It didn’t seem fitting for us to only share one post about the legendary David Bowie. Having given us five decades of his music, we thought it was only right to put together a playlist of our staff’s top picks!
Here’s a look at our top 13 David Bowie songs!
1. “Under Pressure”
Chosen and written by Eric Riley
It’s is a bad, bad day. The world lost one of its most daring, eccentric, talented, all-around brilliant artists today. And, on top of that, I also lost any last remnants of belief in the possibility of magic or immortality. Because, I mean, if there were one person who possessed agelessness and never ending youth, it would have been David fucking Bowie.
I mean, throughout the seventies, he lived off of milk, red peppers, and cocaine. And still made music and toured and acted and all of that. What a champion.
Anyway, this is difficult – for the obvious reasons and for others. Obviously, I wasn’t expecting this. So I didn’t have a reaction prepared; I’m mostly just sitting here listening to Ziggy Stardust in my underwear.
And then, it’s difficult because where do you begin. The point of this is to choose one song, but that would be cramming a five-decade career into one short paragraph. And a legacy like Bowie’s physically can’t be compressed so easily. But I’m going to do what I can. And here goes.
Under fucking Pressure. I could say just that, and that would be enough. I’ve typed three words and my eyes started to water. It’s the greatest song ever written and I’ll punch you in the stomach if you disagree, mainly because if you don’t feel that pit in your gut every time you hear it, then that’s the least I can do for you and you have much bigger issues to worry about.
I’m not sure where I was the first time I heard it. But I can say that it was the same place I heard if for a second time. And a third. Because even though I can’t remember where or when it was, I remember making my dad play it again. And again. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. It was this clean, simple bassline / clap combo backed with mostly vocal nonsense, and it grows and grows into this huge mess of musical chaos. And it is flawless.
Either Bowie’s or Mercury’s vocals on their own are strong enough in any other setting, but here, neither of two of the greatest vocalists in history could have carried this song alone. Just before it comes to a close, there’s the controlled frenzy of both voices swirling together, drums and snares firing off, some piano thrown in for good measure, and then it calms to the same bassline and snaps to carry you out.
I’m having a tough time writing about this because it’s something that has never needed to be written about. Saying its a “classic” does it injustice, and also grants extra credit to some other lesser-worthy songs that have been given that label. It’s obviously a classic, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the song of a generation for every generation. There are deaf blind people without electricity who still probably know every word to “Under Pressure.”
Play it at my wedding.
Play it at my funeral.
Play it at 2am six times in a row so the cops have to get called for a noise disturbance when my girlfriend and I cleaning my apartment after drinking a bottle of wine and burning a frozen pizza. Hypothetically.
So, again, today is a bad, bad day.
We lost an icon.
But, I was wrong about magic and immortality.
Because if there are people who are going to live forever, one of them would be
David fucking Bowie.
Chosen and written by Kelly Peacock
Driving through darkness before crossing bridges with bright lights, I can’t help but think of “Heroes” by David Bowie. In love with the adventure I am on, Bowie’s voice makes me feel alive. I have so many doubts about love and who deserves my love the most. When I listen to Bowie’s voice in this song, it makes me feel adventurous. It makes me feel like love is worth the journey, and that the moments I am in now are the most important. “Heroes” makes me feel like despite any doubts or mistakes I could make with love, it doesn’t make me any less of a hero. To be brave enough, to be bold enough, to be loved and loving enough to go on a wild ride—that makes me a hero.
3. “Changes” chosen by Zach Foerst
4. “Golden Years” chosen by Gina Garcia
5. “Rebel Rebel” chosen by Gina Garcia
6. “Under Pressure (The Used/My Chemical Romance cover)” chosen by Anthony
7. “Space Oddity” chosen by Caitlyn Willard
8. “Suffragette City” chosen by Kerianne Wilson
9. “Dancing In The Street” chosen by Merva Sayegh
10. “Within You” chosen by Carina Browder
11. “Fame” chosen by Lucy Binetti
12. “Be My Wife” chosen by Jon Hecht
13. “Station to Station” chosen by Jon Hecht