This is one of Bowie’s best albums ever, and I’d consider this to be a musical masterpiece. I can definitely understand if people didn’t like this one, but to me it’s a perfect example of a musician experimenting with their sound. How would I rank all of the songs?
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11 – Weeping Wall
I actually quite like most of the instrumental tracks on “Low”, but “Weeping Wall” isn’t as good as the others. Nothing interesting happens in it, and it’s very repetitive.
10 – Art Decade
Slightly better in terms of instrumental tracks, and “Art Decade” was even close to getting in the “Good” tier. I guess this just isn’t as memorable as some of the other tracks on the record.
9 – Warszawa
This has what the other two instrumental tracks I’ve mentioned earlier was lacking – atmosphere. It’s amazing how Bowie and Eno created some eerie, melodramatic pieces that would never fit on a different album, but feel right at home on “Low”.
8 – What in the World
Possibly the strangest song on the album in terms of its sound choice, but with every subsequent listen it gets better and better (much like the rest of “Low”).
7 – Always Crashing in the Same Car
I think everyone who has heard this song can relate to the hopelessness of the lyrics “Always crashing in the same car”. There’s an emotional weight to this track that I love, and it sounds like Bowie is singing straight from the heart.
6 – A New Career in a New Town
A more playful instrumental track than some of the others, and I quite like how it stands out as a result.
5 – Speed of Life
It was a bold move to start “Low” with a purely instrumental track, but the risk paid off and we got an excellent opening track to an amazing album that sets the tone perfectly.
4 – Be My Wife
One of my favourite features of this album is the excellent bass playing – “Be My Wife” and the top 2 tracks were all performed flawlessly by George Murray, and I couldn’t imagine “Low” without his prowess and flair.
3 – Subterraneans
Most of the instrumental tracks on “Low” range from “OK” to “Good”, but for some reason “Subterraneans” hits me right in the feels. The songwriting is so subtle with how it gradually progresses from point A to B, and the vocalisations near the end are angelic. I can’t think of a more perfect way to end the record.
Fun fact – there are more instrumental tracks on “Low” than songs with lyrics (6 instrumental out of 11 tracks).
2 – Breaking Glass
The first “proper” track on the album, and my goodness is this an underrated gem. This might be my favourite Bowie vocal performance on the album (which is already saying something), and as I’ve said before the bassline is exceptional. This would easily be the best song on any album if it wasn’t for an “All-Time Great” later on the record.
1 – Sound and Vision
It’s hard to say in words what makes “Sound and Vision” so good – it’s an enigma that ditches a lot of common song tropes. There’s barely a structure for a start, it’s really just Bowie expressing himself lyrically and musically in a way that is unparalleled in music history. I hope people remember how good this track truly is, and I’m sure it will be considered a classic for years to come – much like the album itself.
Aaaaand that’s my list. This was the start of the Berlin trilogy (“Low”, “Heroes”, “Lodger”) so we have another fantastic album up next. Until then, check out some of my other lists below:
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