Top 10 Best David Bowie Songs

David Bowie is an exceptional artist, and the following songs have contributed significantly to his acclaim.
The Top Ten
1 Space Oddity

I refer to the studio version of 1969: this is his first success, and although I have a deep knowledge of his whole production, I can hardly find other Bowie 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 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 significant proof of his genius.

2 Life on Mars?

This song contains so much more than lyrics, but an 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!

So many great songs, but this is my favorite Bowie song ever. The Hunky Dory album was my introduction to Bowie as a young teenager back in the early '70s, and I remember playing it to death with Life on Mars? as the standout track on a great album. Heroes and Space Oddity are up there as close runners for his greatest ever song, but this will always be my favorite Bowie track and brings back great memories of my long lost youth. Rest in peace, mate.

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.

4 Starman

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, comforting, and groovy.

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."

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 a cool song.

5 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.

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

This is, without a doubt, one of my personal favorites. It's a beautiful song, and it's something you can really get into.

6 Ziggy Stardust

The style, the energy, the groove. This song is pure Bowie but a bit different from the rest of his other amazing tracks. That is what makes it great for me.

The song screams Bowie, full of vibes and that awesome British feel. Despite being quite different from the usual Bowie catalog, it is just the song that stands apart for me.

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.

7 Under Pressure

Even just the bassline from this song was enough to give Vanilla Ice a hit when he stole it, and that was Vanilla Ice's only hit song.

The epicness of Freddie and David's improvisations (those "um dum the de" etc. started in a jam session) creates enough power for the buildings in the music video to rise up again.

This is so great. The song, written by David Bowie and performed by Freddie Mercury and David Bowie himself, is a masterpiece of music mixed with a legendary selection of words to make a rhyme. Prayer hands.

8 Ashes to Ashes

I love that this song is filled with various references, which invokes multi-layer interpretation. Along with Picasso's pinks (roses), Bowie states his own view on being an artist and its position in society.

Above that, I believe that his bitter sincerity is what makes this song so resonating. It is not only important because of the topic but because of the way of speaking about it. I love it. It's probably my favorite David's song. Unique...

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

9 The Man Who Sold the World

This song is so haunting. The lyrics are crazy, and the way they change the vocals is 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!

This magnificent, haunting, beautiful song went under the radar. But its meaningful lyrics and amazing psychedelic guitar work made it my favorite song.

I love this song, as well as the Nirvana cover. I love the chorus. It changes moods so quickly.

10 Moonage Daydream

This is currently my favorite Bowie song, and that's really saying something! Incredible contributions all around.

David Bowie: lead vocals, acoustic guitar, saxophone, string/flute arrangements
Mick Ronson: electric guitar, piano
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar, trumpet
Mick "Woody" Woodmansey: drums

This is one of my favorite songs by David Bowie. I also get a Hotel California vibe from it.

Another great song from the Guardians of the Galaxy awesome mix!

The Contenders
11 Let's Dance

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!

Such a hit, this tune has such an under-appreciated vibe. What a classic. So catchy, it should be number 1.

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

12 Rock n' Roll Suicide

Possibly my favorite song of all time. Its desperate and frustrated vocals show my favorite side of Bowie's versatile and dynamic voice, and the background orchestra is perfect. Despite being a short song, it feels like the personification of an anthem.

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 favorite 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.

13 Modern Love

Mid-'80s 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.

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

By far the best David Bowie song, should be at least in the top five!

14 Rebel Rebel

Playfully braiding themes of sexual freedom, the generation gap, and androgyny with his is he or isn't he lyrics, Bowie postures like a young Roger Daltrey and rocks like Joan Jett (both compliments) in his guitar-driven rock anthem. This song has given courage to many to dress - and act - how they please. Thank you, DB.

This should be top ten. One of the greatest Mick Ronson guitar riffs, and the lyric, "You've got your mother in a whirl because she's not sure if you're a boy or a girl," just SCREAMS androgyny, which was classic Bowie.

And then how can you forget "hot tramp, I love you so" - come on.

15 Blackstar

Such an amazing, timeless song - the best thing he's written for decades! Lots of people don't like it because it's so different from anything else. Well, ever. Definitely deserves to be in the top 10.

Number 1 needed. I think this song is even better than Bohemian Rhapsody.

A wonderful, chilling song. One of the greatest Bowie has made.

16 Fame

This one's right up there with Space Oddity. I was surprised to see it this low. It was one of his big hits.

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

This song is so funky, and it's just awesome. Why is it so low? It needs to be in the top 10.

17 Suffragette City

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

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

His best. For whatever reason, this doesn't get the love it did in the 70s and 80s.

18 Five Years

In times like this, coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic and the war with Russia and Ukraine, among other things, it isn't too far-fetched for us to empathize with David Bowie in Five Years. The lyrics are some of the most emotive and descriptive ever written, and Bowie sings them perfectly, his voice dripping with raw panic.

Backed up by the most incredible band (Mick Ronson, Woody Woodmansey, and Trevor Bolder) playing the most incredible music, you can't tell me you don't love this song.

No, no, no. This song is too good not to be in the top ten, if not number one. It's one of my favorite songs of all time, not just by Bowie.

The raw emotion and the sad story it tells can be felt so deeply. I absolutely love the intensity and suspense that builds up in this song towards the climactic chants of the chorus. Criminally underrated.

19 Golden Years

An underrated David Bowie song, possibly unheard by many.

Extremely underrated and an absolute gem of a song.

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

20 Lazarus

I enjoy this song very much. I don't understand how my dad could hate this song so much! He heard a bit of it, saw the music video, and immediately started talking crap. He still doesn't know his daughter listens to him.

I still don't know where he found the power to write, play, and record this song. The saxophone is great. It still brings me to tears when I see the video. I saw the musical in London, so this song has a special meaning to me.

This is a song of pure genius, the words of a man grappling with his own mortality. Knowing that this album was his final gift to the world just makes every song on it even better and more meaningful.

21 China Girl

I have always loved this song. It's hauntingly beautiful. He does everything with such feeling.

This song deserves a vote. Odd song, but insidiously affecting. Very underrated.

This song is really good, and it was a success on the charts in many different countries.

22 Young Americans

An underrated song from Bowie's discography, containing probably the greatest saxophone solo in the 70s.

The best choir arrangement I've heard in a soul song. Luther Vandross and David Bowie created magic!

An absolutely brilliant piece of funky plastic soul. One of his best songs, bar none.

23 Sound and Vision

Wonderfully divergent, even for Bowie, and surprisingly evocative. This deserves to be in the top 10.

Should be much higher. Strange construction and constantly surprising.

No "Low" songs on the first page? I must be crazy. It's his greatest album.

24 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.

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

25 Oh! You Pretty Things

I love the piano. Unlike Life on Mars, which includes piano, singing, drums, strings, guitar, and a synth (or whatever it is), I can play this song all by myself, unless I ask the audience to clap along to the chorus.

I love this song.

Superficial normality, a facade ripped by surreal weirdness and stark, jagged imagery of a jagged future.

Definitely a favorite! Awesome lyrics, melody, everything. Check out the BBC live version from 72!

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