Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

David Bowie: The top 10 tracks from an amazing musical career

David Bowie
David Bowie


WHEN Bowie had the smart idea of inviting fans to choose the songs for his 1990 tour, his worst fears came true.

Given such a chance, they asked en masse for The Laughing Gnome!

A throwaway joke song from his early days, with speeded-up gnome voices and terrible puns, serious artist David often wishes he could change the past and bury it in a garden somewhere.

“It’s the Gnome Service!”, “Haven’t you got a gnome to go to?”, “The gnome office”, “You look like a rolling gnome” . . . no, it wasn’t his best work.

And no, he definitely didn’t please his fans and perform it.



TONY VISCONTI, who produced Bowie’s first proper album, hated this, thought it was a novelty song, and let someone else produce it.

Now, 45 years on, Tony admits it is rather good and he does feel a bit embarrassed.

Songwriters were in a race to pen the first ditty about the then-sensational Space Race, but it was Bowie who got there first and gave it a dramatic twist.

His astronaut, Major Tom, finds his spaceship goes a bit wonky, and he is left up there, in his “Tin can”, spinning around the planets for all time.



Tributes paid to ‘extraordinary’ David Bowie after legendary musician dies aged 69
Life in the 70s with a music legend by David Bowie’s drummer Woody Woodmansey



A TOUCHING, almost-unknown track from his Space Oddity album, this is all about a little old lady caught shoplifting.

“A woman hot with worry slyly slipped a tin of stewing steak, into the paper bag at her side,” it goes, and it showed Bowie’s talent for observing life around him.

He doesn’t often talk about The Beatles, but Bowie loved their vivid lyrics, and even did a strange song called Please Mr Gravedigger, complete with rain and thunder.

Very Eleanor Rigby, as was this one, about a lonely woman’s unhappy life.



STILL starstruck, Bowie was thrilled to meet the maverick artist in New York, and the first thing he did was to play him this song.

Warhol hated it from the first note, eventually shaking his head and walking out of the room, leaving David on the verge of tears.

Another version of this tale says Warhol was mortified, as he thought it was making a fool of him. He stared at Bowie for a while, muttered: “I like your shoes”, and then walked out.

Either way, it’s said he eventually came to appreciate it, and it is a big part of Hunky Dory, one of the all-time classic Bowie albums.



THROUGH most of his career, much has been made of Bowie’s stepbrother, Terry, who’d suffered with mental illness and was in and out of institutions, eventually throwing himself under a train in 1985.

A schizophrenic, Terry had described hallucinations to David, who never forgot the vivid images he heard about.

Bowie has often said, half-seriously, that madness runs in the family, and at times he has drifted dangerously close to it himself, especially in the late 1970s.

At that time, he was reading about Hitler, the Holy Grail, Black Magick and all sorts of dark stuff, but he never wrote anything quite as disturbing as this song.



ZIGGY was based on The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, an eccentric Texan singer, and Vince Taylor, an English singer who fell to drug abuse after a short and wild career.

This song, the album it was on and the tours that followed, would finally make Bowie a household name, but Ziggy also took over his life.

Bowie has often admitted that he took to playing the part of him not just on stage, but off, too, and at times lost touch with himself.


1984 (1974)

BOWIE had big ideas about a musical version of George Orwell’s classic book, but the writer’s widow, Sonia, had other ideas.

The singer had written enough material for a whole album about Big Brother, Newspeak and the many horrors of the anti-totalitarian bestselling novel.

However, Mrs Orwell was deeply protective of her late husband’s estate, and refused to have any Bowie connections.

As David had even built a miniature city to make a film to go with the tunes, he must have been disappointed, but his Diamond Dogs album, with this song, one called Big Brother and another called We Are The Dead all featured references to the book.


FAME (1975)

BOWIE shared something with John Lennon — both men liked people to love their work, but hated the pressure that goes with it.

He was larking around with the former Beatle, playing a repetitive melody, and noticed Lennon shouting a single word now and then.

When Lennon explained it was “Fame”, they started to put this song together, which ironically brought Bowie many new fans.


“HEROES” (1977)

RECORDING beside the Berlin Wall, our hero looked out the window, saw a couple talking intimately, and came up with this song.

It has become a real Bowie blockbuster, about the lovers daring to meet by the Wall during the Cold War.

Trouble was, the couple he spotted were his producer, Tony Visconti, and a lady involved with the “Heroes” album.

And she wasn’t Mary Hopkin, of Those Were The Days fame, and Tony’s then wife!

By the way, “Heroes” gets the quotation marks because they are ironic heroes. Bowie liked the idea, but knew there was nothing romantic about the Berlin Wall.



THERE aren’t many stars who get away with writing a song about a character from another of their songs.

The Beatles line “I told you ’bout Strawberry Fields” is one, and Ashes To Ashes saw Bowie bringing us an update on his astronaut lost in space 11 years earlier.

Alas, Major Tom is now a junkie, and Bowie’s video for the song saw him singing from inside a padded cell.

It gave Bowie another No 1 hit.

What’s your favourite Bowie song? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet @sunday_post