Farewell David Bowie: His 100 Greatest Songs

Following his death on January 11, MOJO revisits our rundown of Bowie’s greatest music.

Bowie 100 Songs

DAVID BOWIE SPENT the last five decades exhilarating, entertaining and occasionally confounding fans with his extraordinary music and pivotal evolutions in image. To mark his passing (on January 10, 2016) and to celebrate his unique life and journey we have revisited our ultimate run-down of Bowie’s 100 Greatest Songs compiled by MOJO’s staff and writers.

From Bowie’s 1966 coming-of-age The London Boys and the glam riff-ola of Hang On To Yourself, to the theme tune to Absolute Beginners and last year’s B-side ’Tis A Pity She Was A Whore, our list includes timeless classics, out-there surprises and more. Exactly what you expect from one of the most exciting, innovative and enthralling musicians of all time.

So scroll through the list below, ranked in reverse order of Bowie brilliance, and share your memories and favourites too via Twitter (@MOJOmagazine) and MOJO’s Facebook.

Farewell David Bowie…

100. Let Me Sleep Beside YouThe World Of David Bowie | 1970

100. Let Me Sleep Beside YouThe World Of David Bowie | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Frustrated in ’67, the mature Bowie stirs.

99. TimeAladdin Sane | 1973

99. TimeAladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: A single release in the USA and a live highlight of the Diamond Dogs tour.

98. Move OnLodger | 1979

98. Move OnLodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: Station to station to station: deadpan travelogue records long strange trip.

97. Conversation PieceB-side of The Prettiest Star 7-inch | 1970

97. Conversation PieceB-side of The Prettiest Star 7-inch | 1970

MOJO SAYS: A tongue-tied man in desperate isolation.

96. Repetition Lodger | 1979

96. Repetition Lodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: David Bowie – the social-realist commentator.

95. V-2 Schneider“Heroes” | 1977

95. V-2 Schneider“Heroes” | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Cold War on his mind, a salute to Kraftwerk (and Wernher Von Braun?).

94. Joe The Lion"Heroes" | 1977

94. Joe The Lion"Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Bowie consumes performance art, feels like Iron Man.

93. Lady Grinning SoulAladdin Sane | 1973

93. Lady Grinning SoulAladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Bond theme manqué, perhaps in tribute to singer Claudia ‘Brown Sugar’ Lennear.

92. Fall Dog Bombs The MoonReality | 2003

92. Fall Dog Bombs The MoonReality | 2003

MOJO SAYS: Wow! Is all of Reality like this?! Oh…

91. The London BoysB-side of Rubber Band 7-inch | 1966

91. The London BoysB-side of Rubber Band 7-inch | 1966

MOJO SAYS: Bowie casts off past, sees future.

90. I'm Deranged1. Outside | 1995

90. I'm Deranged1. Outside | 1995

MOJO SAYS: “Cruise me!” teases Bowie on the very definition of a ‘deep’ cut.

89. Big Brother/Chant Of The Skeletal FamilyDiamond Dogs | 1974

89. Big Brother/Chant Of The Skeletal FamilyDiamond Dogs | 1974

MOJO SAYS: Authority-loving Orwellian anthem. Or is it?

88. Beauty & The Beast"Heroes" | 1977

88. Beauty & The Beast"Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Bowie’s first playful, relaxed, healthy vocal since Diamond Dogs’ title track.

87. 1984Diamond Dogs | 1974

87. 1984Diamond Dogs | 1974

MOJO SAYS: How to make Orwellian dread sound remarkably ‘up’.

86. Watch That ManAladdin Sane | 1973

86. Watch That ManAladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Rocks off! Heading for the overload, Bowie turns up the murk.

85. Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) Single | 2013

85. Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix) Single | 2013

MOJO SAYS: Ashes To Ashes-sampling reboot deepens the enigma.

84. 5.15 The Angels Have GoneHeathen | 2002

84. 5.15 The Angels Have GoneHeathen | 2002

MOJO SAYS: Timely restatement of Bowie’s old mystique.

83. Blackout"Heroes" | 1977

83. Blackout"Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Lessons in darkness. Inspired by the New York power failure of July 13, 1977.

82. Heathen (The Rays)Heathen | 2002

82. Heathen (The Rays)Heathen | 2002

MOJO SAYS: A hymn to life or, more accurately, death.

81. Jump They Say Black Tie White Noise  | 1993

81. Jump They Say Black Tie White Noise | 1993

MOJO SAYS: A solo leap into the unknown.

80. WinYoung Americans | 1975

80. WinYoung Americans | 1975

MOJO SAYS: Young Americans' darkest horse.

79. Drive-In SaturdayAladdin Sane | 1973

79. Drive-In SaturdayAladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Where Ziggy glides effortlessly into a new era of Deco elegance. 

78. Silly Boy Blue David Bowie | 1967

78. Silly Boy Blue David Bowie | 1967

MOJO SAYS: The point where the Newleyisms became Bowieisms.

77. African Night Flight Lodger | 1979

77. African Night Flight Lodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: From Berlin to the heart of another continent.

76. D.J.Lodger | 1979

76. D.J.Lodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: The last days of disco, as full Major Tom crack-up beckoned.

75. The Drowned GirlBaal EP | 1982

75. The Drowned GirlBaal EP | 1982

MOJO SAYS: Bowie’s farewell to Berlin: cadaverously impressive.

74. SubterraneansLow | 1977

74. SubterraneansLow | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Bowie rediscovers sax appeal to tell the lives of others.

73. It’s No Game (No. 1)Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

73. It’s No Game (No. 1)Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Cathartic release with aggressive Japanese woman. Possibly inspired by Lennon.

72. Andy WarholHunky Dory | 1971

72. Andy WarholHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: Pop art meets art pop in ambivalent tribute.

71. Shadow ManToy | 2001

71. Shadow ManToy | 2001

MOJO SAYS: It’s like Starman, except you haven’t heard it.

70. Hallo Spaceboy1. Outside | 1995

70. Hallo Spaceboy1. Outside | 1995

MOJO SAYS: Major Tom as pretty hate machine.

69. The Hearts Filthy Lesson 1. Outside | 1995

69. The Hearts Filthy Lesson 1. Outside | 1995

MOJO SAYS: Post-Natural Born Killers rumination on pre-millennial tension.

68. Buddah Of SuburbiaBuddah Of Suburbia | 1993

68. Buddah Of SuburbiaBuddah Of Suburbia | 1993

MOJO SAYS: Bowie reassembles his past to escape from the present.

67. Something In The Airhours | 1999

67. Something In The Airhours | 1999

MOJO SAYS: End-of-days romance as American Psycho soundtrack.

66. Sons Of The Silent Age"Heroes" | 1977

66. Sons Of The Silent Age"Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Gorgeous swoon-song paean to a numbed race of neue menschen.

65. Teenage WildlifeScary Monsters (And Super Creeps)  | 1980

65. Teenage WildlifeScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Stay the fuck away from my patch, kid.

64. The Jean GenieAladdin Sane  | 1973

64. The Jean GenieAladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Bowie channels NYC’s Bohemian buzz into four-minute glam death ray.

63. China GirlLet's Dance | 1983

63. China GirlLet's Dance | 1983

MOJO SAYS: Bowie eats himself. Goes Top 10 around the world.

62. Word On A Wing Station To Station | 1976

62. Word On A Wing Station To Station | 1976

MOJO SAYS: A cry for help as conditional song of praise.

61. Absolute Beginners  Single | 1986

61. Absolute Beginners Single | 1986

MOJO SAYS: Pop farewell as drawn-out sigh.

60. Let’s Dance Let’s Dance  | 1983

60. Let’s Dance Let’s Dance | 1983

MOJO SAYS: A postmodern Twist And Shout.

59. Neuköln"Heroes" | 1977

59. Neuköln"Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: A saxophone colossus of existential bleakness.

58. Bring Me The Disco KingReality | 2003

58. Bring Me The Disco KingReality | 2003

MOJO SAYS: A magician works his magic – before the disappearing act.

57. What In The WorldLow | 1977

57. What In The WorldLow | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Robopop miniature keeps its eye firmly focused on the future.

56. Diamond DogsDiamond Dogs | 1974

56. Diamond DogsDiamond Dogs | 1974

MOJO SAYS: Things start to get really dark and weird – in a good way.

55. Queen BitchHunky Dory | 1971

55. Queen BitchHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: Midnight Cowboy chopped down to three riffing minutes.

54. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)Cat People OST | 1982

54. Cat People (Putting Out Fire)Cat People OST | 1982

MOJO SAYS: The brooding soundtrack to sexual coming-of-age.

53. Look Back In AngerLodger | 1972

53. Look Back In AngerLodger | 1972

MOJO SAYS: A white-knuckle gallop from the claws of the Grim Reaper.

52. John, I'm Only Dancing7-Inch Single | 1972

52. John, I'm Only Dancing7-Inch Single | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Bowie stays in character for the first post-Ziggy single.

51. Hang On To YourselfThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust | 1972

51. Hang On To YourselfThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Ziggy to fans: the mania starts here.

50. Black Country RockThe Man Who Sold The World | 1970

50. Black Country RockThe Man Who Sold The World | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Even when he can’t be arsed his imprimatur can turn base metal into gold.

49. KooksHunky Dory | 1971

49. KooksHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: A new father speaks for a generation of nervous bohemian mums and dads.

48. After AllThe Man Who Sold The World | 1970

48. After AllThe Man Who Sold The World | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Whispered, occultist proto-goth rock.

47. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

47. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Another coldwave classic from the album that invented the ’80s.

46. Fantastic VoyageLodger | 1979

46. Fantastic VoyageLodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: Bowie as Beckett: I can’t go on, I’ll go on. 

45. It’s Gonna Be MeYoung Americans (Outtake) | 1975

45. It’s Gonna Be MeYoung Americans (Outtake) | 1975

MOJO SAYS: It shoulda been this: the masterpiece that fell to Earth.

44. Slip AwayHeathen | 2002

44. Slip AwayHeathen | 2002

MOJO SAYS: The Bowie-Visconti team reunited after a 20-year gap.

43. All The Madmen The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

43. All The Madmen The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

42. Breaking GlassLow | 1976

42. Breaking GlassLow | 1976

MOJO SAYS: All kinds of unfathomable weirdness wrapped up in 35 words.

41. WarszawaLow | 1977

41. WarszawaLow | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Chilly score for a new profile.

40. Cygnet Committee David Bowie/Space Oddity | 1969

40. Cygnet Committee David Bowie/Space Oddity | 1969

MOJO SAYS: Nine-and-a-half-minute fantasia upending ’60s counterculture.

39. Can You Hear Me Young Americans| 1975

39. Can You Hear Me Young Americans| 1975

MOJO SAYS: On rediscovering the soul boy inside again.

38. Tis Pity She’s A WhoreB-Side | 2014

38. Tis Pity She’s A WhoreB-Side | 2014

MOJO SAYS: In the crosshairs, avant-pop and moral disturbance.

37. This Is Not America12-inch A Side | 1985

37. This Is Not America12-inch A Side | 1985

MOJO SAYS: Pop Bowie adrift in hypnagogic Cold War limbo.

36. The Next DayThe Next Day | 2013

36. The Next DayThe Next Day | 2013

MOJO SAYS: A proud survivor’s howl of defiance.

35. The Width Of The Circle The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

35. The Width Of The Circle The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

MOJO SAYS: “The monster was me!” Bowie’s finest heavy nugget.

34. Speed Of LifeLow | 1970

34. Speed Of LifeLow | 1970

MOJO SAYS: The wordless dawning of an icy Neu! era.

33. Panic In Detroit Aladdin Sane | 1973

33. Panic In Detroit Aladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Bowie sticks it to plastic insurgents.

32. Stay Station To Station | 1976

32. Stay Station To Station | 1976

MOJO SAYS: That rare moment when Bowie lets the band do the talking.

31. Where Are We Now? The Next Day I 2013

31. Where Are We Now? The Next Day I 2013

MOJO SAYS: Don't call it a comeback.

30. Aladdin Sane Aladdin Sane  | 1973

30. Aladdin Sane Aladdin Sane | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Anthem for doomed youth plus room-clearing piano/sax excursion.

29. Under Pressure (with Queen)Single | 1981

29. Under Pressure (with Queen)Single | 1981

MOJO SAYS: Bowie energy and a certain bassline unblocks Queen’s Hot Space jam.

28. The Bewlay BrothersHunky Dory | 1971

28. The Bewlay BrothersHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: His most enigmatic song, and a favourite of Lou Reed’s.

27. Be My WifeLow | 1977

27. Be My WifeLow | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Bowie sunk in a knees-up-Mother Brown study.

26. Five Years The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

26. Five Years The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Armageddon time in Ziggy’s Broadway-worthy prologue.

25. Boys Keep SwingingLodger | 1979

25. Boys Keep SwingingLodger | 1979

MOJO SAYS: Raw glitterstompf steams up the cool-box.

24. Up The Hill BackwardsScary Monsters (And Super Creeps)  | 1980

24. Up The Hill BackwardsScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Remember: “It’s got nothing to do with you if one can grasp it.”

23. Space Oddity Space Oddity | 1969

23. Space Oddity Space Oddity | 1969

MOJO SAYS: Bowie’s first UK Number 1 when it was reissued in 1975.

22. Suffragette CityThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

22. Suffragette CityThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: A cannonball of sexual angst and rock’n’roll fandom.

21. Rebel RebelDiamond Dogs | 1974

21. Rebel RebelDiamond Dogs | 1974

MOJO SAYS: Sayonara, Glam. Up yours, Mick!

20. Alternative CandidateDiamond Dogs (30th Anniversary Edition) | 1974/2004

20. Alternative CandidateDiamond Dogs (30th Anniversary Edition) | 1974/2004

MOJO SAYS: “I’m the Führerling,” announces Diamond David, controversially.

19. Station To StationStation To Station | 1976

19. Station To StationStation To Station | 1976

MOJO SAYS: Bowie falls to earth with a bump of coke.

18. FashionScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

18. FashionScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Bowie’s pointed satire on club culture; his best dance tune, naturally.

17. Oh! You Pretty ThingsHunky Dory | 1971

17. Oh! You Pretty ThingsHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: The impending demise of humankind never sounded so much fun.

16. QuicksandHunk Dory | 1971

16. QuicksandHunk Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: The first of Hunky Dory’s side-ending impenetrable ballads/enigmas.

15. TVC15Station To Station | 1976

15. TVC15Station To Station | 1976

MOJO SAYS: Edgy pop inspired by Iggy Pop.

14. Moonage DaydreamThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

14. Moonage DaydreamThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Bowie and Ronson’s finest four minutes.

13. Fame Young Americans | 1975

13. Fame Young Americans | 1975

MOJO SAYS: Bitterness. Disillusionment. Funk.

12. The Man Who Sold The World The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

12. The Man Who Sold The World The Man Who Sold The World | 1970

MOJO SAYS: A secretive, signature song on which Bowie’s career turned. Possibly.

11. Golden YearsStation To Station | 1976

11. Golden YearsStation To Station | 1976

MOJO SAYS: The dancefloor downfall.

10. Ashes To AshesScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

10. Ashes To AshesScary Monsters (And Super Creeps) | 1980

MOJO SAYS: Spaced-out for a new decade.

9. Ziggy StardustThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

9. Ziggy StardustThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Just Dandy: the comic-book creation that launched an urban spaceman.

8. Always Crashing In The Same Car Low | 1977

8. Always Crashing In The Same Car Low | 1977

MOJO SAYS: The downbeat interlude during Low’s side of songs.

7. Young AmericansYoung Americans | 1975

7. Young AmericansYoung Americans | 1975

MOJO SAYS: Bowie woos America with a seductive back-handed compliment.

6. Rock’N’Roll Suicide  The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

6. Rock’N’Roll Suicide The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: As perfectly constructed as the anthemic You’ll Never Walk Alone, with the same euphoric communion.

5. ChangesHunky Dory | 1971

5. ChangesHunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: Bowie takes on evolution and wins: look out, you rock’n’rollers.

4. Sound And VisionLow | 1977

4. Sound And VisionLow | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Don’t you wonder sometimes what Bowie’s on about?

3. StarmanThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

3. StarmanThe Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars | 1972

MOJO SAYS: Divine sparkle: Ziggy Stardust mobilises his forces.

2. "Heroes""Heroes" | 1977

2. "Heroes""Heroes" | 1977

MOJO SAYS: A punk-era reboot of Bowie’s star-gazing melodrama When I Live My Dream.

1. Life On Mars?Hunky Dory | 1971

1. Life On Mars?Hunky Dory | 1971

MOJO SAYS: The definitive ballad for a jaded generation.

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