I Like: David Bowie

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I Like: David Bowie

david bowie playlist
The Low & Heroes Tour, December 1978 (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

Art is life, and life is art – a mantra adhered to religiously by the master of reinvention, David Bowie. His personal evolution introduced the world to a cast of alter egos who each played an integral role in shaping modern art, fashion, sexuality and culture. 

He was declared the “Greatest Rockstar Ever” by Rolling Stone magazine, quoted by Cardinals in the Vatican, credited with single-handedly changing the way the world sees Britain. He was even thanked by the Federal Foreign Office for his part in the fall of the Berlin Wall. 

If you’ve been yearning for a holiday from everything mundane and predictable then our I Like: David Bowie playlist is just the escape you’ve been looking for! Delve into the mind of an artist hell-bent on proving that the future is limited only by our own imaginations.

Feature Track, “Let’s Dance” was the first single from Bowie’s 1983 album of the same name. Boasting a guitar part played by Stevie Ray Vaughan, it was one of the fastest and best-selling releases of his entire career.

The song’s music video was made on location in Australia and centres around a bar in Carinda, New South Wales. It includes real-life unimpressed locals mocking Bowie and the dancers from Sydney’s Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre. An authentic culture-clash extravaganza that makes for a very direct statement about cultural integration.

Next on the list, “Under Pressure” - a collaboration between David Bowie and British rock iconoclasts, Queen - reached No. 1 in the UK charts when it was included on Queen’s 1982 album, Hot Space

The song was born from an impromptu jam session the band had with Bowie, but - as the story often goes – everyone’s memory of the session is a little hazy. Despite the bassline being named by critics as one of the greatest in the history of popular music, no one seems to remember exactly who wrote it. 

Bowie gives credit to Queen’s bass player, John Deacon. Deacon gives credit to Bowie. Brian May later explained that Deacon wrote it originally, but Bowie remembered it differently after a dinner break and altered it slightly without realising. So, in essence, they wrote it together.

Last but definitely not least is, “Starman”, a David Bowie masterpiece. The lyrics describe Ziggy Stardust bringing a message of hope to Earth’s youth through the radio. Ziggy Stardust (aka Bowie) is not the Starman, but his entrusted earthly messenger preaching interstellar salvation. Keeping up? 

Read more: Take The David Bowie Quiz

From a commercial point of view, “Starman” marked a milestone in Bowie’s career, giving him his first hit since “Space Oddity” three years earlier. His 1972 Top of the Pops performance of the song is often cited as a turning point to which many fans date their conversion to “all things Bowie”.

David Bowie lived his life as a work of art, anticipating and shaping every corner of the pop-culture universe in his wake. 

He made us all feel like we could be heroes. 

He was our Starman with a message of hope. And really, really great outfits.

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