David Bowie’s mid-career 1976 greatest hits compilation, also known as ChangesOneBowie, is about as flawless of a record as there is. Just look at this track list below, 11 songs, all absolute fire-starting rock classics, one after another. Wham bam, thank you ma’am.
- Space Oddity
- John, I’m Only Dancing
- Ziggy Stardust
- Suffragette City
- The Jean Genie
- Diamond Dogs
- Rebel Rebel
- Young Americans
- Golden Years
Now, want to hear how I know David Bowie is a truly spectacular rock virtuoso – a shape-shifting,¹ style-launching, poly-intellectual maestro with scant peers throughout all of popular culture, whose musical legacy and influence are nearly immeasurable, and who, in short, was one of the greatest rock and roll recording artists of all time? I just made a Bowie playlist exactly twice as long, 22 undeniably fantastic songs, none of which are from that collection.
And even these are really only the most obvious selections, including few deep album cuts or picks off more obscure albums (it does not contain anything from Bowie’s numerous post-mid-‘80’s albums when, frankly, I lost touch with his voluminous, less commercially recognizable output).
Plus, I didn’t even choose ‘All The Young Dudes,’ written (and later recorded) by Bowie but delivered to rock eternity by Mott The Hoople.
The amazing and singular David Bowie: from the glam androgyny of Ziggy Stardust to the sophisticated splendor of the Thin White Duke, he created a truly innovative and astounding array of genre spanning musical archives. A catalog so impressively vast, in fact, that you can easily make another couple greatest hits albums out of what wasn’t on his actual greatest hits. So, as much as ChangesOneBowie was remarkable rock perfection, Bowie himself was doubly – check that math and make it triply – so.
¹Bowie was often referred to in various forms as a “chameleon,” which I believe was a misnomer. Chameleons adapt to blend in with their existing habitat; Bowie did exactly the opposite in repeatedly establishing his own.
And what the hell, who am I to deprive you of this impeccable original anthology. Here’s ChangesOneBowie too.