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Best of Bowie

310 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 27, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2002 collection from one or Rock music's most influential artists. Features 20 tracks including 'Changes', 'Space Oddity', 'Fame', 'Let's Dance', 'China Girl', 'Ashes To Ashes' and more.

Though one of rock's most influential figures, David Bowie's accomplishments are pocked by some distinct ironies. His willful efforts at being a musical and visual chameleon spurred triumphs in genres as diverse as folk, glam, new wave, and electronica. Given the dizzying range and success of his '70s incarnations--from Ziggy to the Thin White Duke to the gaunt, goth-cypher of Low and Heroes--he seemed the artist most well-equipped to weather the changing tides of taste and trend, yet saw his career essentially shrink to cult status after scoring his biggest triumphs when he reshaped the soulless, dance-oriented club music of the early '80s into his own image. This 20-track compilation does little to address the Chinese puzzle that has been Bowie's post-'85 career, but it does deliver an artistically dizzying slate of hits as it skips from one early peak to the next, from evocative cabaret ("Space Oddity," "Changes") through muscular glam-rock ("Suffragette City," "The Jean Genie") to R&B ("Young Americans," "Fame") and post-punk flirtations ("Ashes to Ashes," "Fashion") to the dance-club hits ("Let's Dance," "China Girl," "Modern Love") and '80s one-off duets ("Under Pressure" with Queen, "Dancing in the Streets" with Mick Jagger) that essentially marked the end of his superstar reign. Whole eras and at least one classic '70s album (Low) go completely unaddressed, but all of Bowie's signature hits are here, as well as Earthling's powerful, underappreciated "I'm Afraid of Americans." --Jerry McCulley

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 27, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: March 27, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin / EMI
  • ASIN: B00006L736
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (310 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 155 people found the following review helpful By dcinDC on January 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm a big Bowie fan and overall this is a decent collection of his works. The two disc set has a better selection, but I liked that this single disc spanned his early to later hits. The sound quality is good.

HOWEVER, I was VERY disappointed to notice that several songs have been edited. They've been shortened to presumably include more songs on this single CD. A couple of instrumental parts within songs have been shortened (such as in Young Americans) and the endings of some songs have been truncated. This really bothers me.

If you're new to Bowie and don't know his music yet, this probably a good way to get a sample. If you know and love these songs, the edits might just drive you nuts. They sure bug me.
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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Vincent M. Mastronardi on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I find it very depressing that Amazon still hasn't put up the tracklisting for this album (the double CD version "Best Of Bowie" for America) so I guess I'm gonna have to do it.
Disc 1
1. Space Oddity 2. The Man Who Sold The World 3. Changes 4. Life On Mars? 5. Moonage Daydream 6. Suffragette City 7. Ziggy Stardust 8. All The Young Dudes 9, The Jean Genie 10. Panic In Detroit 11. Rebel, Rebel 12. Diamond Dogs 13. Young Americans 14. Fame 15. Golden Years 16. TVC15 17. Sound and Vision 18. "Heroes" 19. D.J.
Disc 2
1.Ashes To Ashes 2. Fashion 3. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) 4. Under Pressure 5. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) 6. Let's Dance 7. China Girl 8. Modern Love 9. Blue Jean 10. This is Not America 11. Dancing In The Streets 12. Absolute Beginners 13. Time Will Crawl 14. Under The God 15. Jump They Say 16. The Heart's Filthy Lesson 17. I'm Afraid Of Americans 18. Thursday's Child 19. Slow Burn
This listing is very unique because it includes the big pop hits (the poppy R&B meets rock guitar "Let's Dance"), culturally significant songs (revolutionary singer-songwriter moments like "Changes" and "All The Young Dudes") and excellent singles that didn't get the attention they deserved the first time (the industrial rocker "Heart's Filthy Lesson"). The fact that "Best Of Bowie" takes songs form nearly every Bowie studio album (except for the cover packed "Pin Ups" and "Buddha Of Suburbia", which in all fairness was a soundtrack) shows all the levels that the man works on musically. The seventies are where Bowie shines with everything from the edgy alien hard rock of "Ziggy Stardust" to the glam rock perfection of "Rebel, Rebel".
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As a long time David Bowie fan, many of the titles I own are on vinyl or cassette--and my primary motive in purchasing this 2 CD "Best of Bowie" compilation was to have core favorites in a digital format. In some respects, I was very pleased with the collection--but I was annoyed to find several key recordings are given in the "single" versions that were popular on the radio rather than in the full length versions that appeared on the albums from which they are drawn.
The abbreviated selections are "Young Americans," "Golden Years," "TVC 15," and "Heroes"--ironically, four of Bowie's most significant releases. Even more annoying, this is not indicated anywhere on the visible CD notes; it wasn't until I had the thing at home and on my DVD player that I realized something was amiss, and a glance at the inside liner notes confirmed my fears.
That said, it would be easy to quibble over what should and should not be included in this collection. If I myself had been programming it, I would have likely included "Lady Stardust" and "Rock and Roll Suicide"--and dropped several other titles in order to present every selection at full length. But the collection does hit all the most obvious choices and then some, even including the full-length and hard-to-find original film version of "Cat People," one of Bowie's most seductive vocals.
All of this said, since he first gained attention Bowie has been quite unlike any other recording artist--a true original whose recordings are still advanced even in comparison to those who followed in his wake. While the abbreviated selections will annoy purists like myself, the collection as a whole is an ideal choice for some one first coming to Bowie. Recommended, but with the stated reservations.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Nasti on September 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
There's no denying that David Bowie is one of the greatest artists in rock history (voted # 8 of all time by VH1), and condensing his 30 - plus years of music to a single or even double disc collection is difficult. In 2002, this feat was attempted with "Best Of Bowie". 20 of his best songs were included on this collection. How does it work? Read on for the positives and the negatives.


-Most of Bowie's biggest hits that the casual fan would be familliar with are here, including "Space Oddity", "Changes", "Rebel Rebel", "Young Americans", "Fame", "Let's Dance" and "China Girl".

-Underrated gems "Suffragette City" and "Ashes To Ashes" have been included as well.

-"Under Pressure", his collaboration with Queen, and the cover of "Dancing In The Street", a duet with Mick Jagger, found their way on to this collection.

-It's affordable and easy to find.


-A lot of great hits are missing. Where are "TVC 15", "Tonight" (with Tina Turner), "Cat People" (Putting Out Fire)", "Tuesday's Child", "DJ" and so many other classic Bowie tracks?

-Several tracks are edited.

-No liner notes.

-The two disc version of this collection puts this one to shame. With the same titel and packaing and 18 more songs, it is the one to own.

In conclusion, this is not really the best Bowie collection. Get the two disc version instead.
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