Ziggy Stardust. The Thin White Duke. David Robert Jones. Whatever you call him, David Bowie, the chameleon of pop, is back!
Celebrating today his 66th birthday, the enigmatic icon marked the occasion with the release of a new single ‘Where Are We Now’ and news of a new album called ‘The Next Day’ touching down in March.
You can listen to ‘Where Are We Now?’ by hitting up the YouTube video above, a melancholic track that recalls cuts from Bowie’s 1999 album ‘hours…’.
With ‘The Next Day’ set to be Bowie’s 26th studio album, there are reams of goodies for the uninitiated to dive into ahead of the new albums release. And while even the casual music lover could probably hum along to ‘Heroes’ or ‘Life on Mars?’, there are plenty of killer Bowie tracks that have fallen through the cracks over the years and are often overlooked.
Here are Brandish’s top 5 Bowie gems that you might have forgotten!
John, I’m Only Dancing
A raunchy blues stomper that’s often covered, John I’m Only Dancing’s androgynous, homo-erotic undertones and searing guitars would later go on to influence the likes of Suede and Placebo.
Speed of Life
Here’s how you properly kick off a comeback. Marking the start of Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” as the first track on ‘Low’, it’s a swirling electronic instrumental with more killer riffs than you can shake a MOOG synth at. Here’s a rare live performance of the song from a 1978 gig in Dallas Texas, with Bowie looking particularly sharp.
The opening track on the classic album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’, Bowie’s apocalyptic vision starts quietly before erupting into a maelstrom of sound, setting the tone for Bowie’s most beloved record. Theatrical and wild, it hints at the closing of the Ziggy Stardust chapter that saw Bowie’s popularity at its peak.
Bowie’s best love song, Absolute Beginners soundtracked the movie of the same name. A lush track telling a tale of young love, listen how Bowie’s voice just soars for the chorus.
Though a single on ‘Let’s Dance’, arguably Bowie’s most popular later-day album, ‘Modern Love’ always plays second fiddle to the album’s titular track and ‘China Girl’ when it comes to radio play. That’s a travesty – ‘Modern Love’ is far and away the best song Bowie ever laid down during his Americana/white-boy soul phase of the mid-80’s. Read either as an attempt to turn his back on one night stands or the junk of his drug addictions, it’s Bowie at his dancey, desperate best.