Best David Bowie Songs

egillaxelsson
David Bowie is so good and these are his songs that made him good.

The Top Ten

1 Space Oddity

I refer to the studio version of 1969: this is his first success, and althought I have a deep knowledge of his whole production, I can hardly find other Bowie's songs with such a wonderful melody and perfect vocal performance. Differently from all of the songs contained in the next albums until the Berlin trilogy, in my opinion this is the only Bowie's song which does not feel the weight of time. The vocal incipit "Ground control to Major Tom" is probably the most fascinating one in the history of rock music. What's more, in its first version Space Oddity was written down when David was about 20 years old... Having composed such a masterpiece at such a young age is probably the most significative proof of his witness.

This is an obvious pick. This and heroes are number one by along way. This song is magical and makes people think they are in space. Major Tom is a great character. Ground control to major tom your circuits dead there's something wrong can you hear me major Tom can you hear me major Tom can you hear and the beautiful song goes on. It's also bowies magical flamingo Spanish guitar that makes this song incredible. I love it how ashes to ashes is like a sequel to this song.

By far the best in my opinion. So many happy memories I've associated with this song over the years. It just brings back the good times, my step-dad was the one who made David Bowie and this song so special to me. It's just a magical song.

Amazing. I get vivid pictures in my head whenever I listen to it. I feel bad for the astronaut who floated away. The part where it says,"Ground control to Major Tom, you've really made the grade..." Gives me shivers every time.

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2 Life on Mars?

Why? Why does this songs have to be so good? It tempts me to play it all the time, it never gets old, I love it so much.

This song contains so much more than lyrics, but anecdote to life. It is the most unpretentious and exposed piece of music that addresses the reality of existence. It expresses what we are all too afraid to say, too afraid to confront - it is a philosophical exploration. Ironically upon hearing this work of art, it brings you back down to earth but with a grounding of truth. Worth the listen and worth the transcendent experience!

Under Pressure... Are we sure? Wouldn't be in my Bowie top 10. I think I was about 12 when LOM came out, but I was old enough to appreciate it even then. Great piano and melody. And possibly Bowie's finest vocal performance.

This song...it's so beautiful! It's got so much power in it, so much emotion, so much...it's so amazing. How can you not just have a child inside that doesn't soften like butter upon hearing the chorus of this masterpiece? Rest in peace, David Bowie, you were so awesome!

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3 Heroes

This is, hands down, the best song by David Bowie. As much as I love Space Oddity, Changes, and Fame, this is one of the most powerful songs ever written. The lyrics reflect a feeling of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. I know this song's mainly about two lovers separated by the Berlin Wall and how they feel that "we can beat them, just for one day". It's sort of when two people who have been divided finally have their moment together, and they don't care what happens as a result. I sometimes cry listening to this song as well. David Bowie just screamed out these lyrics with all the emotions in the world. That's what made him such a unique figure; his raw emotion, passion, and intensity. There's never going to be another David Bowie.

It's not so much a song as a hymn to the human condition. A haunting, exhilerating and edifying work of genius. His best. His masterpiece.

One of the songs I fell in love with first. I'm still working my way through all of DB's music but this one is a keeper.

A Song with a Special Connection to Germany. But the real meaning of the lyrics is much deeper.

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4 Changes

"I watch the ripples change their size, but never leave the stream of warm impermanence. And so the days float through my eyes, but still the days seem the same. And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through."

I feel a deep emotional connection with this song. - PetSounds

In my opinion the best Bowie song, that opening riff just makes me smile every time!

The words and the way he sings this song makes it my favorite. After that, there are 20 Bowie songs that are my second favorite.

The lyrics telling it all.

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5 Under Pressure

Only legendary artists like Queen and David Bowie could produce a song so good. Not only the best David Bowie song, but one of the best songs of all time.

Dun dun dun the the dun dun. That is an officially amazing bassline

Amazing bass line, David and Freddie's vocals harmonise so well and the lyrics are at the top of great song writing, the moment when I first heard Bowie sing 'cause love's such an old fashioned word...' gave me goose bumps, best song of the 20th century no doubt

Listening to it as I write this

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6 Starman

Starman... Don't you just LOVE that song... If you don't, then I will not be happy with you! Hope you do like it... So listen to me it's cool song!

One of those rare songs, along with the Gravity Falls theme, that I don't believe I will ever get sick of. It's so hopeful and comforting (and groovy). - keycha1n

Only at the 7th spot? This deserves to be at least in his Top 5 songs. It's the best song on "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars". - Nintendonix

True genius.

V 21 Comments
7 Ziggy Stardust

I like pretty much every Bowie song, but ultimately this one stands out in my mind. Not only that, but thanks to this song and its correlating album, Ziggy Stardust is a household name.

Greatest bowie song ever. I also like space oddity and life on Mars?

This should have been in the top 3. I would have voted space oddity, but this is 7th! - gemcloben

Because bowie IS ziggy

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8 The Man Who Sold the World

This song is so great, the equally godlike band, nirvana, did a great cover of this geniously lyrical song

This song is so... haunting. The lyrics are crazy and the way they change the vocals are incredible. The instrumentals truly are something they must have thought about before doing, and the plot of the song is just so... haunting. It's all haunting. Listen to this by yourself. You won't regret it! - Donut

This song is really one that touches me

just great

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9 Ashes to Ashes

Song to be remembered from the first listaning. Unique and atmospheric. And the way Bowie crushed the legend he did create - no one ever did that, at least not in such painful way. - saaarsdej

This is his best song I don't know why his dee stuffs ranked so high for me this is his #1 than lets dance than putting out fire

This blew me away when it charted in Aug 80. The song, the video, so different and amazing.

I love the live versions with his band in 2000-2004.

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10 Rock n' Roll Suicide

This has got to be Bowie at his best. You can feel his heart and soul going into it from the first word to the last. Even though he has a long list of incredible songs, this is one of the few that manages to give me goosebumps every time I hear it, and I love it! The raw power and emotion of his voice is given off here more than any other song of his, so the fact that this is not even in the top 10 and it's my favourite of his, it has to have my vote. I'd also like to mention 'Fascination' from the 'Young Americans' album which is also amazing, yet not even on this list full stop... - brad101

This is one of my favorite Bowie tunes. The first time I heard of this song, I hesitated because of the title. But this song taught me not to judge a book by it's cover, because I love it so much now.

Definitely one of his best I love it

I love the vocals, truly touching

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The Newcomers

? She Shook Me Cold
? Running Gun Blues

The Contenders

11 Rebel Rebel

Rebel Rebel has one of the most well known guitar riffs! Not to mention the song itself is very well-written and is extremely catchy. One of Bowie's bests in my opinion.

This should at least in the top ten! Come on people, this song has the greatest guitar riff of any David Bowie song.

I loved this song on the KISS movie "Detroit Rock City" not to mention David Bowie kicks ass

This truly IS Bowie's signature rock song.

V 12 Comments
12 Let's Dance

Should be higher on this list along with a lot of his later stuff not a fan of his earlier stuff but love anything from young Americans, scary monsters and let's dance and on

A true masterpiece of the 80s, created by a guy from the seventies. He just wanted to prove a point to all of the hollow disco electro scene that he can do it better and deeper, and he did!

Simply a classic! So catchy! Should be in the top 5 at least!

Good, but overrated like Fame.

V 8 Comments
13 Moonage Daydream

These is one of the great songs on David bowie.

Easily top 10, best song on the ziggy stardust album

What a melody on this one

Full of passion, one of his best.

V 4 Comments
14 Modern Love

Bowie's best song, for sure. Absolute Beginners and Young Americans are almost as good, but Modern Love is still number one!

Mid-80's upbeat pop song, his most mainstream sounding "generic" pop style, song which is why Bowie said it was one of his least favourite songs, as it was one of his least creative. Yet it's still good! Genius

What the hell this is should be in the top ten just listen to it - mneilan

Because of John Frusciante

V 4 Comments
15 Fame

This song is so funky and it's just awesome why is it so low? Needs to be top 10

Just because he wrote it with John Lennon and it's one of his most popular doesn't mean it's one of his top 10 best. Really all this song is is a funky best with some lyrics.

He wrote this one with John Lennon! Why isn't this track at least in the top 10?! - MontyPython

How are fame and golden years not top 10?

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16 Suffragette City

Now don't lean on me man cause you can't afford the ticket, I'm back from Suffragette City!
Now don't lean on me man cause you ain't got time to check it You know my Suffragette City
Is outta sight... She's alright

Should be in top 5. This was one of Bowie's favorite songs as he talked about numerous times.

Played over and over by me enough said

Oohh WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA'AM!

V 4 Comments
17 Five Years

Agreed - Five Years is my favourite Bowie song and Bowie is in my Top 5 artists of all time. Starts subtlety with a single beat and builds and builds from there. The lyrics are fantastic too. Should ne No. 1.

I'm not one for songs like this; sad ones, I mean. However, "Five Years" is raw emotion thrown right at you. It's chaotic. It's saddening. And, hell, it's a masterpiece. Lyrics and Bowie's classic voice make this a song I'll never forget. Very underrated.

The song was recorded in one take, completely breathtaking and utterly emotional. If you listen without the piano, you can hear the desperation that the song portrays...if you don't love Bowie's music, this song still speaks measures.

Raw emotion and a brilliant song.

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18 Absolute Beginners

It should be in the top ten. Probably his most honest song. - PetSounds

Strong, straight and simple... wonderful

From one of the best movies of all time

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19 Golden Years

Underrated David Bowie song possibly unheard by many.

Should be much higher. One of my all-time favorites.

Great classic rock song

One of the great and catchy bowie's song

20 Quicksand

"Don't believe in yourself; don't deceive with belief. Knowledge comes with death's release."

Utterly devastated to learn about the passing of one of my heroes. Rest in peace, David. - PetSounds

This song is so beautiful, and also lyrically profound. Full of honesty and philosophy.

Absolutly great lyrics and often misunderstood.

This song calls Faith BS. I don't really know what that means, but he's wrong.

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List StatsUpdated 27 May 2017

4,000 votes
168 listings
7 years, 26 days old

Top Remixes (49)

1. Changes
2. Under Pressure
3. Rock n' Roll Suicide
htoutlaws2012
1. Changes
2. Quicksand
3. Life on Mars?
PetSounds
1. Life on Mars?
2. The Width of a Circle
3. Rock n' Roll Suicide
yianang

WRemix
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