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Bowie Playlist

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The ultimate Bowie playlist compiled and written by Bowie biographer Paul Trynka

Sound and Vision

(From Low)

Low, Bowie's masterpiece, was glacial and challenging. But there was also infectious optimism, as demonstrated by this irresistibly upbeat hit.

Warzsawa

(from Low)

Dark, haunting and melancholy, this instrumental was mainly pieced together by Brian Eno; its dour vibe was inspired by a gloomy stopover in Poland during Bowie's train jaunt to Moscow.

Be My Wife

(from Low)

Upbeat, engagingly human electronica. Bowie wanted an old-school, loving wife. Not Angie, to whom he happened to be married.

Sister Midnight

(from The Idiot, with Iggy Pop)

Spooky, gothic, psychotically simple, this prototype for Bowie's own work sounds better for being rough and ramshackle.

V-2 Schneider

(from Heroes)

Severe, funky, abstract, but with a juicy '50s sax melody and a chorus that namechecks a Krautrock hero (Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider) and a Nazi terror weapon. What's not to love?

Joe The Lion

(from “Heroes”)

A busy, dense, mini-epic, with slightly insane vocals that pay tribute to a slightly insane artist; Chris Burden, who shot himself in performance pieces.

'Heroes'/'Helden'

(from Christiane F soundtrack)

This version of the evergreen “Heroes” features two verses in German for extra Teutonic cool. Altogether now, “Ich bin dann koenig.”

Success

(with Iggy Pop, from Lust For Life)

Iggy was rock's most celebrated failure. Until Bowie helped him out; this upbeat romp is a career highlight for the punk legend, and one of Bowie's finest melodies and productions.

Boys Keep Swinging

(From Lodger)

Camp singalong with the most skewed, scary guitar solo of all time, courtesy of Adrian Belew.

The Drowned Girl

(from Bertolt Brech's Baal)

This rarity, impossible to find on CD, was Bowie's Berlin swan song – a masterclass in old-school singing.

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