Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Top Five Bowie Songs (At the Moment)

Inspired both by the announcement that most of David Bowie's albums will be reissued next year and my recent inner turmoil when asked to name some favorite songs by the Thin White Duke, I've compiled a list of my Top Five Bowie Songs (At the Moment).

Bowie's albums will be re-released in three groups; no word on any bonuses other than deluxe liner notes. Their UK release dates are January 16, February 20, and March 12. The first group includes Aladdin Sane, Hunky Dory, The Man Who Sold The World, Pin-Ups, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, and Space Oddity.

My Top Five David Bowie Songs (At The Moment):

1. "Oh! You Pretty Things" (from Hunky Dory, 1971)

2. "Rebel Rebel" (from Diamond Dogs, 1974)

3. "Ashes to Ashes" (from Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps), 1980)

4. "Loving the Alien" (from Tonight, 1984)

5. "This Is Not America" (from the soundtrack to The Falcon and the Snowman, 1985)

"Rebel Rebel" was the easiest call. Throw in "Oh! You Pretty Things!" and apparently Bowie's "screw you Mom and Dad!" oeuvre really resonates with me. But I prefer to think of both songs as embodying the brash, reckless spirit of rock.

I remember singing along to "Rebel Rebel" as a kid; I think the melody held as much appeal as its naughtiness (exceedingly mild by today's standards). I also remember watching the "Ashes to Ashes" video, very interested in the costumes and the symbolism.

Bowie's strong fascination with space and aliens (and the concept of "the other", another kind of alien) figures heavily in the list, so make of that what you will.

And alienation, whether caused by addiction ("Ashes to Ashes") or by the divisiveness of organized religion and religious warfare ("Loving the Alien") is another common theme among the songs, but alienation and rebelliousness are a common theme in rock.

While I struggled a bit in choosing the last song, I don't much care for some of Bowie's most popular songs, like "Heroes", and so never considered them. I don't find "Heroes" nearly as interesting as some of his other songs, especially after the first 500 times I heard it (i.e. it's been overplayed).

I left collaborations off the list, but for fun, I'll single out one I hate and one I love.

The hated one: "Dancing in the Streets", a cover demolished by Bowie and Mick Jagger. As if the song wasn't horrible enough, they made an intensely cheesy video to accompany it. In it both come off like very bad lounge singers convinced this is their big break. Yes, Mick. I'm ready for a brand new beat. So please make this song stop and bring on new singers.

The one I love:
Bowie remade his own song, "Hallo Spaceboy" with The Pet Shop Boys, to much better effect:


Blogger xolondon said...

How many times can he rerelease these. I liked the first set of remasters like over 10 yrs ago. I bought the Tonight one b/c of "This Is Not America." I like your picks - if I had to do mine on the spot, I'd say:

This Is Not America
Soul Love
Wild Is The Wind
Strangers When We Meet
Sweet Thing / Candidate

Thanks for sharing cool chick!

3:51 PM  
Blogger trill42 said...

Agreed. Between the best-ofs, the greatest-hits, and the remastered reissues, Bowie is really pushing it.

That's a great list, and kudos for being able to produce a great list on the spot. However, in my defense when I was asked about Bowie songs there was loud music playing! I had to try to concentrate on Bowie music while listening to another kind of music. I know... I feel for me, too. :-/

1:24 AM  
Blogger xolondon said...

I had the luxury of looking in my itunes library and picking from that. I would have forgotten Strangers When We Meet.

5:07 PM  

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