Starman to Stardust | The Top 40 Best David Bowie Songs Ever

This week the world has been looking back upon the career of David Bowie, with January 10 marking the first anniversary of his death. Bowie left behind him over five decades worth of music, having spent an unparalleled amount of time at the forefront of his art, boldly acquainting himself with new audiences throughout each era of the music industry since the ’60s.

Bowie was so successful at reinvention because, unlike most artists, it never felt like he was sacrificing his dignity as a creator in order to “fit in” with a new crowd. Rather than hitching onto bandwagons, Bowie’s transition from rock, to glam rock, to funk, to soul, to pop and beyond instead felt like a natural progression, with him deftly slipping between genres while greatly influencing them, too.

Due to his extraordinary prolificacy, narrowing down his greatest work from the last half-century is incredibly difficult — this list was originally intended to be a top 20, but rounding down such an extensive back catalogue into just twenty songs was nigh-on impossible. Even a top 40 feels like a disservice, when you consider that almost every track on the likes of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stadust and the Spiders From Mars or Hunky Dory could happily feature on a list of the greatest songs of their respective decades.

This top 40 list in no way includes all of the great Bowie songs, then, but is a collection of both his most important and defining moments as a creator, the underrated classics that have slipped by the wayside over the years and, yes, his greatest hits. Each song on this list highlights how and why David Bowie remained so vital to the music world even until his dying days, and how he musically excelled beyond the grasp of even his most legendary of peers and contemporaries.

Here are the top 40 best David Bowie songs ever:

Listen to the Top 40 Best David Bowie Songs Ever playlist below:

 

Image Credit: Ron Galella (L) / Debi Doss (R) / Getty Images