I’ve always had my 80s Bowie album opinions flipped around – “Scary Monsters” is well-regarded as one of the greatest, and most would call “Let’s Dance” overrated / underwhelming / Bowie gone too mainstream. I’ve mentioned how I don’t like Scary Monsters as much as the average fan, and now I can reveal I absolutely love this album and would easily have it as a top 10. How would I rank the fantastic songs?
You can check out some of my other Bowie lists below:
8 – Ricochet
The only completely lifeless song on the album. I’m sure a lot of people could make a case for some of the other tracks being as bland and forgettable as this, but “Ricochet” is the only one I’d skip in a hurry.
7 – Without You
This song starts with an instantly catchy groove, and you can’t help but succumb to the rhythm as the track goes on. This is the “second worst” song on the album, but I’m already having a good time.
6 – Criminal World
Boasting an exceptional bass tone, “Criminal World” hooks you in straight away (much like the rest of the album). This is a good song, but I probably wouldn’t be comfortable recommending it to most people – it works for me, but I can see why most would disregard it.
5 – Shake It
I don’t think this closing track gets enough love – it has similar grooves to some of the top tracks on the album, but for some reason this one hasn’t gone down in history. The synth jabs add something new, and – you’ll hear this a lot for this album – you can’t help but dance.
4 – Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
An absolutely sensational song that doesn’t even make the top 3, so you know we’re dealing with some world-class songs.
I think I like the single version (the slower one) even more, and I really loved its use in “Inglorious Basterds”. I’ve linked the single version above, but I’d recommend listening to both versions if you have the time.
3 – China Girl
An undisputed classic, a staple of radio and one of Bowie’s most iconic songs, but there are still two tracks that I think are better.
For some reason, I just don’t see this going down as an all-time great, mainly because there are a couple of other tracks that I think will stand the test of time and outshine it.
2 – Modern Love
The opening track is still one of Bowie’s best.
The guitar riff sucks you into the swing instantly, and the chorus is one of Bowie’s catchiest ever. I had a tough time choosing between this and top spot, but I think you’d all agree that number 1 is the most iconic …
1 – Let’s Dance
After Bowie sadly passed away in 2016, there were 3 songs that were played everywhere, 3 tracks that defined him: “Space Oddity” (his first smash hit), “Heroes” (one of, if not THE greatest song of all time), and “Let’s Dance” – his biggest commercial success, and one of the first tracks that comes to mind when you envision the Thin White Duke.
The delayed guitar chords have become the stuff of legend, the trumpet jabs keep the energy going throughout, and Bowie’s vocal performance is one of his best. This song will be played for decades and centuries to come, and I’m looking forward to jamming to this wonderful tune when I’m in a retirement home at the ripe old age of 150.
Aaaand that’s my list. This will be the last great album for a while, so I may dunk on quite a few entries from here on. Until then, you can check out some of my latest blog posts:
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