David Bowie’s 25 Favorite Albums of All Time
“I don’t see any boundaries between art forms. I think they are all completely interdependent.-David Bowie.
It’s no surprise that the great David Bowie has a very eclectic record collection. The kind of record catalog that would embarrass radio DJs in the golden age of pop. The singer, who has long been famous for his eclectic styles and full commitment to his role as an artist, has always been quick to recognize his contemporaries who challenged him to finish his best work.
In 2003, the Thin White Duke decided to dig through his collection of 2,500 vinyl records to pick out some of his favorite numbers in a conversation with Vanity Show. He provided a host of eclectic tracks that made Bowie one of the most authentic music lovers and creators ever known.
Going through all his records, Bowie managed to name his 25 best records of all time. Among the list are screams for Robert Wyatt, John Lee Hooker, Toots & The Maytals, The Fugs and many more. “There’s really no way to make a list of my favorite albums with any rationality. I only have about 2,500 records,” Bowie said when naming his list. That’s a fair guess. Musicians like Bowie can never stick to a single set of albums or songs as a definitive, enduring list of their favorites. That list would change with the seasons and the ticking of a clock.
“I’m going to go through the albums and make a list of those that I bought back or that I am in the process of buying back on CD. I have little time, and there is just too much to sort through. So I’m going to keep popping stuff out blindly, and if it’s too obvious (Sgt. Pepper, Nirvana) I’ll put it back until I find something more interesting, ”he reflected.
The Starman added, “No rules then. I’ll just make them up as I go. If you can possibly get your hands on one of them, I guarantee evenings of listening pleasure, and you will encourage a new circle of noble friends, even if one or two choices will lead some of your old buddies. to think that you are a complete bartender. So, without a timeline, genre or reason, here are, in no particular order, 25 albums that could change your reputation.
Discussing his decision to include The Velvet Underground, Bowie said, “Brought back from New York by one of my former managers, Ken Pitt. Pitt had done some sort of work as a PR man who had put him in touch with the Factory. Warhol gave him that dry cleaning test without a cover (I still have it, no label, just a little sticker with Warhol’s name on it) and said, “You like weird stuff, see what you think “. What I “thought of that” was that they were the best band in the world here. In December of that year, my band Buzz broke up, but not without demanding that we play “I’m Waiting for the Man” as one of the encore songs from our last gig. “
The singer makes a remarkable point as he claims to be the first act to cover the iconic New York band: “It’s fun, not only did I have to cover Velvet’s song before everyone else, I did it before the release. of the album, that’s the essence of Mod.
With many of Bowie’s selections, there is a detailed history of how, quite often by sheer luck, he ended up getting his hands on the files he kept close to him for the rest of his life.
Take, for example, the iconic John Lee Hooker record Tupelo Blues: “In 1963, I was working as a junior commercial artist at an advertising agency in London,” Bowie explained. “My immediate boss Ian, a groovy modernist with a Gerry Mulligan-style cropped cut and Chelsea boots, was very encouraging about my passion for music, something he and I both shared and sent me to do. shopping at Dobell’s Jazz record store on Charing Cross Road knowing that I would be there for most of the morning until well after lunch break.
“It was there, in the ‘trash’, that I found Bob Dylan’s debut album. Ian had sent me there to get him a version of John Lee Hooker and advised me to take a copy for myself because it was so wonderful. Within weeks my mate George Underwood and I had changed the name of our little R&B group to Hooker Brothers and had included both Hooker’s “Tupelo” and Dylan’s version of “House of the Rising Sun” in our set. .
So here it is, Bowie’s full roster available to stream in a playlist below. Note that due to ‘limitations a few are missing from the playlist.
David Bowie’s 25 Favorite Albums:
- The last poets – The last poets
- Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
- The fabulous little Richard – Little Richard
- Music for 18 musicians -Steve Reich
- The Velvet Underground & Nico – The velvet metro
- Tupelo Blues – John Lee Hooker
- Blues, Rags and Hollers – Koerner, Ray and Glover
- The Apollo Theater presents: in person! The James Brown Show – James Brown
- Forces of victory – Linton Kwesi Johnson
- Tachai’s red flower blooms everywhere: music played on national instruments – Various artists
- Banana moon – Daevid Allen
- Jacques Brel is alive and well and lives in Paris – Distribution album
- Les Electrosoniks: Electronic Music – Tom Disvelt
- The 5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion – The Incredible String Band
- Ten songs by Tucker Zimmerman – Tucker Zimmerman
- Last four songs (Strauss) – Gundula Janowitz
- Ascension – Glenn Branca
- The fool laughs – Syd Barrett
- Black angels – George Crumb
- Funky Kingston – Toots and the Maytal
- Illusion of fury – Harry Partch
- Oh yes – Charles Mingus
- The Sacred of Spring – Igor Stravinsky
- The Fugs – The Fugs
- The glory of the human voice – Florence Foster Jenkins
Stream the playlist below.