|UserReviews 24Approval 97%Soundoffs 1News Articles 4Band Edits + Tags 10Album Edits 18Album Ratings 2167Objectivity 92%Last Active 04-09-11 7:12 amJoined 06-22-10Forum Posts 66Review Comments 981
Been on a Bowie kick lately after watching "The Life Aquatic". I was obsessed with the man back in my sophomore year of high school, so its a bit of a nostalgic trip for me. Pointless list I guess, but I need something to do while I decide what to review next. Anyways, my favorite Bowies, best to worst.
Station to Station
In my opinion, the one time Bowie was really ahead of the game instead of just imitating. A really odd album that sort of calls back to "Hunky Dory" and "Young Americans" while sounding somewhat demented. You can just tell Bowie is doped up out of his fucking mind of this thing. I've always use this album as an example for those "slightly deranged" albums out there. Albums like "Angel Dust" and "You Think You Really Know Me" that sound like they could be normal records, if it wasn't for this creepy fucked up aesthetic to them.
|2|| ||David Bowie|
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
This one always moves up and down the top five, but at this point, its standing strong at a #2. Anyways, what is there to say about this thing that hasn't already been said? More or less the only glam album you NEED to own. A collection of the period's best pop ideas and filtered through Bowie's eccentric concept. Amazing guitar work, vocals, and melodies make this one of rock's undisputed classics.
Again, another album that moves up and down this list. It sits at #3 simply because the first half is the best thing Bowie did during this period. The ambient part is awesome and all, but I personally think "Heroes" beats it in those regards. Anyways, this is another instance where Bowie was more or less peerless, though I refuse to give him too much credit seeing as he probably wouldn't have made an album like this without Eno. Regardless, it's weird, poppy, and ahead of its time.
The production on this album is a little cold, but regardless, its filled with so much great guitar work, production tricks, and dark proto-industrial electronics that it manages to be one of Bowie's most daunting records. The ambient side to this is some of the best work Eno has ever done. And the title track is just gorgeous...almost impossible to describe how beautiful it is.
Kitsch, glam, showtunes, pop, and sophisto bounciness made this Bowie's first true classic. It can get a little bland at parts, but overall, its one of his most fun, and at the same time, grand albums.
Really underrated. Out of all the Berlin-era stuff, its definitely the strangest. I don't know what to call this most of the time, but all the stuff he had been working towards gets mixed with world music and all sorts of other weird electronic gloss. The only thing that keeps this at #6 is just how cold it feels at time.
Ziggy Stardust's lesser cousin, but nonetheless, a pretty good rock album. Some cool experiments here, along with some pretty straightforward rock stuff. Not much to say about this one, other than its just pretty enjoyable.
A bit overrated, I guess because it was his last really good album. It sounds like a more commercial approach to what he was doing during his Berlin-era stuff.
The Man Who Sold The World
Bowie's first step in the right direction. Still folksy and psychedelic but moving into more glam territory. Not a bad album, but not all that memorable.
Two classic songs, one awful cover, and a bunch of average songs. Captures the spirit of the time I s'pose, but its still pretty bland and cheesy. The one thing saving this are some great melodies at times.
This album has always irked me for some reason. The concept doesn't really work, and its just such a drab listen. Where "Station to Station" displayed a coke head Bowie who happened to blend all these odd fascinations together, "Diamond Dogs" is more of a coke head Bowie drowning in his own glam image. Just very murky, depressing, and forgettable.
Could've been pretty cool. Dark and moody late period Bowie with awesome piano work. However, I just can't help but get bored with this really quick. It just sorta drags on way too long.
Title track is amazing. The rest, not so much. Non-offensive, but pretty forgettable early Bowie.
Some decent covers mixed with awful ones. Still, the song choice is pretty nice.
Is there really much to say about this? There's a reason nobody remembers it. Again, not really offensive, but there's no real reason to listen to it.
|16|| ||David Bowie|
A huge step down for Bowie. Amongst a bunch of awful dance tracks are two decent pop songs. However, I will always hate Bowie's version of "China Girl". It doesn't do the original justice.
A decent enough album I suppose, but it tries to capture the magic of old Bowie and just fails. Some great songs here, but overall it seems a bit faceless. And I just can't stand the vocals on some of these tracks. .
I sorta feel the same way about this as I do "Heathen". There's some grasps for good ol' Bowie, but its just so bland and forgettable.
WHY?! Dum'n'Bass experiment. Its pretty annoying and cheesy, but in all honesty a lot of these tracks aren't bad. I think it may just be an aesthetic I dislike, I don't know. Some really cool moments though.
Black Tie White Noise
About as boring as the album title sounds. Could almost pass for a Prince album of the same era.
So...so...cheesy. I don't know, some moments make me think this could've been cool (lots of MBV style keyboards on some songs), but overall...just...bland...bad production...bad idea.
Same vein as "Let's Dance", without any good songs. So, it sucks.
Never Let Me Down
|As harsh as it may seem, I actually like everything up until 14. The rest I legitimately dislike. AS much as I love the guy, I'm not afraid to say he's overrated and has put out a lot of crap. |
|LOVE Bowie. Have a bunch of these on tape and vinyl. Holding my Earthling tape now actually.|
lol never let me down
|Yeah. The other albums have some redeeming qualities (Bowie always has at least a good song or two, or, some cool experiments on his albums), but Never Let Me Down is just...just...ugg.|
Also, I just realized that for as much as I usually hate when a band/solo artist decides to use themselves as the album art (because its usually done so in a bland manner) Bowie may be the only guy to make some truly classic album covers using his own likeliness.
|16 through 19 rule|
15 is terrible urgh
|15 never bugged me, I don't know...maybe I excuse it a bit more because its his first album|
I maybe too hard on 19...its cool, its just the sound doesn't appeal to me. For someone who likes that particular genre, they'll probably like it a LOT more.
|hmmm. Station to Station is really good and overshadowed by his other 70's stuff. |
my top 5 would be
Station to Station
Man Who Sold the World
|Bowie rules. I listened to a ridiculous amount of Bowie in 2009 and I mostly agree with the top section of your list but I'm missing most of his 80's/90's material as well as Reality/Heathen.|
The late 70's electronic stuff in particular is a long way ahead of the game for a popular musician.
|I fucking knew this would be a Bowie list|
|I've just started to get into Bowie, though I've only heard 2, 5, and 9 so far. Man Who Sold the World is my favorite as of now. |
|7 is amazing.|
|His 70's electronic stuff was a really great shift for him. Again, I do think he's really overrated though. When I think about it, Bowie was more or less a guy with eclectic tastes in music/art/literature/philosophy/fashion who wanted to blend them all together in one aesthetic. He was an imitator, but he could usually best those whom he imitated. In the 70's he was great at adding just the right amount of artsiness to pop music to make it interesting. The only album I'll say he did that was really original was "Station to Station". |
Yes, his Berlin Period was ahead of its time, however, it was heavily in debt to Eno and the Eno's peers. "Station to Station" was just this strange take on soul/funk/R&B/pop that through Bowie's conflicting high-art life style and disastrous drug use resulted him stumbling across krautrock compositions, electronic flourishes, and some proto-post-punk (I hate myself for typing that) tinges. Also, the vocals are just insane...mostly cold and druggy that burst into over dramatic soulfulness at times.
|Hunky Dory and Ziggy are totally original though.|
|Glam rock already existed before Ziggy Stardust though, and Hunky Dory was basically his interpretation of all the pop music around at the time. Don't get me wrong, he added plenty of his own touches to both ideas (lyrics, concepts, the blending of different genres), however, a lot of his most ravenous fans like to believe Bowie was/is some sort of genius. He's only as good as the musicians/influences around him. Which brings me back to "Station to Station"; he really didn't have many influences around him at the time other than his heavy drug use, which made him blend all of these previous facets about himself into one album. |
|The glam rock scene was kinda forgettable though. It was about as present as the shoegaze scene was to
My Bloody Valentine when they first started. Seriously, other than Bowie and T. Rex, what other glam
rock bands from the early 70s do you remember?
IIRC, he was sober on Station to Station.|
|"Bowie himself remembers almost nothing of the album's production, not even the studio, later admitting, "I know it was in LA because I've read it was" - the guy was basically living off of cocaine. It was on "Low" where he sobered up. |
Roxy Music, New York Dolls, and Lou Reed were all active at the time. Bowie was a fan of all of these acts though, and through his relationships with these bands, he got his first taste of glam. I will commend him for taking the idea and running with it and perfecting it though, even before any of those bands really did much with it (if I remember correctly, only "Transformer" came out before Ziggy Stardust, and not by much of a margin)
|"In my opinion, the one time Bowie was really ahead of the game instead of just imitating."|
I'm sorry, but the laughing gnome would like to have a word with you
|I think he moved to Europe after Station to Station to get off the heavier drugs and out of LA. As far I know he was most messed up in that plastic soul era of Young Americans and Station to Station. I've read interviews where he said he remembers nothing about making that album.|
And I agree that alot of those albums weren't totally original and relied heavily upon the collaborators and other influences to shape the sound, but I dunno if anyone else was that influential in doing all that stuff.
|@Deviant.; I God...I lol'd. I totally forgot about that song. That one was pretty fucked up/unique. Almost out-whimsies Syd Barrett. |
@Chris; Yeah, that's my point really. Even if he wasn't a genius he really did master whatever genre he was toying with and then moving on before it got too stale.
|I think the first experience I ever had with Bowie was when I was like 8 or so and mum was playing Station To Station. I remember hearing the guitar lick for 'Stay' and loving it instantly|
|That's a hell of a riff. The whole groove on that thing is just relentless. |
I'm just now rediscovering my love for "Word on a Wing". Even though its supposed to be emotional and cathartic its fascinating how its till manages to sound just depleted almost hollow. Seriously, that album is the best thing cocaine has ever given this world.
That, and Charlie Sheen. Vatican Warlock Assassins ain't nothing to fuck wit