote specified the 1999 VH1 Storytellers performance).

This takes place probably in the year 2033.

Bowie, debuting “Drive-In Saturday” on stage, 1972.

…the creaking Palais saxophones combining with post-Eno electronic whooshes, the references to Jung, Jagger and (yet to be realised!) Sylvian, Bowie’s sometimes reflective, other times barking vocals – the song is a warning about allowing the past to dominate our future so heavily if we cannot actively use it to get ourselves forward, or indeed back.

Marcello Carlin.

starman

22. Starman (113 points, 101 votes, 3 #1 votes).

After ‘Starman,’ everything changed.

Woody Woodmansey.

In 1972 I’d get girls on the bus saying to me, ‘Eh la, you got a lippy on?’ or ‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ Until [Bowie] turned up, it was a nightmare. All my mates at school would say, ‘Did you see that bloke on Top of the Pops? He’s a right faggot, him!’ And I remember thinking ‘you pillocks.’…With people like me, it helped forge an identity and a perspective on things, helped us to walk in a different way, metaphorically…

Ian McCulloch, in David Buckley’s Strange Fascination.

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21. Lady Grinning Soul (115 points, 111 votes, 1 #1 vote.)

How can life become her point of view?

We reach the heights of the top 20, starting with an encounter on the stair:

lulu

20. The Man Who Sold the World (120 points, 116 votes, 1 #1 vote, 1 vote specifying the 1990s remake).

This is a David Boowie song.

Kurt Cobain.

I guess I wrote it because there was a part of myself that I was looking for.

Bowie, 1997.

Top of the pops TIE for 19-18, though if “Shane75″‘s ballot had come through (see comments yesterday), he’d have given the vote to push “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” one step ahead of..

david-bowie-mugshot-rochester-ny-01

Stay (123 points, 111 votes, 3 #1 votes).

It started with a groove, and when I came up with the guitar bit at the front I could tell it would be a monster song. The funny thing about it is, I came up with that lick because we were messing around with an older song called ‘John, I’m Only Dancing.’

Earl Slick.

hold on a sec, while time takes a cigarette:

david-bowie-ziggy-stardust-makeup

Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (123 points, 107 votes, 4 #1 votes, 1 specifying live 1973 versions)

It looked good when he did that whole sort of Messiah thing.

Angela Bowie.

A declaration of the end of the effect of being young.

Bowie.

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17. It’s No Game (Pts. 1 and/or 2) (127 points, 119 votes, 2 #1 votes, 9 specified “Pt. 2,” 20 specified “Pt. 1”)

I wanted to break down a particular type of sexist attitude about women. I thought the [idea of] the “Japanese girl” typifies it, where everyone pictures them as a geisha girl, very sweet, demure and non-thinking, when in fact that’s the absolute opposite of what women are like. They think an awful lot!, with quite as much strength as any man. I wanted to caricature that attitude by having a very forceful Japanese voice on it. So I had [Hirota] come out with a very samurai kind of thing.

Bowie, 1980.

Well, this one had better have been on the list, seeing as how it named the blog. If I’d voted, this would’ve been my #1.

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16. Queen Bitch (130 points, 122 votes, 2 #1 votes, 1 specifying the “Bowie at the Beeb” performance).

There’s blood and glitter in this song: it’s as good as anything Bowie ever made.

Rebel Rebel.

and to start the top 15, a leap from the 11th floor of some cheap NYC hotel up to the exosphere:

garson

15. Aladdin Sane ( 138 points, 122 votes, 4 #1 votes).

The ‘Aladdin Sane’ solo actually shocked me when I heard it again and I realized… that it was pretty good.

Mike Garson, ca. 2005. (above: transcription of 2:20-2:29 of “Aladdin Sane”).

Bowie has created entire universes in my mind with his words. It’s just that, on one level (to the grammar Nazi English teacher in me, at least), they’re eccentric doggerel: “Passionate bright young things / Takes him away to war (don’t fake it) / Saddening glissando strings / Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh (you’ll make it)”. The verbs and the nouns don’t even agree! And how could you fake being taken away to war? Where’s the orchestra? It makes no sense!

“They’re atmospheric,” Bowie once said of his lyrics. But actually, what I’ve underestimated is that the vagueness is tactical. Bowie has also said that he’d be delighted if his work allowed people to find different characters within themselves. In order to do that, you don’t overdetermine things. There’s a kind of negative capability in not being too intentional, too specific, too narrative. This is artistry on a higher level.

Momus.

THE LAST TIE: 14-13, TWO TALES OF ISOLATION

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Space Oddity (140 points, 136 votes, 1 #1 vote, 2 votes specified the 1979 remake, 2 the Italian version)

It’s not a David Bowie song, it’s “Ernie the Milkman.”

Tony Visconti, recalling his reaction to it in 1969.

This is the great control of Major Tom, so great, that in fact, I don’t know anything.

rough translation of Seu Jorge’s Portuguese lyric in The Life Aquatic.

“And there’s nothing I can do”—this is repeated. Initially, this is just an observation and Ground Control, at this point, is still in control. The repetition comes at a stage when Ground Control is just as helpless as Major Tom.

Nelson Thornes Framework English 2 textbook.

and buckle up, because he’s:

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Always Crashing In the Same Car (140 points, 128 votes, 3 #1 votes).

So that initial period in Berlin produced Low, which is ‘isn’t it great to be on your own, let’s just pull down the blinds and fuck ’em all.’ The first side of Low was all about me: “Always Crashing In The Same Car” and all that self-pitying crap,

Bowie, 1977.

Roaring out of Berlin and into Philly…

dbcavv

12. Young Americans (141 points, 133 votes, 2 #1 votes).

I peered and peered, trying to catch the ultimate vibe…Johnny Ray. Johnny Ray on cocaine singing about 1984… Don’t be fooled: Bowie is as cold as ever, and if you get off on his particular brand of lunar antibody you may well be disappointed in his latest incarnation, because he’s doubling back on himself.

Lester Bangs, 1974.

We come now to a fine example of how the “#1 vote bonus” worked out. The following song would’ve been nowhere near the Top 10 but for the fact that 12 people chose it as their number one. Borne aloft on pure love, this was.

dbauto

11. Teenage Wildlife (149 points, 101 votes, 12 #1 votes).

The lead singer, banging around in a lurex mini-dress, was drawing entirely from a vocabulary invented by Bowie. And people stood and took it.

Jon Savage, 1980.

Ironically, the lyric is something about taking a short view of life, not looking too far ahead and not predicting the oncoming hard knocks. The lyric might have been a note to a younger brother or my own adolescent self.

Bowie, 2008.

and here we go, at the height of heights. Your Top 10 (don’t blame me!)

DB-Terry

10. Bewlay Brothers (150 points, 118 votes, 8 #1 votes, 1 specified the alternate mix).

I was never quite sure what real position Terry [Burns] had in my life, whether Terry was a real person or whether I was actually referring to another part of me.

Bowie, 2000.

This wasn’t just a song about brotherhood so I didn’t want to misrepresent it by using my true name. Having said that, I wouldn’t know how to interpret the lyric of this song other than suggesting that there are layers of ghosts within it. It’s a palimpsest, then.

Bowie, 2008.

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9. Five Years (155 points, 147 votes, 2 #1 votes).

The cycle of the Earth (indeed, of the universe, if the truth had been known) was nearing its end and the human race had at last ceased to take itself seriously.

Michael Moorcock, 1972.

Maybe the bleak future Bowie likes to scare his fans with is a metaphor for his own present.

Robert Christgau.

but cheer up! if we’ve only got five years left, at least they’ll be:

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8. Golden Years (169 points, 149 votes, 5 #1 votes).

David goes to the piano and plays, ‘they say the neon lights are bright, on Broadway…come de dum ma baby.’ That’s the kind of vibe he wanted…I play the opening guitar riff and he says, ‘Yeah yeah yeah, like that, do that, do that.'”

Carlos Alomar.

When we came to recording the backing vocals [for “Golden Years”], David lost his voice halfway through. That meant I had to sing the series of impossibly high notes before the chorus, which were difficult enough for David but were absolute murder for me.

Geoff MacCormack.

One last burst of glam majesty:

dbsanta

7. Moonage Daydream (173 points, 153 votes, 5 #1 votes, 1 specified the 1973 concert film version).

BAMMMMM-BLAMMMMMMMMM!!!
I’m an ALLIGATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BAMMMMMMMMMM-BLAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!
I’m a MAMMAPAPA coming FOR YOU!!!

Every night you knew that “Moonage Daydream” was going to be the one that really lifted them. Then we’d go and follow on from there to the end.

Trevor Bolder.

Now, the big gap. During the vote tabulation, the remaining songs quickly segregated themselves from the rest of the rabble. But the next song always kept to itself, never threatening the top 5, yet never in danger of being overtaken by any other song. A perfectly isolated entity, and so fitting for the song…

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6. Sound and Vision (244 points, 184 votes, 15 #1 votes).

“Low” was a reaction to having gone through that peculiar… that dull greenie-grey limelight of America and its repercussions; pulling myself out of it and getting to Europe and saying, For God’s sake re-evaluate why you wanted to get into this in the first place? Did you really do it just to clown around in LA? Retire. What you need is to look at yourself a bit more accurately.

Bowie, 1977.

Bowie adopts a distanced, contemplative attitude. He studies his own depression. Typically, rock music is presented by the frontman — virile, confident, strident, desirable — as Bowie himself was in 1973. In 1977, we find him frail, reticent and seemingly doubting his very self. Not nightclubbing. He is the anti-rockstar, alone in his room, thinking:

Blue, blue, electric blue.
That’s the color of my room, where I will live.

Lloyd Cole.

1971_window_shirt_600h

5. Life on Mars? (312 points, 228 votes, 21 #1 votes, 2 specifying 2000s-era live versions).

“Life on Mars?” remains the decadent aesthete’s first and last question—his whole world’s proof there’s none here.

Greil Marcus.

This song was so easy. Being young was easy. A really beautiful day in the park, sitting on the steps of the bandstand. ‘Sailors bap-bap-bap-bap-baaa-bap.’ An anomic (not a ‘gnomic’) heroine. Middle-class ecstasy. I took a walk to Beckenham High Street to catch a bus to Lewisham to buy shoes and shirts but couldn’t get the riff out of my head. Jumped off two stops into the ride and more or less loped back to the house up on Southend Road.

Workspace was a big empty room with a chaise lounge; a bargain-price art nouveau screen (‘William Morris,’ so I told anyone who asked); a huge overflowing freestanding ashtray and a grand piano. Little else. I started working it out on the piano and had the whole lyric and melody finished by late afternoon. Nice.

Bowie, 2008.

Next, did being a suite help inflate its vote total? Probably, but one can’t imagine it without all of its constituent parts..

db74

4. Sweet Thing-Candidate-Sweet Thing (Reprise) (323 points, 215 votes, 27 #1 votes, 1 specifying the live 1974 version).

Sounding like a B-movie Scott Walker, Anthony Newley and Mae West, Bowie tour-guides the brothel district of his Armageddon city…Mike Garson’s florid piano qualifies it as one of the few legitimate successors to Charles Mingus’ The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady.

Scott Miller.

Pass by in the night, and strain imagination to picture the weltering mass of human weariness, of bestiality, of unmerited dolour, of hopeless hope, of crushed surrender, tumbled together within those forbidding walls.

George Gissing, The Nether World.

and now….Each of these final songs at some point in the tabulations were leading the pack. Only in the last 50 to 75 votes did a winner clearly emerge. But it was a long, hard battle.

Presenting, your bronze medalist:

ashes-to-ashes

3. Ashes to Ashes (358 points, 238 votes, 30 #1 votes).

It was me eradicating the feelings within myself that I was uncomfortable with…You have to accommodate your pasts within your persona. You have to understand why you went through them. That’s the major thing. You cannot just ignore them or put them out of your mind or pretend they didn’t happen or just say “Oh I was different then.”

Bowie, 1990.

So Major Tom thought he was starring in an Arthur C. Clarke story and found himself in a Philip K. Dick one by mistake, and the result is oddly magnificent.

Tom Ewing.

Bowie may still release more songs. But “Ashes to Ashes” is his last song. It’s the final chapter that came midway through the book. Bowie sings himself offstage with a children’s rhyme; eternally falling, eternally young.

and your runner up…

David_Bowie_1976

2. Station to Station (364 points, 236 votes, 32 #1 votes, 1 for the Stage version).

Uprooted from his native context in the cultural artifice of Europe, isolated in a largely unironic and cultureless alien land, Bowie was forced back on himself, a self he didn’t much like.

Ian MacDonald.

Hermes teaches that the seven spheres of the stars enclose the soul of man like a prison…But man is a brother to those strong daemons who rule the spheres; he is a power like them, though he has forgotten this…For if the sun is at the center and not the earth, then there are no crystal spheres to hold us in; we have only and always fooled ourselves, we men, kept ourselves within the spheres which our own flawed and insufficient senses perceived, but which were never there at all.

John Crowley, The Solitudes.

This is from back in the Seventies. Well, my Seventies, they weren’t necessarily your Seventies.

David Bowie, introducing “Station to Station,” Atlantic City, 2004.

So you know what’s left. Too obvious? Too popular? Too epic to be denied? Well this is David Bowie’s finest song, if just for one day…

david-bowie-heroes

1.“Heroes” (385 points, 237 votes, 37 #1 votes (the most in the poll), 5 specifying “Helden,” one noting it was for the LP cut, not the single)

For whatever reason, for whatever confluence of circumstances, Tony, Brian and I created a powerful, anguished, sometimes euphoric language of sounds. In some ways, sadly, they really captured, unlike anything else in that time, a sense of yearning for a future that we all knew would never come to pass.

Bowie, 1999.

And that’s it.

Honor roll: Songs that got #1 votes but not enough points to make the Top 100.

Right (29 points); Letter to Hermione (28 points); Untitled No. 1 (28 points); What In the World (24 points); 5:15 The Angels Have Gone (22 points); Time Will Crawl (22 points); Memory of a Free Festival (21 points); Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (20 points); Art Decade (18 points); A Small Plot of Land (18 points); We Prick You (17 points); It’s Gonna Be Me (15 points); Repetition (14 points); See Emily Play (11 points); Glass Spider (8 points); Ian Fish, U.K. Heir (8 points); Tonight (7 points). And When the Boys Come Marching Home, which got only 2 votes, but one was a #1 (6 points).

Thanks to everyone for participating. Album poll results at some point before Xmas.

Top 100 Songs Spotify link.

Complete list of votes.

195 Responses to Poll, Day 4: Readers’ Favorite Bowiesongs, 25-1

  1. Heroes, of course! I just knew it didn’t need my vote… Six of mine here: Teenage Wildlife (my number 1), The Bewlay Brothers (my number 2), Sweet Thing (my number 4), Queen Bitch (my 11), Ashes to Ashes (my 12), and Aladdin Sane (my 24). 10 of my picks (including my pets John I’m Only Dancing (Again), Dead Man Walking, and The London Boys) ended up in limbo, but c’est la vie! Congrats to all for this great list, and especially to Chris for the new book and for this superb blog, which has increased my Bowieknowledge quite a lot. Cheers!

  2. Galdo says:

    There’s some surprises here. I like the placement of some songs, like ‘Always Crashing in the Same Car’. I was disappointed that ‘Letter to Hermione’ didn’t make the cut. It’s so beautiful.

    • I also expected Hermione, though I didn’t vote for it (shame on me!).

    • Galdo says:

      How good was my vote?

      #1 – Joe the Lion (#45)
      #2 – Station to Station (#2)!
      #3 – Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise) (#4)
      #4 – Life on Mars? (#5)
      #5 – Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?) (#15)
      #6 – Stay (#19)
      #7 – Some Are (didn’t chart – wow)
      #8 – The Motel (#60)
      #9 – Win (#37)
      #10 – Always Crashing in the Same Car (#13)
      #11 – Five Years (#9)
      #12 – Space Oddity (#14)
      #13 – After All (didn’t chart)
      #14 – Lady Grinning Soul (#21 – I wasn’t expecting that placement, I thought it would be lower)
      #15 – Letter to Hermione (didn’t chart – sad)
      #16 – “Heroes” (#1)
      #17 – Absolute Beginners (#36)
      #18 – Bring Me the Disco King (#46)
      #19 – Blackout (#53)
      #20 – Changes (#26)
      #21 – Ashes to Ashes (#3)
      #22 – The Bewlay Brothers (#10) (I thought it would be lower)
      #23 – Queen Bitch (#16)
      #24 – Moonage Daydream (#7)
      #25 – The Man Who Sold the World (#20)
      #26 – Sound and Vision (#6) (idk I put this so low)
      #27 – Warszawa (#33) (idk I put this so low)
      #28 – Beauty and the Beast (#51)
      #29 – I Have Not Been To Oxford Town (#87)
      #30 – Where Are We Now? (#35)

  3. V2David says:

    I would like to see a Top 25 WITHOUT the first place bonus calculated. I really feel people were using the Top Song to manipulate the list…

    • col1234 says:

      no. the rules of the game were: the top song has more points. use it any way you want. no “manipulation.”

      • V2David says:

        That’s fine, but can you give us a Top 25 without calculating the bonus points? Would probably be easy if you have it all on a spreadsheet. I am curious how much the list changes if the Top Song is not given a bonus.

      • col1234 says:

        i’ll send out the excel file which should let you manipulate the stats to rank by votes. There aren’t that many huge differences really, except “Ashes: wins and I think “Big Brother” gets in the top 100.

      • V2David says:

        Thanks. It’s certainly very interesting if Ashes to Ashes was listed most (but not necessarily people’s favorite). I never would have guessed that. I would have guessed “Heroes” or Life on Mars? Hard to believe anyone would have not put these two on their Top 30 somewhere. Also very surprised Space Oddity & Ziggy didn’t finish higher.

      • heynongman says:

        OMG. You mean if I had sent my vote in, Big Brother might have made it in the top 100? How did it not make it in the top 100???

  4. Brian Busby says:

    Whew, it’s a relief to know that my oversight in not including “Heroes” on the list didn’t affect the standings. And what a surprise to see so many people joining me in choosing Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (reprise) as the #1 song. I truly had no idea it was so loved.

    • Anonymous says:

      When I sent my votes in with STCSTR as number one I had no hope for it being in the top 50. It’s just so peculiar and arguably narcissistic but….you just can’t deny it!! The sun sets on the happy hip cool diamond dogs and the dirty street walkers crawl out of the shadows from a wet alley to a grungy street with fancy Johns tightening leashes to their collars and leading them away…
      Alright i haven’t slept much yet but this is why the suite is so perfect. It paints the scene using cues from Rechy Burroughs and Cocaine.

  5. V2David says:

    By the way, congrats on the new book! I am surprised you are able to cram everything in the 2nd book. I was expecting at least 3. Nevertheless, it should be great!

    • col1234 says:

      thanks. it will require some severe editing of the late 80s stuff & some 90s, which, to be honest, is needed.

      • V2David says:

        That late 80s / 90s & today is actually the stuff I am most interested in reading. This blog is the best. Thanks!

      • Vinnie says:

        Oh, but the writings for 1. Outside (The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper Cycle) are some of my favorites on the blog! (I didn’t realize how much I actually liked Outside until I spent more time with it.)

      • col1234 says:

        wasn’t thinking so much Outside as Earthling etc.

  6. Galdo says:

    I noticed that deeper cuts from ‘Outside’ charted and ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ not. I hope it’s a sign of ‘Leon’ will appear on the next poll.

  7. Galdo says:

    As Hermione, I thought ‘Some Are’ was more loved. Surprised it didn’t chart. And it’s not because it was a b-side (Alternative Candidate??) .

  8. Bob Whiting says:

    Fantastic news on the second book, I await impatiently! My #1 was Teenage Wildlife, so I am proudly one of the 12! Glad it scored so deservedly high! I’d love a list of Zeroes (not the song!) Those unloved songs that didn’t even get a consideration!

  9. ecsongbysong says:

    This poll really turned into a lovely trip through the songbook. Kudos to Chris, always, and to everyone who participated. “Heroes”/”Station To Station”/”Ashes To Ashes”: not my personal top three, but it sounds about right.

    Oh, and an affectionate hug and a raised glass to the folks who gave #1s to “Untitled, No.1,” “Time Will Crawl,” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” You are why the world, right now, isn’t such a bad place to be.

  10. Sorry, one question: Do the figures for Moonage Daydream add up?

  11. tarff26 says:

    Great top 25. But how in the wide wide world of sports was I the only #1 voter for Boys Keep Swinging?!

    Good work on the lis Chris and congrats on the new book

  12. ofer says:

    At the risk of sounding petty and before I try to produce any meaningful commentary on a very interesting list: I voted for “Some are”! And it didn’t show up anywhere! So, you know, an honorary mention of “Some are”.

  13. col1234 says:

    if someone can host the excel file, i’ll send it to you and everyone can check it out.

    and if you want to compile the “zero” songs go ahead, but to tweak a song title, It’s NOT gonna be me.

    biggest losers off hand were Pin Ups (i think only Emily, Where Have All the Good Times, Sorrow & Don’t Bring Me Down got votes) and the early singles (Can’t Help thinking about me & Do Anything you say were the only pre-Deram ones, i think)

  14. Jubany says:

    So sorry about Untitled N°1. As I saw it was absent in the previous posts, I was naive enough to think it would be at the Top 25. In my opinion it is really one of his greatest songs.
    Thaks for all this, Chris. It was great.

    • ecsongbysong says:

      I could not agree more — and for what it’s worth, I have to credit Chris with turning me onto it. I was always a “Buddha of Suburbia” fan, but my admiration tended to focus on the more conventional pop numbers like “Dead Against It” or on the utterly inscrutable tracks like “The Mysteries.” It was Chris’s pitch-perfect entry on “Untitled” that helped me realize just what an extraordinary thing it is. But I imagine we all have a song or two we could name that this blog has helped us love — and this poll has been a great way to revisit them!

      • Dave L says:

        Agree on all counts. On the list of Most Under-appreciated Bowie Songs, Untitled No. 1 surely ranks very highly. Maybe even No. 1!

      • Vinnie says:

        “The Mysteries” and “Sex and the Church” rank, but if I were to actually think about it hard, I doubt they’d hit my top 30

  15. fantailfan says:

    Congratulations on the book!
    My #1 pick was, of course, “Heroes.”
    My gap songs were “Unwashed and Slightly Dazed” and “Nite Flights.” I left off some very good songs in favor of stuff like “Nite Flights.”

    • fantailfan says:

      I had “Station to Station” at #1 until I remembered “Heroes.”

      My question about the song is, just what is that makes the song’s protagonists heroes? Drinking all the time and living to tell the tale?

      Your blog post on the song discusses a possible connection with the modern expansion of the term “survivors” to mean practically everyone, together with the transformation of these “survivors” into heroes. To me, there is only one class of survivors, there are very few of them still alive, and they are not heroes as I understand that word. They may be heroes for other reasons (and often are), but not for surviving.

      If so, Bowie can only be being ironic, because I don’t think he believes in heroes. It’s hard to know when he is being ironic (if ever) and when he means it.

      • ric says:

        I’ve always thought it was titled as a bit of a knowing wink; having its seeds in VU’s Heroin. Coincidentally, Lou had The Heroine out a couple of years later on Blue Mask.

  16. Sinj says:

    I missed the vote but loved the countdown. The best and most accurate /informed I’ve seen. Awesome.

  17. Máximo Segundo says:

    It’s nice to see that your vote counted and it help Station to Station (the best song ever) to be #2.

    Great job!

  18. ric says:

    think I ended up with three netherworld picks; After All, White Light/White Heat & Rock’n’Roll With Me. Glad Teenage wildlife did so well, having missed it off by accident.

  19. Ran says:

    This must be the best ‘best of’ ranking of Bowie ever compiled. It’s extensive enough to be more objective than any editors’ picks, but unlike mass online polls, one can be quite sure that all participants were well acquainted with Bowie’s discography.

    And the whole top 100 list with a nice representation to all decades and styles, is a fantastic voyage through Bowie’s discography. Paying love and respect to all classics but not being ashamed to put less likely choices on top spots.

    I think that the ranking of Bowie eras among fans according to the list is first – 76-80 Bowie as the most loved, then Glam 70’s and then 80’s hits, outside and around, and lastly pre and post retirement Bowie.

  20. Jason Das says:

    I’m surprised my #1 for “Young Americans” was such an unusual choice! Shout-out to the one other person who did the same.

    Eleven of these top 25 weren’t on my list at all. That makes me feel better about all the “obvious” hits I did include.

    My picks that didn’t make the top 100 at all:
    17) Eight Line Poem
    18) Andy Warhol
    22) Sweet Head
    26) What in the World
    28) In the Heat of the Morning

    • gabepanek says:

      I also had “What in the World”! That performance from “Live in Dallas”—oh man… I was pretty surprised that it didn’t make the countdown, but this was very fun nonetheless.

      (WitW was my only top-30 song that didn’t make the countdown, but I almost slotted in “Afraid” for “Watch that Man,” which obviously would have made it two.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Judgeparker also has a nice Scarlett Johansson/Tom Waits playlist – just like the one I put together after discovering Wherever I Lay My Hat thanks to this blog.
      Chris

  21. Bowietie Daddy says:

    Great ranking! Kudos to all of you. I didn’t expect Lady Grinning Soul, Sweet thing-Candidate, Always crashing and Station to rank so high. My only disappointment was Starman (It always seemed to me a bit of a novelty song). But it changed David’s life, so…
    When is the compilation album coming out, Chris?
    The pushing ahead of the dame. Best of the best. David Bowie. A MainMan Production.

  22. Mike says:

    Not mad at this list at all. All the “they better make it” ones are in there. One question: how did Nite Flights do? One of his best covers list on one of his least-loved records. I did the song a disservice by failing to vote.

  23. gcreptile says:

    Maybe I should have included Heroes in my list as well, but I guess I’ve been overexposed to it. Nevertheless, history will judge it to be Bowie’s greatest song, so the poll has it right. I also knew that Station to Station and Ashes to Ashes would make the top 3, and got the Sound of Vision place right. But wow, the Sweet Thing suite so high! It was nr. 12 for me, so not that surprising, but yeah, still, wow… Moonage Daydream would have appeared in my places 31-35, a close call.
    I would expected Lady Grinning Soul to be a little higher.
    Thank you, dear bloghost, for the excellent commentary!
    Now it will be interesting to see if the album poll matches the song poll. You’d expect the collective points of each song on an album to predict the album chart.

  24. Aloysius says:

    Oh no! There is no Top 10 song after 1980! Bowie seems to be quite dated. Maybe there is the best album since Scary Monsters in the album Top 10?

    • col1234 says:

      that’s why i was subtly electioneering on twitter that 90s Bowie fans had to step up their game & vote more strategically.

      i think Outside fans wound up splitting their votes between a lot of songs.

      there’s also the “oh, I can’t forget X” factor. Someone would send in a ballot with an obscure #1 and tons of 90s/00s but then it was always “oh, and I can’t forget ‘Moonage Daydream’!” and soon the likes of MD have 120 votes.

    • Mike says:

      No matter how wonderful his later output is, it’s up against an era when his creativity was burning most brightly. Equally, it’s up against the sentimentality of fans remembering the songs they first fell in love with. That so much of his later work hits the top 100 (50, 25) at all is a testimony to his talent.

      Imagine a Stones or McCartney list that had anything after 1980.

  25. Stolen Guitar says:

    Great way to reach the end, Chris. I know there’s still a bit of mopping up to do with Lazarus, Blackstar, etc, but the end is, sadly for we followers, nigh.

    I couldn’t use my vote as I was away from a signal on deadline day but I’m very happy with the top five; they’re more or less what I would have plumped for, with, of course, StationtoStation at No 1! Well, God knows I’ve bored everybody senseless with my love for that one.

    Really impressed with the quality of the electorate, impeccable taste and perspective; not that that was ever in doubt! And Teenage Wildlife’s position is reassuring; I’d have placed it higher myself, but nonetheless, a complete vindication by those who know of its status as one of Bowie’s best-but-strangely-unheralded songs.

    Shocked, though, at Slow Burns’ lowly position…what’s going on? Surely one of his great last hurrahs?!

    Conversation Piece made me happy, as did the fact that someone voted for Glass Spider as their No 1-yes, the show was an unholy mess, but it had a spectacular beginning. Plus, Bowie’s hair, ever symbolically totemic for him, was surely never more lustrous and vertiginous than then? OK, I’ll stop now!

    Thanks for putting yourself through this, Chris, for the benefit of the many followers of your expert erudition. Good luck with the next book!

  26. Anonymous says:

    The Top Ten songs by #1 votes are: “Heroes”, Station to Station, Ashes to Ashes, Sweet Thing, Life on Mars?, Sound and Vision, Teenage Wildlife, Bewlay Brothers, Subterraneans, Golden Years / Moonage Daydream (tie)

    • billter says:

      I am completely and utterly perplexed by the strong performance of “Teenage Wildlife.” That would be in my bottom 100 Bowie songs for sure, and I never knew it had much of a constituency. But that’s part of the fun of being part of a community, learning what other people think about this stuff.

      • Paul O says:

        My thoughts exactly, but about China Girl and Modern Love. (Teenage Wildlife has always been a favorite among the Bowie fans I know, who prefer it to the similar-sounding Heroes.)

      • Michael says:

        Oh, Teenage Wildlife with its tumbling, histrionic vocal, “Heroes”-esque guitar line and the wonderful “no, no they can’t do this to me” lyric… it’s surely an absolute classic?!

  27. MC says:

    Ok, a whopping 14 of my picks made the Top 25: Rebel Rebel, Drive-In Saturday, The Man Who Sold The World, Queen Bitch, Space Oddity, Bewlay Brothers, Five Years, Golden Years, Moonage Daydream, Life On Mars?, Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise), Station To Station, Ashes To Ashes, and my number 1, Heroes, which, if push came to shove, would be my favourite rock song of all time, for its us-against-the-world passionate momentum, its epic grandeur, its lead guitar line – I get goosebumps just thinking about it. My top choices mirror the canon pretty closely, and I’m ok with that. I’m a great believer in consensus.

    Though they didn’t make my shortlist, it’s great to see Always Crashing In The Same Car, Sound And Vision, Teenage Wildlife, and Boys Keep Swinging – Bowie’s 76-80 are for me the greatest run of albums anyone’s ever produced. Kudos to all who voted. Also, I love the way the lists have been put together for the blog. Sensational use of quotes and photos. Chris, I’m really glad you reprinted Momus’s thoughts on Aladdin Sane, and the picture of the Jones boys was an appropriately startling complement to the Bewlay Bros. entry. Amazing work.

  28. Christopher Williams says:

    This has been a great early Christmas Present – looking forward to the album run down. I didn’t even vote for “Heroes”!

  29. MC says:

    Oh, btw, just 4 of my choices failed to make the Top 100: Sister Midnight, Lust For Life (though I didn’t expect too many would vote for Iggy songs), Valentine’s Day (which I thought might scrape through) and Survive. Poor old Hours: always the bridesmaid, never the etc.

  30. MC says:

    And further kudos to whoever chose Ian Fish, UK Heir, A Small Plot Of Land, and We Prick You as their #1s. Cheers!

  31. Maj says:

    Considering I voted for the whole of top 5 (w/ no. 4 being my no. 1) this final reveal feels slightly anti-climatic. I think the most fun list was probably the 1 vote one.😉

    Had to open my voting e-mail to Chris bc. I can lo longer remember what I actually voted for.
    But as I predicted I did vote for quite a lot of the songs in the top 25.
    Did not vote for no. 25-23, 20, 19, 18, 15, 13, 12, 10 (I specifically remember having to choose between Bewlay & Quicksand and the latter won), and 8 – 6. Which means I voted for 12 out of 25, slightly less than a half of the songs.
    I don’t hate any of the 13 I didn’t vote for btw. In several cases it was a this vs. that situation, or, in Low’s case I didn’t vote for any of the songs bc. the album is my no. 1 – and I do actually think it works for me better as a whole album than the sum of the individual song parts.

    And good for Teenage Wildlife. I ended up not voting for it (had too many Monsters songs on the list and had to cull mercilessly), but v. cool to see it knocking on top 10’s door. 12 #1 votes, way to go!

    “Too obvious? Too popular? Too epic to be denied?” Is exactly what I was thinking when I was putting Heroes on the list, having answered the 3rd question with a ‘fuck yeah!’. Never considered not putting it on the list, really. It’s just too good.
    And even if part of me was hoping for the win of no. 4 I’m neither surprised nor disappointed with Heroes eventually getting the gold.

    Good to see that Right, my personal fave from the YA album nearly made it into the 100.

    Gotta ask….how many votes did Seven Years in Tibet get?
    It’s the only song on my list for which I dunno its fate…

    • Maj says:

      Oh, and congrats on the book no. 2 deal, Chris!🙂

      • nc31 says:

        Aside from mixing up South Horizon with The Mysteries (to the detriment of the latter) I also forgot about Seven Years In Tibet. That should’ve been in my Top 30 too. It’s a titanic song.

  32. col1234 says:

    OK: see if this works. can people read it?

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18HUAPj6IfkMXsChKeTdoEPRJiKMf40H1DigyYa-FCTc/edit?usp=sharing

    the complete list

    just noticed “Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me” has a disparity of points/votes. checked & it’s 12 for both.

    edit: “Sense of Doubt” too! I don’t know what my problem with the number 12 was. 12 for SoD.

  33. ofer says:

    OK, so here is a clumsy (and probably grammatically incorrect) attempt, by someone who didn’t vote for “heroes” at all, to explain why I don’t think, and never thought, it deserves the # 1 spot. Personally, I find other Bowie songs to be more touching, more melodically exciting and more “representative”, but surely I can see why other people would disagree, and yeah, even I would agree it’s one of his very best vocal performances.

    Here’s the thing though: I think compared to other front row competitors, it’s not as profound lyrically. To me, Bowie’s uniqueness always had to do with his ability to merge the sexiness, emotion and thrill of rock n’ roll (hence: later 20’th century art) with the intellectual weight of modernism (hence: earlier 20’th century art). That quality has a lot to do with lyrics: in Bowie’s greatest songs, I found material that not only made me feel, but also made me think.

    That’s why I placed “always crashing in the same car” – a song that had actually changed my life, when one day, in the middle of some deep personal shit, I realized it could be seen as an optimistic song (but that’s another entry) – in my #1 spot. I think songs like “Ashes to ashes” and “station to station” (and “life on mars” as well) just have more to say then “heroes”. They are songs with deeper, more original, more complex ideas lyrically. And for me, in the long run, that means something.

  34. King of Oblivion says:

    The biggest surprise to me is the success of “Golden Years”. A great song yes, but it doesn’t really rise up to dominate the great period it was spawned in. Probably my 5th favorite song on StS (which is not a knock!). And better than ‘Bewlay Brothers? (My #1?) can’t get on board!

    • Stolen Guitar says:

      Golden Years is unearthly; nothing in the charts then, or, for that matter since, has ever sounded remotely like it. I think it’s the strangest of all his ‘hit’ singles and it absolutely presages StationtoStation’s eventual mutation into Low and beyond. The drugs clearly were working…

      Bewlay Brothers is genius of another order and another man; Bowie had changed so much since that record that he might just as well have been another person…a recurring theme?

  35. King of Oblivion says:

    One more rant… Teenage Wildlife. It always seemed like Springsteen pastiche to me… GOOD Springsteen pastiche mind you… Anyway I’ll shut up now. Love you guys!

    • Stolen Guitar says:

      Not picking on you, King, but I’ve had a drink and I can’t let this pass! I’m amazed that there are some that cannot see the brilliance of Teenage Wildlife…Oh well, it’s a great big universe, big enough to hold every viewpoint…I suppose!

      I’ve never really understood the Springsteen connections/comparisons (apart from Roy Bittan’s very real and vital contribution to StationtoStation). They just seem to occupy such polar positions and I can’t see anything of the other in their respective works. I’m a Springsteen fan, too, but I’ve always been puzzled by this. Never got why Bowie covered Saint In The City, a recording which Springsteen was never a fan of, and I don’t believe Springsteen’s ever reciprocated by covering one of Bowie’s works.

      Love to hear him have a crack at Young Americans…ha-ha! And I don’t see anything of the Boss in Teenage Wildlife but I concede that they’re both partial to the epic and this song is certainly that. Maybe Jungleland and Sweet Thing/Candidate is where they meet…in a bar at the end.

      • Paul O says:

        If you did a Venn diagram with Bowie as one circle and Springsteen as the other, the overlapping segment would be Dylan (Roy Bittan notwithstanding).

  36. mrbelm says:

    My votes, followed by official placements. I had 4 in the top 10 and 13 in the top 25.

    1 -Station to Station (2)
    2 – Subterraneans (51)
    3 – It’s No Game (Part 1) (17)
    4 – Changes (26)
    5 – “Heroes” (1)
    6 – Ashes to Ashes (3)
    7 – Space Oddity (14)
    8 – Aladdin Sane (15)
    9 – Warszawa (33)
    10 – Life on Mars? (5)
    11 – Red Sails (72)
    12 – Golden Years (8)
    13 – Stay (19)
    14 – Sue (or in A Season of Crime)
    15 – Bring Me the Disco King (46)
    16 – You’ve Been Around (didn’t chart)
    17 – Ziggy Stardust (27)
    18 – I’m Deranged (92)
    19 – The Bewlay Brothers (10)
    20 – Moonage Daydream (7)
    21 – The Man Who Sold the World (20)
    22 – Jump They Say (67)
    23 – Saviour Machine (didn’t chart)
    24 – Boys Keep Swinging (24)
    25 – What in the World (didn’t chart)
    26 – Suffragette City (didn’t chart)
    27 – Fascination (didn’t chart)
    28 – The Heart’s Filthy Lesson (48)
    29 – The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (didn’t chart)
    30 – Blackstar (74)

  37. nc31 says:

    The most surprising thing is that there’s 1 person in the world who prefers the 1990 remix of Fame to the original. How can that be?

  38. nc31 says:

    Don’t be sorry. All these different opinions are why the results are so fascinating. Next time, I’ll watch the video with the sound down.

  39. no says:

    don’t remember the original ” i can’t read”…

  40. Jen Lindner-Green says:

    I’ve been reading this site on and off for the last three years at least, but I don’t think I’ve ever posted. I’m always too intimidated by how much knowledge is floating around in here to say anything; I don’t want to open my mouth (browser?) and say something stupid! 😕 😨 😘

    But I have to comment on these poll results. I love this! So many deeper, lesser known songs, and then add in the extraneous votes for specific versions… This is extraordinary. And in the Bowie world that is saying a great deal.

    Usually a round up of Bowie Favorites is pretty easy to call before you even get to the gate, but this have some real gems. You and your (participating) readership should be proud of yourselves!

    You can’t see me from where you are, but I’m giving you all a standing ovation!!!!

  41. no says:

    & the what about “the voyeur of utter destruction ( as beauty)” & “i’m deranged”???

  42. I tried compiling all the songs that got zero votes. I lasted two minutes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I also don’t have the patience to catalog the zero votes, but from a quick perusal of Chris’s spreadsheet (thanks!) only a very small number of songs from the studio albums received zero votes (e.g., “I Keep Forgetting” from Tonight, “Shake It” from Let’s Dance, “Join The Gang” and some others from the first album, a number of songs from Pin-Ups. But the list of zero votes from the canonical studio albums (not including bonus stuff, b-sides, outtakes, or live-only performances), Space Oddity onward and not including Pin-Ups, is remarkably small.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are not many songs from the studio albums that got zero votes. Some from the first 67 album and a number from Pin-Ups, but overall very few zero votes (“I Keep Forgetting” from Tonight, “Shake It” from Let’s Dance, “Join the Gang” from the 67 album, etc.,). Not many got no love at all.

      • gcreptile says:

        WHAT?? No one voted for Shake it?

        /irony

      • ecsongbysong says:

        Know what? I wish I’d voted for “Shake It.” That song deserves more love than it gets. Not sure what I’d have cut to make it fit — I think I even axed “Ashes To Ashes” at the very end, in a spasm of madness, so I definitely didn’t have slots to spare. But I’ll go on record as saying it: “Shake It” does not belong in the same category as, say, “I Keep Forgettin’.”

  43. Anonymous says:

    Well, this was terrific fun.

    In a fit of lunacy, I’ve worked out the average points per track for each album. The results:

    David Bowie – 3
    Space Oddity – 25
    The Man who Sold the World – 32
    Hunky Dory – 85
    Ziggy Stardust – 83
    Aladdin Sane – 66
    Pin Ups – 3
    Diamond Dogs – 67
    Young Americans – 52
    Station to Station – 155
    Low – 79
    Heroes – 80
    Lodger- 42
    Scary Monsters – 96
    Let’s Dance – 36
    Tonight – 13
    Labyrinth (Bowie tracks only) – 5
    Never Let Me Down – 4
    Tin Machine – 5
    Tin Machine II – 2
    Black Tie White Noise – 10
    The Buddha of Suburbia – 21
    Outside (not counting segues) – 33
    Earthling – 14
    Hours – 7
    Heathen – 24
    Reality -13
    The Next Day – 20

    Make of them what you will…

    • Robert says:

      Well my top 10 appear in the 12 most popular according to your stats, so it could well be a predictor of the final outcome. However, I suspect people may have held back on voting for individual Low tracks because it’s the top album…

      scarymonster

    • BenJ says:

      Makes sense, really. I knew that Hunky Dory would place high because all the original songs are generally considered Bowie classics, although Eight Line Poem is overlooked a lot. Kind of surprised me that the average for Station to Station was way higher, but then even the Dmitri Tiomkin/Johnny Mathis/Nina Simone cover is popular on that disc.

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      Wow, awesome! thanks for the lunacy it makes for a fascinating list.

  44. Robert says:

    Thank you so much for this pre-Christmas merriment, Chris and everyone. It really has been an enjoyable diversion reading through the lists and so much more valuable than those ’10 best Bowie tracks’ that seem to appear repeatedly in the British press, where the breadth and diversity of The Dame’s oeuvre is largely under-appreciated.

    For the record, as people seem to be indulging in a little show-and-tell, only 5 of mine failed to make the 100:

    Buddha of Suburbia
    Can You Hear Me?
    Dead Against It
    Ricochet
    Some Are

    I must confess to bewilderment at the (5x) greater love shown to Strangers When We Meet when Buddha Of Suburbia has so much more depth to it. But that’s the joy of a diverse fanbase and a rich and varied catalogue.

    And thanks to the other 2 people for whom Wild Is the Wind was #1. I doubted it would make the final 30, given the coolness towards it from people at the time of the original blog entry. But really, eclipsed by Strangers? Words escape me.

    Thanks for the spreadsheet too, Chris. I spy a Boxing Day activity or two, although it seems several have started to number crunch already. And good luck with the next magnum opus, I’ve almost finished Rebel Rebel, but i’m not sure i can wait until 2017!

    scarymonster

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      My interpretation of Strangers charting slightly higher than Wild is the Wind is possibly the original composition vs cover factor. I absolutely adore WITW but I personally elected to not vote for it simply because I chose to vote for only original works.

    • Galdo says:

      I wanted to vote ‘Can You Hear Me’ but I gave it to ‘Win’.

  45. Paul O says:

    First of all, a toast to the other ten pollees who included my #1 in their Top 30. Just think: if all eleven of us had made it our #1, it would have tied Jump They Say and Speed of Life in the lower 50…and possibly caused Station to Station to beat Heroes for the #1 spot. Speaking of which, it’s a cruel symmetry that a song I didn’t vote for tops the poll while my #1 doesn’t even crack the Top 100.

    Only four of my lower 29 didn’t make it onto the list, and of them, I can see why Nightclubbing (Bowie once removed) had little chance. But Right (so close), Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me, Somebody Up There Likes Me? Ah, well…

    Still, three Top 5 placements/five Top 10 placements/thirteen Top 20 placements/twenty-one Top 50 placements/twenty-five out of thirty in the Top 100 ain’t so bad.

    #1:
    It’s Gonna Be Me (fifteen points total)

    #2:
    Stay (18)

    The rest, alphabetically:
    Aladdin Sane (15)
    Changes (26)
    Cracked Actor (82)
    Diamond Dogs (77)
    Five Years (9)
    It’s No Game (Part 1) (17)
    Lady Grinning Soul (21)
    Lady Stardust (56)
    Life on Mars? (5)
    Moonage Daydream (7)
    Nightclubbing (six points total)
    Oh! You Pretty Things (47)
    Panic in Detroit (59)
    Queen Bitch (16)
    Rebel Rebel (25)
    Right (twenty-nine points total)
    Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (19)
    Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me (twelve points total)
    Somebody Up There Likes Me (twenty points total)
    Space Oddity (13)
    Starman (22)
    Station to Station (2)
    Suffragette City (34)
    Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (4)
    Teenage Wildlife (11)
    Wild Is the Wind (30)
    Young Americans (12)
    Ziggy Stardust (27)

  46. Ramzi says:

    Even though I voted Station to Station as number 1, no song deserved to win more than “Heroes” An undeniable force.

    Some nice surprising results, such as songs like Sweet Thing and Teenage Wildlife coming ahead of standards like Changes and Starman. Something I noticed: 5 of the top 25 were part of the iSelect compilation of “rarities” that Bowie made in 2008. Always the tastemaker.

    I matched 5 out of the top 6, which I’m pretty happy with (if that’s something I should be happy with). In the Hipster Rankings, my most obscure choice was Lucy Can’t Dance with 6 votes. Given the glowing post on the blog about Untitled No.1 – which showed me the greatness of that song – it’s disappointing that it got a relatively poor result.

    To end, an apology to Chris and the title of this blog: I had Queen Bitch in my shortlist but forgot to consider it and deleted it with the unwanted songs. It probably would have made the list had I not, although I have no idea what it would have replaced.

  47. Liz says:

    Bit silly I guess but reading that for me was what I imagine watching sports is like for other people. (I was holding my breath for “Always Crashing” & “Sound & Vision” in particular.) Glad to see y’all have such magnificent taste, and I’m coming away with a desire to check out some of more neglected tracks in my collection with new ears.

  48. crayontocrayon says:

    So that’s the tracklist for the next Bowie compilation sorted then.

  49. GG55 says:

    I have to say I was a little surprised at Station to Station getting so high. Not to say it isn’t a great song but it’s got that annoying 2 minutes of whoosh before it gets started! Happy with the no. 1 though mine was Life on Mars? What this poll does show is the incredible diversity of the man. We are all equally Bowie devotees but we all have different tastes.

  50. Thanks for all your work Chris! This poll was so much fun to vote in and anticipate the results of.

    I voted Teenage Wildlife as my number 1, so I’m happy to see that many agreed and helped push it so high up. It’s a marvelous song and very dear to me.

    Here’s my top 30 since we seem to be sharing!

    1. Teenage Wildlife
    2. Stay
    3. Station to Station
    4. Outside
    5. Ashes to Ashes
    6. Right
    7. Joe the Lion
    8. Dead Man Walking
    9. Word on a Wing
    10. Life on Mars?
    11. China Girl
    12. The Hearts Filthy Lesson
    13. Fantastic Voyage
    14. We Prick You
    15. The Motel
    16. Scary Monsters
    17. Five Years
    18. Always Crashing in the Same Car
    19. Art Decade
    20. Let’s Dance
    21. Yassassin
    22. Sons of the Silent Age
    23. Lady Stardust
    24. The Secret Life of Arabia
    25. Thursday’s Child
    26. Boys Keep Swinging
    27. African Flight Night
    28. Space Oddity
    29. Where Are We Now?
    30. The Last Thing You Should Do

  51. BenJ says:

    First of all, congratulations on book 2, Chris. I’m curious to see how the finished product will look.

    Let’s see, eight of my picks made the top 25: Starman, Stay, It’s No Game (one of the votes for 1st version), Aladdin Sane, Space Odyssey, Five Years, St-C-ST(R), and Heroes.

    The spreadsheet is pretty fascinating. Not too surprisingly, The Drowned Girl was the most “out there” of my votes, since only one other person voted for it.

    • Nice! I was the other voter for The Drowned Girl. Hugely underrated vocal performance, I think.

      • BenJ says:

        Agreed. And again, that’s a song that I only heard through this blog, so I’m grateful.

      • Matt says:

        i also voted for The Drowned Girl, so perhaps something wrong in the spreadsheet or someone’s list got lost in the shuffle?

      • col1234 says:

        i don’t know what happened w/Drowned Girl. There were actually 8 people who voted for it. Very weird. I’ll double check other stuff to be sure this wasn’t an earlier version I sent out

        edit: looked this morning. Drowned Girl has 8 votes, and always has in the spreadsheet (my original copy too). did you originally misread the #?

  52. s.t. says:

    To hell with Nothing Has Changed. I’m making a playlist based on these People’s Choice cuts.

    Congrats on the book, Chris! Can’t wait to get it.

    • Bruised Passivity says:

      I wholeheartedly agree, I’ve now have several new compilations to compile based on this poll. The Pushing Ahead of the Dame official compilation collection!🙂

  53. Wow, thanks a lot for this, Chris, it’s been exciting, and we still have the albums list to look forward to! And congratulations on the upcoming book, there’s no doubt in my mind that your books will become the definitive Bowie resource (sorry, Nick Pegg!)

  54. Well, my favorite bowie song made it to #2, and I see that strategically giving my #1 vote to Bring Me The Disco King didn’t affect its placing, so I’m happy with these results! I’m pleasantly surprised to see Lady Grinning Soul, Always Crashing and Sweet Thing so high on the list!

  55. Not long after submitting my list I listened to the “Heroes” LP for the first time in ages and instantly recognised my mistake in not including the title track. Not that it needed my help, clearly…

    Nine of my picks made the top 25, with eight of them making my personal top 16. That’s quite a lot. Even though I believe I threw in a few odd songs, it’s interesting to find that my overall picks aren’t too different from the majority’s. While part of me wanted to throw in some real oddballs (where’s the Gnome?), I decided to remain true to myself and pick the ones I love and regularly listen to.
    It’s nice to see that my #1 Stay was just able to crawl into the top twenty. And it’s positively wonderful to see the fantastic Sweet Thing make #4 (my personal #2).

    Since we’re done with this section of the poll, I may as well post my top thirty songs.

    01. Stay
    02. Sweet Thing
    03. The Motel
    04. Wild is the Wind (Bowie rarely nails a cover, but when he does…)
    05. Untitled No 1 (a shame Bowie’s ‘dream pop’ phase was so short)
    06. Win
    07. It’s No Game (Part 1)
    08. Station To Station
    09. After All (surprised to see it didn’t make the top 100)
    10. Drive In Saturday
    11. Ashes To Ashes
    12. Life on Mars?
    13. Thru’ These Architects Eyes
    14. All The Madmen (glad to see this one did)
    15. The Hearts Filthy Lesson
    16. Lady Grinning Soul
    17. Right
    18. The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty)
    19. Slip Away (or maybe Uncle Floyd? Don’t make me choose!)
    20. Bring Me The Disco King
    21. Love is Lost (probably the James Murphy remix)
    22. Blackout
    23. Sound and Vision
    24. Jump They Say
    25. Some Are (great Low outtake or great Tin Machine era song?)
    26. Blackstar (I know, I know)
    27. The Drowned Girl (just two votes???)
    28. Valentine’s Day
    29. The Secret Life of Arabia
    30. I Would Be Your Slave

  56. Thank you Chris.

    Bowie Songs:
    1 “Heroes”
    2 Station to Station
    3 Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing
    4 Ashes to Ashes
    5 Sound & Vision
    6 Ziggy Stardust
    7 Joe the Lion
    8 Aladdin Sane
    9 Space Oddity
    10 Life on Mars?
    11 Always Crashing in the Same Car
    12 Red Sails
    13 Teenage Wildlife
    14 A New Career in a New Town
    15 The Bewley Brothers
    16 Fame
    17 Warszawa
    18 Changes
    19 Golden Years
    20 Suffragette City
    21 Oh You Pretty Things/Eight Line Poem
    22 Stay
    23 Young Americans
    24 Speed of Life
    25 John I’m Only Dancing
    26 Rock and Roll Suicide
    27 The Man Who Sold the World
    28 Blackout
    29 Future Legend/Diamond Dogs
    30 Fashion

  57. Bruised Passivity says:

    My song poll selections results broke down like this:

    In the 25-1 ranking:
    23. Drive-in Saturday (1999 VH1 Storytellers version)
    20. The Man Who Sold the World (1995 remake)
    18. Rock n’ Roll Suicide
    10. Bewlay Brothers (Alt. Mix)
    5. Life on Mars
    4. Sweet Thing-Candidate Sweet Thing
    2. Station to Station
    1. “Hereos”

    50-26 ranking:
    50. Look Back in Anger
    49/48. Be My Wife
    46. Bring Me the Disco King
    44/45. Breaking Glass
    39. Modern Love
    36. Absolute Beginners
    35. Where Are We Now?
    37. Win *
    32/31. Word on A Wing
    29. Strangers When We Meet
    28. Quicksand

    100-51:
    90/87. Slow Burn
    86/83. Conversation Piece (Toy Remake)
    75. Sunday
    70/68. Sons of the Silent Age

    Non ranked:
    I can’ Read (1997 Remake) – 27 votes
    Shadow Man (Toy Remake) – 16 votes (4 Toy)
    You’ve Been Around – 9 votes
    A Small Plot of Land – 14 votes + a #1
    Seven Years in Tibet – 25 votes
    Let Me Sleep Beside You (1969 BBC recording) – 12 votes
    As the World Falls Down – 12 votes

    * I fully acknowledge that Chris’s blog entry on this song lead to an intense 6 month long obsession with this track helping cement it firmly in my personal Bowie top 20.

    Thanks again Chris, this has been tones of fun!

    I’m reserving a place of prominence on my bookshelf for your next book. 🙂

  58. Mike F says:

    We need a chart with Points Per Year so here it is:

    Note when a song was listed with multiple years, I used the first year.

    • col1234 says:

      1977 is apparently the all-star DB year (happens when you put out 2 classic LPs in 12 months)

    • s.t. says:

      For the heck of it, I ran some quick stats. A regression of “points~ year” comes out null, but if you do a median split of songs by year and run a two sample t-test, the “albums before 1980” group yields significantly more points than the “later albums” group.

      • Mike F says:

        I don’t know what a t-test is but looking at the chart, it’s clear the peak point years were 1971-72, 1976-77, and 1980. Most of the magic happened in those 5 years.

  59. GG55 says:

    Wonder if the man himself has had a look at this. Maybe he voted🙂

  60. Brendan O'Lear says:

    Interesting to see that nothing after 1980 makes the top 25. I wanted to include Slip Away because I think it’s a great song, but it’s not one that I have any emotional connection with so I omitted it. I guess the latest song chronologically in the top-25 is Teenage Wildlife and it’s fascinating to see how polarizing that song is. There’s clearly a lot of love out there for it, but it’s such a relief for me to see that there are others out there who feel the same way as I do about it. I dislike it with a passion – honestly Chris, I tried my best after your write-up but my dislike for that song, and the rest of the b-side of Scary Monsters, has only grown. For me, that was the point in my life where I changed from being an uncritical fan to someone more interested in the correct use of soap; in other words, Teenage Wildlife is the point where I started to grow up and get a life outside Bowie, which is actually a good thing to do.

    And I guess that’s what makes this whole journey so interesting. There are some songs – the top six or so – that are clear standouts and are shared by all of us here, but once we move outside that core, it’s all about what we put into those songs ourselves as listeners/fans and what we then take from those songs. What makes Bowie’s work so unique is that it allows people from so many diverse perspectives to derive so much pleasure and meaning from his songs.

    I think he released Blackstar just to mess up the poll. It’s too early to say, and it was released too late for my votes, but that may be at the top-6 level in any future poll.

    … Congratulations on the book contract, with what looks like a very promising publisher.

    • Paul O says:

      “…Teenage Wildlife is the point where I started to grow up and get a life outside Bowie…”

      I share this sentiment (although I had a life outside my Bowie obsession), but it’s the reason why Teenage Wildlife was and remains one of my favorite Bowie songs. A kind of last hurrah. Scary Monsters was not the beginning of the end—that would be the Heroes album—it turned out to be the actual conclusion of my super-fandom. And three years after its release (Bowie’s longest hiatus between albums up to that point) came the nail in the coffin, my least favorite Bowie album—not his “worst” work, mind you, but the one that felt more like a betrayal than any subsequent release.

      “…There are some songs – the top six or so – that are clear standouts and are shared by all of us here…”

      I love the Top 10, but half of ’em didn’t even make my personal Top 30. Sue and Where Are We Now? would have ranked higher than Heroes, Ashes to Ashes, The Bewlay Brothers, Sound & Vision and Golden Years. (This week, anyway…)

      “And I guess that’s what makes this whole journey so interesting.”

      That’s for damn sure.

      • Brendan O'Lear says:

        Comments like that make this blog so worthwhile. The songs in themselves have certain inherent qualities, and Chris’s analyses do an incredible job of exploring those, but an equally important part of the equation is the deeply personal connections we have with those songs. This blog gives the kind of insight into those connections that you could never get from a book. (But we should all still rush out and buy multiple copies of the book when it does come out!)

        I guess that an inevitable part of the one-way fan-artist relationship is that your hero eventually ‘betrays’ you and that is something we can have very strong feelings about. That really comes out in the comments. I’m pretty sure that the first time we reached 50 comments on a song was somewhere around Tonight. Part of the reason was simply that the blog was more well known by that stage, but it’s also the case that people feel strongly when their heroes ‘let them down’ and want to voice those feelings. Perhaps even more than with the songs that they actually love.

      • Paul O says:

        Amen. I would say I’m going to miss this blog, but since I discovered it relatively late in the game, I look forward to bouncing around the entries for a long time to come.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Hey, thanks for implying that only a Bowie fanboy could like Teenage Wildlife.

    After all, if you don’t care for it, what other explanation is there!?

  62. Anonymous says:

    What I got out of this list is an appreciation for just how deep the well of great Bowie songs runs, with classics like Hang Onto Yourself and Watch That Man barely scraping the top 100.

    • Dave says:

      Yes! Just what I thought too. 100-96 is pretty incredible, and it’s hard to imagine any other artist who would have such impressive strength in depth. I don’t think ‘Star’ even made the top 100…

  63. Anonymous says:

    yes, that poll was a fun, chris, thank you very much. my ecxel-sheet is “turnin’ ’til burnin”.

    important constat: “this ist not america” only landet in the limbo! sad, sad, sad.

    perhaps most folks considered it as a already “confirmed” top-100-song because of its popularity, and gave their points to less known songs ….

  64. Shane75 says:

    To me, and presumably for many of you, Bowie’s catalogue’s divided in 3 chapters:
    1. Deram – Scary Monsters
    2. Let’s dance – Oy Vey Baby
    3. BTWN – Blackstar

    Just for the fun of it: my post let’s dance 30 favorite songs:

    1. absolute beginners
    2. when the wind blows
    3. hearts filthy lesson
    4. where are we now
    5. I can’t read (either version)
    6. 7 years in tibet
    7. The Buddha of Suburbia (version 1)
    8. dead against it
    9. I’m deranged
    10. the motel
    11. hallo spaceboy
    12. untitled no 1
    13. heathen (the rays)
    14. afraid
    15. everyone says hi
    16. slow burn
    17. looking for water
    18. jump they say
    19. baby universal
    20. under the god
    21. the voyeur of utter destruction
    22. battle for britain
    23. I would be your slave
    24. new killer star
    25. valentines day
    26. time will crawl
    27. something in the air (Especially ‘Jools’ version)
    28. Survive ( (Especially ‘Net aid version’)
    29. Shopping for girls
    30. This is not america

    Obviously, songs from “chapter 1” are the ones that colour the paotd-poll’s highest rankings. But when making a list of post LD tracks, it is great to again realise how many wonderful songs he’s put out since then (both Blackstar & Lazarus sound absolutely great to me).

    Happy holidays everyone!

    • Paul O says:

      (Thanks, this was actually a great idea, thinking about favorite Bowie tracks without having to consider the weight of the “classics” or that album. Top 20 today in alphabetical order:)

      Blackstar
      Black Tie White Noise
      The Hearts Filthy Lesson
      Hello Spaceboy
      I’d Rather Be High
      I’m Afraid of Americans
      I’m Deranged
      Jump They Say
      Lazarus
      Little Wonder
      Loving the Alien
      Miracle Goodnight
      New Killer Star
      Strangers When We Meet
      Sue
      Thru These Architects’ Eyes
      Thursday’s Child
      Time Will Crawl
      Toy (Your Turn to Drive)
      Where Are We Now?

  65. Absolute drinkers says:

    It sounds obvious now, but I’ve got the feeling that Heroes wasn’t a classic until almost recently. The first time I heard it, many years ago, I thought It was a rare B side of something. In fact, Berlin Bowie was almost erase from the face of earth. He was a crossover megastar. I even feel special because I was telling everybody that Heroes was the best song ever put on tape. It was a slow relentless conquest for these heroes, I think.

  66. It would be interesting to see which good to great songs that did not receive a single vote.

    • BenJ says:

      The Love Missile F1-11 cover was fun, at least, and no one seems to have voted for it. Including myself, admittedly.

    • Ramzi says:

      Shake It is notable considering it’s a track on a major album. I like the song a lot, but I guess most people don’t.

      Sell Me a Coat is a very nice song, probably the best I’d consider missing.

  67. President Joan says:

    Oh, man! This blog blows my mind! Thanks, Chris!

    And what a poll! I have a million things to say, but I’ll start with just this reflection: Of all the best-of Bowie lists I’ve come across, this is definitely the one. The only one that seems …, well, true and accurate. I totally buy this list even though my own top 30 is certainly not equivalent of the list’s top 30. I’ve listened to all the tracks in ascending order as they were presented and it was a beautiful journey. Also very cleverly presented by Chris (especially liked the introduction of #6😉.

    I think we all did a fine job together. Raise your glass high!

  68. grasshopper says:

    This is an utterly fantastic blog. Astonishing. Thank you, and this poll is brilliant.

  69. President Joan says:

    So, are these really Bowie’s greatest songs? Well, yeah, I think our poll result is an educated guess. And ‘educated’ is the key word, I think.

    For a newcomer like me it’s apparent that the votes reflect the blog. I have no objection to this; since the blog is amazing, I think this reflection is a good thing! But it is interesting, really. Me (“uneducated” as I might feel at times, clicking around on this blog), I voted from my heart and memories. This was approved for in the poll and just felt good. It doesn’t matter a bit how these songs ranked in the poll.🙂 Nevertheless, when I check the posts for songs I, well, forgot to vote for, I find great guidance in the blog to why these are such wonderful songs. Sometimes I realize (too late now) that I should have voted for this song, that song. I would not say this is frequent, but I would say it’s apparent. To be clear, this is really exhilarative and not at all a bad feeling.🙂

    I suppose the best example of this is when we get top 6. I had listed five of them, and realized I had omitted Station to Station. “Hmm.” Of course, this is not a problem (“hmm”); it would be perfectly fine if I hated the song. But I don’t hate it; I love it! Putting my top 30 list together I just didn’t actively realize why I’ve loved it so much over the years; why I played it so many times. Or why (on the other hand) I skipped it in my list. Bewildering

    So, this bewilderment lead to me reading the blog post on Station to Station (and the entry in the book “Rebel Rebel” which extends on the blog post; great book!) and I realized what an intricate song this really is and then I’ve listened to it all day today (it’s on now) and I really wish in my heart that I voted differently. But it’s too late … It’s too late!

    It’s too late to be grateful. But I thank you anyway, Chris, and I will be reading all of your blog as if it was presented just now. Like a Christmas present.

  70. Chris says:

    It has to be Station to Station. He has a real reverence for that song. If you watched how he performed that song live during the SM tour be would absolutely give it all he had full throttle and then sort of sleep walked through the next few songs of the set. It is his life story in a song. The fact that he says he can’t remember any its creation makes it the Divine (Cocaine laden) conception. It’s 100% subjective but the only other candidate worthy of number 1 consideration is Bewley Brothers.

  71. NiggyTardust says:

    My list, judge at will.

    1: Ashes to Ashes
    2 – 30 (chronological): Space Oddity – Andy Warhol – Ziggy Stardust – Panic in Detroit – Young Americans – Fascination – Station to Station – Stay – Golden Years – Sound and Vision – Speed of Life – Heroes – The Secret Life of Arabia – Look back in Anger – DJ – It’s no Game – Under Pressure – Let’s Dance – Nite Flights – Outside – The Motel – Hallo Spaceboy – Voyeur – Oxford Town – I’m Deranged – The Hearts Filthy Lesson – Sunday – Reality – Disco King

  72. dm says:

    Just had a look at my list and somehow I missed Golden Years?! Shameful.

    Heroes is probably the only track I skip on that album (my favourite). This is partly because it is obviously overplayed, and partly because I think it’s kinda the weak link on the album- it jars with the wild, unhinged feel of the record’s first half. Also, the single version is rubbish- my theory for why it didn’t place so well in the charts is that, without that several verse buildup, the melodramatic finish feels unearned.

    • dm says:

      Wait, that’s not true, I did place GY, just couldn’t see it.

      I only placed number one, the others are in an arbitrary order, I’m glad to hear these all got at least one vote (We Shall Go To Town and Dead Against It, especially):

      “I can’t agonise over this any longer.

      Only bothered numbering number 1.

      Songs:

      1. Sound and vision
      Ashes to Ashes
      As the World Falls Down
      Sweet Thing
      Joe The Lion
      Jean Genie
      Letter to Hermione
      Absolute Beginners
      Drive in Saturday
      TVC15
      Station to Station
      Five Years
      Rock and Roll Suicide
      Crystal Japan
      Subterraneans
      A New Career in a New Town
      Blackout
      Strangers When We Meet
      Bring Me the Disco King
      Dead Against It
      The Motel
      Untitled No1
      Young Americans
      Life on Mars
      Quicksand
      Golden Years
      Queen Bitch
      Neukoln
      Slip Away
      We Shall go to Town”

  73. President Joan says:

    I notice my #1 choice Right was 1 point shy of making the top100 (29 points). Ahh …

    Well, I guess another way of putting it would be to say Right was At the Top of the Honor Roll.🙂

    So. Voter: If you skipped Right willfully, fine. But if you, well, forgot it, just check it out (again). Like many songs it’s best savoured on its own. (Try repeat and indulge in Bowies “positive drone”🙂

  74. Paul O says:

    As we’ve seen, a lot of people specified which version of a song they wanted to include in their lists, whereas I just picked songs based on their compositions and all recordings (but especially the studio album versions). If I were to do a Top 30 favorite Bowie recordings, it would look different than my song list, as I’m pretty sure a number of songs that didn’t make it would push their way in based on their Stage versions alone. Cases in point: TVC15, Breaking Glass, Blackout, Beauty and the Beast.

  75. Vinnie says:

    “Live reactions”

    25. “Rebel Rebel” – good. Bowie’s ultimate glam song.

    24. “Boys Keep Swinging” – I was caught in the queue of David Bowie… Is in Chicago and heard / watched the video for “Boys Keep Swinging” probably ten times while everyone around me slowly moved. I grew to love this song, because I had to.

    23. “Drive-In Saturday” – swoon

    22. “Lady Grinning Soul” – absolutely love it — so far, we’re heavy in the Ziggy period – surprised these heavy hitters are so low.

    21. “Stay” — I could listen for hours and hours

    17. I didn’t discover Scary Monsters until well into my Bowie fandom – 18 or 19 – and “It’s No GAAAMMMMEEEEEeeeee” is to me, one of the ultimate Bowie songs. Works so well – beginning and ending one of his best with radically different takes. (PS – I went to Tokyo recently and desperately tried to get a photo of me riding the subway looking like Bowie in this photo, but to no avail)

    14-13. “Space Oddity” – I always found the original a bit, well, played-out. I discovered the 1979 version when I was 19, looking for interesting sounds for my college radio show. 79 is better than 69 (well, I prefer “Berlin”-Eno Bowie-influence than anything else). And 79 SO into “Ashes to Ashes” is just about the best treat you can play yourself. And 79 SO is so sparse.

    14-13 “Always Crashing In The Same Car” – when was the last time I listened to Low?! OK, today’s the day. I love you, Low, run away with me.

    11. “Teenage Wildlife” – (grinning emoji)

    10; 9 – snore

    8. *pulls up Soul Train performance, giggles loudly, repeat*

    7. “Moonage Daydream” – best song on Ziggy, best song to first hear when you’re 14. I love Depeche Mode, and I think DM were trying to recreate the killer emotion of this on most of their 80s albums.

    6. “Sound & Vision” – good job, team, killer. (As previously noted: I love Low)

    5. “Life on Mars?” – I seriously thought this would be our Christmas #1 — oooh! What’s next?…

    4. (imagining Lucile Bluth screaming in excitement) Oh, gawd, Diamond Dogs — seeing these micro posts is a great reminder why I love Bowie. This set of music (“Sweet Thing”) is a heartbreaker.

    3. “Ashes to Ashes” – no alarms here, it’s the gentleman (or gentlewoman’s) “Space Oddity”

    2. (Need not say more than a smiley face, when you get hit with the transition of “Once there were mountains on mountains…”)

    1. (Fart noise)

    Nice reading, everyone. (I forgot to submit a ballot ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

    • Vinnie says:

      1. “Heroes” – OK, I made a joke. I actually love “Heroes” – if any of the mainstream Bowie songs deserve #1, it’s certainly “Heroes”

      Relistening just now was a reminder. (+1 for the Aphex Twin remix not ruining the original, too).

  76. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on new book Chris !!!!

  77. So happy and surprised to see #4!! True Bowie fans know what it’s about. Well done!

  78. jopasso says:

    All those years thinking I was one of the few who considered Always Crashing in the same car one of his best.
    Happy to see I am not alone.

    My number one was “Heroes”.
    Overplayed, overexposed, overwhatever…but his best creation. Period

  79. Claws-on says:

    It will be interesting to see if the albums accurately reflect the positions of the songs on them in the top 100 or if some albums turn out greater than the sum of their parts. I expect this to be the case for Outside at least.

    • Aloysius says:

      1. Outside was my No. 1 vote. I’m hoping for an album after 1980 for the Top Ten.

      • princeasbo says:

        I’m in a quandary. I’d like to get Outside on vinyl but the deluxe 2Lp version is too high priced really. Should I get the more reasonably costed Excerpts version on vinyl or save my pennies and go for the double album?

      • Aloysius says:

        I’m owning both versions. The new double vinyl is the whole story. Fine pressing and fantastic sounding. But not the complete booklet, some parts are missing. The Excerpts from Outside (Music on vinyl) comes with the nice 12 page booklet, but with incomplete tracklist and a lttle less sounding. Maybe the Excerpts Vinyl and the complete version on CD, which is a low price item?

      • Vinnie says:

        @princeasbo – ahem – well, the thing is, you should do whatever makes you happy. There is no correct answer.

      • princeasbo says:

        Thank you Vinnie, ‘you should do whatever makes you happy’ is, indeed, wisdom for the ages, but I was looking for a brief critical analysis of the relative merits of ‘1. Outside’ and ‘Excerpts from Outside,’ e.g. ‘The segues on 1. Outside are distracting and disrupt the album’s flow, go for the truncated edition’ or ‘A version of Outside without ‘Strangers When We Meet’ isn’t worth having, buy the full-length issue.’

      • princeasbo says:

        That looks like a sensible compromise Aloysius!

  80. steven says:

    May as well:

    1: Lady Grinning Soul
    2: I Have Not Been To Oxford Town
    3: Thru These Architects’ Eyes
    4: Sweet Thing
    5: She Can (Do That)
    6: Strangers When We Meet
    7: Absolute Beginners
    8: Fantastic Voyage
    9: Bring Me The Disco King
    10: Wild is the Wind
    11: Never Let Me Down
    12: Queen Bitch
    13: 5.15 The Angels Have Gone
    14. Scream Like a Baby
    15: Who Can I Be Now
    16: Station to Station
    17: Word on a Wing
    18: Look Back in Anger
    19: The Bewlay Brothers
    20: Blackstar [i am shameless]
    21: Blue Jean
    22: Golden Years
    23: Boys Keep Swinging
    24: Seven Years In Tibet
    25: Goodbye Mr Ed
    26: Tis Pity She Was A Whore
    27: Teenage Wildlife
    28: Baby Universal
    29: Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)
    30: Young Americans

    Stand by this, though I wish Boys Keep Swinging was higher. The order’s quite flexible after the top 5 really.

    All the post Next Day tracks out by then are present and correct, on account of how I was a toddler when Outside came out and his new sound is easily the most exciting since. Unless Blackstar really disappoints it’s got a fair shot of being the best Bowie’s been in my lifetime, which is pretty sick.

    I think Lady Grinning Soul was always going to be my number one. I mentally associate it with Kate Bush too much. I think if it didn’t exist her career would have gotten off to a different start, genuinely. Kate’s Bowie’s greatest gift to the world, if that’s not too weird to say?

  81. spanghew says:

    Congrats on the new book – very much looking forward to its eventual release!

    I didn’t vote in the poll – trying to winnow down Bowie songs to a mere few handfuls? Can’t do it…

  82. hushbrother says:

    “What an odd thing is preference.” – David Mamet

    No surprise whatsoever with the #1 selection, but I’m floored by some of the other high ranking songs. I had no idea “Bewlay Brothers” was so highly regarded, or “Teenage Wildlife.” Or “Sweet Thing!” When I read the crack in the voting instructions about bumping it in exchange for “Blackstar,” my thought was, why would that be so unusual? ST/C/STR was usually a stretch of tracks I’d skip over to get from “Diamond Dogs” to “Rebel Rebel” (although I certainly appreciate it more now.) And how about DD and RR, only finishing 77th and 25th, respectively? RR finishing as low as it did was for me one of the biggest surprises.

    Also gotta say, I don’t get the reverence for “Sound and Vision.” #6? Hard to see how it rises to that level, being such a, I dunno, LITTLE song. The same reggaeish riff repeated again and again for its brief duration. Nothing wrong with it, but to me it’s more of a sleepy little throwaway song than a true Bowie classic.

    Then again, I had “Dancing With the Big Boys” #4 (glad to see it got some other love) as well as a few other admittedly weird picks (like “Lightning Frightening” and “She Shook Me Cold”) so it’s not like it’s my place to tell anyone their opinions are wrong. (In case anyone cares I had “Stay” #1.) On the contrary, this poll, as well as this fantastic blog, has been eye-opening, to someone who thought he knew Bowie inside and out, but has come to realize there’s still a long and fascinating way to go.

    • Paul O says:

      “Stay” was my heart’s #1, “It’s Gonna Be Me” my strategic #1 vote. Adore them both, but “Stay” had to be #2 in this poll.

      • Anonymous says:

        For some reason I almost always listen to “TVC15” and “Stay” back to back, as if they were a single song – and that’s my number one Bowie “song.” But I couldn’t very well put “TVC15/Stay” #1, so I went with “Stay” as I like it slightly more, with “TVC” #2, and “Station to Station” #3.

        I do the same thing to a lesser extent with “Hang On to Yourself/Ziggy Stardust/Suffragette City,” rarely listening to one without the others preceding or following it. I wonder, is this a phenomenon anyone else experiences, this need to group songs together as a de facto “suite?”

  83. hushbrother says:

    That last reply was me again btw. Forgot I wasn’t logged in like an IDIOT.

  84. Nathan Mahney says:

    Late to this, I realise, but… did no-one vote for The Laughing Gnome?!?

    • BenJ says:

      The Excel spreadsheet shows it getting four votes. I didn’t but I’m glad it got some love. Looking back it was a pivotal song in his development as a songwriter.

  85. Benjamin says:

    The wealth and eclecticism of material on display is superb.

    But I do wish this poll had run just a little later, i.e. after people had a while to ruminate on Blackstar. I’d be genuinely interested to see how it fared. At least three tracks would easily rate among my top 30.

  86. Marck Menke says:

    A very interesting and surprising poll. I predicted ‘Heroes’ position, though it’s not my personal favourite.
    I adore every song from the Deram era but I knew they wouldn’t place. Perhaps a separate poll just for them.
    The only omission that shocked me was ‘Scream Like A Baby”. Wow, even Bowie doesn’t have a 100 songs better than that…

  87. Jasmine says:

    My list is totally different now. I’ve re-discovered Lodger and Reality and got to know Heathen for the first time. Also Blackstar is up there and Buddha. I’d have a lot more deep cuts in my list.
    The last few sad months have meant I’m listening to Bowie in a different, deeper way. Living nostalgia.

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