Today the world of music lost one of the influential people ever in the industry. Bands like Queen (Under Pressure); The Arctic Monkeys, Motley Crue, U2 (to name only a few) revered David Bowie, and I think there are few people who don’t like at least some of his songs. He is undoubtedly one of the greatest musicians of all time, and definitely arguably the most influential in his 50 year career. Especially if you begin to look at, how many bands are influenced by bands he influenced then there is no questioning that the world of music would be a differently place without him to shape it. Further than this, he’s also shaped the world of film. Countless numbers of his songs provide the perfect backing to key scenes. Examples of where this happens can be found here. Although I never fully delved into his colossal back catalogue, I have compiled a list of my favourite tracks, the ones that influenced my own music the most.
This song features on one of my favourite ever films: A Knight’s Tale; and the film would have suffered for its not being there. The song itself is catchy and uplifting; not one of his more profound; but very accessible, and enjoyable.
This is just such a brilliant song! I love the range of instruments used on it, and it’s simply incredible how he manages to get such contrasting sections to work so well together. The changes in grooves, key, harmonic speed; all make it seem like the various sections wouldn’t fit together at all, but they just work, there’s clearly some genius mastermind behind it.
Life On Mars
This is by far my favourite Bowie song. It’s just incredible, the song was described by BBC Radio as having “one of the strangest lyrics ever”; listening to it, they are very strange, but they kind of work! Bowie, in 1971, summed up the song as “A sensitive young girl’s reaction to the media”, which helps link them together a lot better, but they’re still brilliantly weird.
Space Oddity is one of the first experiences I had with hearing a really progressive song. There are few better examples of songs that tell a story within itself, and change mood/style/genre to help convey the emotion of the character. It tells the story of Major Tom, and the more you listen to the song with the story in mind, the better it gets.
If Space Oddity was a whole story in one song; this song tells part of a much larger story. It showed huge maturity in his song writing, and this idea/style definitely had a huge influence on me personally. It’s widely considered to be one of the best Rock songs ever, and rightly so. Everything in it just works so brilliantly! Really is a joy to listen to.
This concludes my list of favourite/most influence David Bowie songs. Despite never really delving into all of his songs, it was still difficult to pick just 5, and there are so many that I could have chosen. He was truly brilliant, and will be missed. Thankfully he’s leaving a wonderful catalogue of music to listen to; and his influence can be heard in numerous bands across the world.