The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was the first David Bowie album I ever bought. It was 1972 and the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street was my favorite album that year, but David Bowie’s wonderful songs received heavy rotation on my turntable. In later years, I bought and enjoyed Let’s Dance. And, what might be the theme song for the Age of Coronavirus, I loved “Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen.

Best of Bowie was released in 2002 and although Bowie continued to release songs and CDs, this 2-CD collection includes most of Bowie’s best work. Are you a David Bowie fan? Do you have a favorite song? GRADE: A


CD 1

No.TitlePlace of OriginLength
1.Space Oddity David Bowie, 19695:15
2.The Man Who Sold the World The Man Who Sold the World, 1970/19713:55
3.Oh! You Pretty Things Hunky Dory, 19713:12
4.Changes Hunky Dory3:33
5.Life on Mars? Hunky Dory3:48
6.Starman The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972; released as a single before the parent album’s release4:16
7.Ziggy Stardust The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars3:13
8.Suffragette City The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars3:25
9.John, I’m Only Dancing Non-album single, 19722:43
10.The Jean Genie Aladdin Sane, 1973; released as a single the previous year4:08
11.Drive-In Saturday Aladdin Sane4:36
12.SorrowBob Feldman, Jerry GoldsteinRichard GottehrerPin Ups, 1973; originally by The McCoys and made famous by The Merseys, 1965/19662:53
13.Diamond Dogs Diamond Dogs, 19746:05
14.Rebel Rebel Diamond Dogs4:30
15.Young Americans” (United States single version) Young Americans, 19753:16
16.FameBowie, Carlos AlomarJohn LennonYoung Americans4:17
17.Golden Years” (single version) Station to Station, 1976; single version released the previous year3:22
18.TVC 15 Station to Station5:33
19.Wild Is the WindDimitri TiomkinNed WashingtonStation to Station; originally done by Johnny Mathis for the film of the same name, 19576:02

CD 2

No.TitlePlace of OriginLength
1.Sound and Vision Low, 19773:00
2.“Heroes”” (single version)Bowie, Brian Eno“Heroes”, 19773:37
3.Boys Keep SwingingBowie, EnoLodger, 19793:18
4.Under Pressure” (with Queen)Bowie, Freddie MercuryBrian MayJohn DeaconRoger TaylorNon-album single, 1981; later included on the Queen album Hot Space, 1982 
5.Ashes to Ashes” (single version) Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 19803:38
6.Fashion” (single version) Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)3:23
7.Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” (single version) Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps); released as a single the following year3:27
8.Let’s Dance” (single version) Let’s Dance, 19834:07
9.China Girl” (single version)Bowie, Jim Osterberg (a.k.a. Iggy Pop)Originally by Iggy Pop from The Idiot, 1977; later covered for Let’s Dance4:18
10.Modern Love” (single version) Let’s Dance3:56
11.Blue Jean Tonight, 19843:12
12.This Is Not America” (with the Pat Metheny Group)Bowie, Lyle MaysPat MethenyThe Falcon and the Snowman soundtrack, 19853:43
13.“Loving the Alien” (single remix) Tonight; remixed and released as a single the following year4:43
14.Dancing in the Street” (with Mick Jagger)Marvin GayeWilliam “Mickey” StevensonIvy Jo HunterNon-album single for Live Aid, 1985; originally by Martha and the Vandellas from Dance Party3:14
15.Absolute Beginners” (single version) Absolute Beginners soundtrack, 19865:39
16.Jump They Say” (radio edit) Black Tie White Noise, 19933:53
17.Hallo Spaceboy” (Pet Shop Boys mix; with the Pet Shop Boys)Bowie, Eno1. Outside, 1995; PSB mix released as a single the following year4:25
18.Little Wonder” (single version)Bowie, Reeves GabrelsMark PlatiEarthling, 19973:40
19.I’m Afraid of Americans” (V1 radio edit)Bowie, EnoOriginal version found on Earthling4:26
20.Slow Burn” (radio edit) Heathen, 20023:55

25 thoughts on “THE BEST OF BOWIE [2-CD Set]

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I am a big Bowie fan. Saw him on his Ziggy Stardust Tour in 72 and once later in the mid 90’s. My first Bowie album would have been Hunky Dory. Hard to pick a favorite. My favorite album would be either Hunky Dory or Aladdin Sane. My favorite songs would have to be Rebel Rebel, Heroes or Life On Mars. I’m also big on Prettiest Star and Queen Bitch which are not included here. All in all a pretty good collection. I would agree with the A rating.
    Also a decent actor. Check out either The Prestige in which he played Tesla or Merry, Christmas Mr. Lawrence in which he was a Japanese Prisoner of war. Also good in The Man Who Fell to Earth.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I agree with you on Bowie’s performance in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH. I’ll have to check out THE PRESTIGE and MERRY CHRISTMAS, MR. LAWRENCE.

  2. Deb

    I’ve always been a Bowie fan and saw him once—the Glass Spider tour (choreographed by Toni Basil of “Hey Mickey” fame). “Under Pressure” and “Golden Years” are two of my favorites, but I’d probably listen to anything on this CD—except perhaps “Dancing in the Streets” (although maybe I’m just thinking of the cheesy video and not the song itself).

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I’m with you on the cheesiness of the “Dancing In the Streets” video. The Bowie cover sounds okay, but it’s nothing special.

  3. Michael Padgett

    Bowie is certainly up there in the rock pantheon where “who’s the best” arguments are futile, and one of my greatest regrets is that I never saw him live. For favorite songs I’d go with “Rebel, Rebel”, “Suffragette City”, and “Fame”. This is a great set.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, like you I regret I never saw David Bowie in concert. If you wanted just one David Bowie album, THE BEST OF BOWIE is the one I would recommend.

  4. wolf

    Never had the chance to see him live but with his first song he became a favourite of mine.
    Space oddity is still the greatest for me – I was just preparing for my master, gas to hurry up because my prof was going to the USA for a year.
    So they’ll be intertwined forever,

  5. Patti Abbott

    Always one of my favorites. Life on Mars but that may be influenced by the TV series where I heard it more recently than some of these.

  6. Jeff Smith

    This has a great selection of songs, but too many single versions and radio edits. That keeps it off my list.

    “Under Pressure” has one of the all-time greatest bass riffs, by John Deacon and Bowie. I never tire of listening to that. I’ll even listen to “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice just to hear that bass line again (the courts eventually ruled he had to pay Bowie and Queen for using it).

    1. Jeff Smith

      Okay, pretty much all the Bowie compilations are full of single versions and radio edits. No escaping them.

      So far as I can tell, I have a few vinyl records and no cds, so I’m off to choose something to buy.

      Most recent new-to-me cds: a Three Dog Night collection, Rick Wakeman’s new “Red Planet” (not as good as I hoped), and “Ruins” by First Aid Kit (two Swedish sisters, doing a good job as folk/country singer-songwriters).

    2. george Post author

      Jeff, the most recent CDs coming in to the Kelley Manse are Sara Watkins’ YOUNG IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES and DAVID BENOIT AND FRIENDS.

  7. Beth Fedyn

    I’m a HUGE Bowie fan and was lucky enough to see him three times in concert.
    I can’t pick a favorite but one I’ve been listening to recently is his cover of Here Comes the Night from the Pin Ups album.
    A timely selection for right now would be I’m Afraid of Americans.


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