EVERY David Bowie Song Ranked (Part Two: 190-71)

We can leave the mediocrity behind us – it’s only “Good” and “Great” songs from here! Same rules apply as before, and if you don’t know what that is you can check out Part One here:

And here are a few of my related blog posts:

Good

190 – Without You

I don’t mind this fun track as much as others.

Also, well done Bowie for making 190 “Good” songs in his career! That’s more than every other artist I can think of.

189 – God Only Knows

People tend to rank this cover low, but I think it’s fine! Bowie’s definitely done worse covers in his career.

188 – Something In The Air

A decent track from “Hours …”. Bonus points for its use in the film Memento.

187 – Velvet Goldmine

One of Bowie’s more notable early non-album tracks, but I could never get into it as much as others. Still good though.

186 – After All

Some haunting vocals here.

185 – Song for Bob Dylan

Way more fun than other songs like “Andy Warhol” from “Hunky Dory”.

184 – When I Met You

A good track from the “No Plan” EP.

183 – No Control

Brian Eno’s production is excellent, but “No Control” doesn’t pop as much as it could.

182 – Don’t Let Me Down and Down

As mellow as it gets.

181 – Neighbourhood Threat

Love the guitars, despite the rest of the song being average.

180 – White Light / White Heat

Bowie loved playing this one live, and I can see why. The energy is great, but there’s not much substance for me to sink my teeth into.

179 – Cactus

Not sure about the lyrics, but the track itself has some good rock ideas.

178 – Shadow Man

Bowie at his most vulnerable, with some great metaphors and lyrics.

177 – Everyone Says ‘Hi’

I’m not entirely sure why this is the most popular track off “Heathen”, as whilst it’s good it’s hardly worth writing home about.

176 – Because You’re Young

Nothing too crazy, but the guitar work makes up for it.

175 – The Motel

The slow build-up drags on for too long, but the climax is worth it.

174 – An Occasional Dream

Some of the early Bowie songs are really quite charming, and “An Occasional Dream” is a highlight from his 1969 album.

173 – Slow Burn

Great vocal performance, and for a song called “Slow Burn” the pace is pretty fast!

172 – Star

Definitely the weakest song from “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust”, but still fun.

171 – Nite Flights

An underrated bop from “Black Tie White Noise”.

170 – Day-In Day-Out

One of the few good songs from “Never Let Me Down”.

169 – If I’m Dreaming My Life

Quite sombre and introspective.

168 – The Wedding

This is only a teaser of what’s to come, but it’s a good instrumental.

167 – Saviour Machine

One of the better rockers from “The Man Who Sold the World”.

166 – What’s Really Happening?

Some great verse lyrics – a fan won a lyric competition to get them featured on a Bowie album!

165 – Dead Man Walking

Full of energy and electronic goodness.

164 – A Better Future

Simple, yet effective.

163 – Criminal World

A harmless, danceable track.

162 – The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell

Great title, and full of energy.

161 – Cygnet Committee

9 minutes is a bit too long for me, but the climactic finale is awesome.

160 – I’ve Been Waiting for You

Still sounds fresh today.

159 – Chant of the Ever Circling Skeletal People

A bizarre yet memorable way to end “Diamond Dogs”.

158 – I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spaceship

It doesn’t get much odder than this.

157 – We Are Hungry Men

The only good song from his 1967 debut album.

156 – The Last Thing You Should Do

Quite hypnotic and entrancing.

155 – Tumble and Twirl

A fun, cheery track. It’s songs like this that make “Tonight” worth a listen.

154 – Looking for Lester

One of the better post-Low instrumentals.

153 – (You Will) Set The World On Fire

Rousing lyrics that make me want to jump out of my seat and sing along.

152 – Rock ‘n’ Roll With Me

Quite slow and methodical compared to others on “Diamond Dogs”, but it makes up for it with heart and soul.

151 – Art Decade

A classic instrumental from “Low” – I can feel the emotion and history radiating from this track.

150 – Seven

Laid-back and mellow.

149 – 1984

Full of drama and catchy lyrics.

148 – John, I’m Only Dancing

An off-beat melody, but that’s what I love about it.

147 – Don’t Look Down

Like with “Tumble and Twirl”, “Don’t Look Down” is a fun track from “Tonight” that I can turn my brain off to and enjoy.

146 – It Ain’t Easy

Verses are a little one-note, but choruses are huge.

145 – Lady Stardust

A lovely little ballad that adds to the Ziggy mythos.

144 – Warszawa

Bowie’s nonsensical Polish (or close enough) ramblings make this unique.

143 – Dirty Boys

The woodwind is excellent.

142 – It’s No Game (Pt. 1)

A little graining and chaotic, but a really fun way to start an album.

Great

141 – Buddha of Suburbia

This title track gets catchier and more memorable with each listen.

140 – Time Will Crawl

The 2018 remix is best, but the original is still a high point from Bowie’s 80’s efforts.

139 – You’ve Been Around

A underrated banger from “Black Tie White Noise”.

138 – Drive-In Saturday

Some fantastic lyrics about the apocalypse and people learning to procreate again – how on earth does he come up with it?

137 – Aladdin Sane

The most out-there Bowie song, with some clashing chords and musical ideas. The piano solo gets some getting used to, but it’s mesmeric.

136 – The Next Day

An excellent title track, and an explosive way to kick off his 2013 revival.

135 – Looking for Water

It’s only recently that I’ve learned to appreciate “Looking for Water” for its catchy lyrics and fun groove.

134 – Dancing Out In Space

The switch-up for the choruses is what makes this for me.

133 – I Would Be Your Slave

Downbeat, and yet one of the purest songs Bowie ever wrote.

132 – Time

Unlike any other song in Bowie’s discography, and an underrated one from “Aladdin Sane”.

131 – Outside

A great tone-setter for the album of the same name.

130 – Law (Earthlings on Fire)

More people need to listen to this track – it’s an insane way to end “Earthling”!

129 – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

Dark and twisted, which is what I love.

128 – Fill Your Heart

Can be sickly at times, but it’s oh so sweet.

127 – Heat

Slow and methodical, and yet it closes “The Next Day” brilliantly.

126 – Panic in Detroit

I love the panic in his voice and the lyrics.

125 – Up the Hill Backwards

The 7/4 time signature is a breath of fresh air, and the chorus groove is solid too.

124 – Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed

One of the more ambitious efforts from “Space Oddity”.

123 – God Knows I’m Good

Another one from his 1969 album, but the lyrical journey is what makes “God Knows I’m Good” stand out.

122 – Somebody up There Likes Me

A powerhouse of a soulful ballad.

121 – I’m Deranged

I love how Bowie took a softer, more self-depreciative approach to this subject matter.

120 – It’s No Game (Pt. 2)

A cooler, less chaotic version of part one, “It’s No Game (Pt. 2)” is a brilliant call-back to cap off a fantastic album.

119 – Segue – Ramona A. Stone / I Am With Name

I usually hate the segues, but this one is perverted and creepy enough that I actually enjoy it.

118 – 5:15 the Angels Have Gone

A great drum part, and some haunting synth and guitar lines too.

117 – The Supermen

A bombastic closer to “The Man Who Sold the World”.

116 – Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

One of the only good covers on “PinUps”.

115 – Joe the Lion

“Joe the Lion” is dwarfed by the title track immediately following it, but it serves as a great song on “Heroes”.

114 – We Prick You

Bowie went down some really dark and twisted lyrical paths on “1.Outside”, and “We Prick You” is one of the most unsettling.

113 – Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud

The orchestral arrangement sends this one up about the freeclouds.

112 – Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)

I have an irrational love for this 80’s cheese-fest. It’s badly produced, the lyrics are tacky, and yet somehow I still have fun with it and consider it to be the strongest on “Never Let Me Down”.

I found a survey recently where Bowie fans were asked to rank every song in his discography, and “Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)” came dead last! I guess I’m in the minority, then.

111 – Let’s Spend the Night Together

A simple cover on paper, but something about Bowie’s vocals keeps me coming back for more.

110 – How Does The Grass Grow?

One of the catchiest Bowie songs from the 2010’s.

109 – Who Can I Be Now?

I can’t believe this didn’t make the “Young Americans” album – it’s full of soulful goodness!

108 – What in the World

“What in the World” took a while for me to get used to, but nowdays I love how off-beat and unreserved it is.

107 – Slip Away

An immensely powerful song with some stunning lyrics.

106 – Hallo Spaceboy

One of the more well-known songs from “1.Outside”. The remixed version from the “Moonage Daydream” documentary made me appreciate the original even more.

105 – Boys Keep Swinging

Classic Bowie cheek and flair.

104 – Tonight (with Tina Turner)

A really underrated duet that hinges on your tolerance of Turner’s voice – I don’t mind her vocals, so I think it’s great.

103 – Girl Loves Me

The weakest song from “Blackstar”, but still suitably creepy and unsettling.

102 – Shake It

It was never going to be a classic, but “Shake It” is just about as much fun as you can have with a dance track.

101 – Blue Jean

“Blue Jean” is about as broad and commercial as it gets, and yet I still really like it. The vocals are what make it, I think.

100 – Sons of the Silent Age

There are some really underrated lyrics here, and the vocals on the choruses are excellent.

99 – Hang on to Yourself

I wasn’t a fan of “Hang on to Yourself” for the longest time, but nowadays I can appreciate it for the glam rock bop it is.

98 – Queen Bitch

Playful and cheeky.

97 – Yassassin – Turkish For: Long Live

It almost devolves into a chant at times, but it’s nothing if not capitvating.

96 – Win

The time signature switch-ups in the chorus always keep it fresh – no wonder this was one of Bowie’s personal favourites.

95 – A New Career In A New Town

One of the most joyous and jubilant instrumentals I’ve ever heard.

94 – She Shook Me Cold

Dirty and rocky, “She Shook Me Cold” is the most underrated song from “The Man Who Sold the World”.

93 – Fascination

There’s just something so groovy and fascinating about this track that keeps me coming back.

92 – The Wedding Song

It was teased in “The Wedding”, but “The Wedding Song” is the culmination of all of “Black Tie White Noise’s” ideas. A great album closer.

91 – I’d Rather Be High

Some deep lyrics about soldiers on the frontlines, and some lovely harmonies to boot.

90 – Watch That Man

The vocals are a little quiet, but otherwise “Watch That Man” is a fantastic album opener.

89 – Repetition

A great song that could have never been released today.

88 – Speed of Life

It was a ballsy move to open “Low” with an instrumental, but “Speed of Life” does enough to stick in your mind.

87 – Blackout

I love the frenzied panic in Bowie’s vocals.

86 – D.J.

Bowie’s attempt at mimicking Talking Heads’ erratic style – two artists that I absolutely love. I think he did great!

85 – This Is Not America

An underrated single that deserves more love.

84 – Red Sails

As triumphant and adventurous as a song can be.

83 – Beauty and the Beast

The harsh sounds and vocals can take some getting used to, but once you do it’s a phenomenal start to “Heroes”.

82 – Look Back in Anger

One of the catchiest, most frantic songs from “Lodger”.

81 – Right

Smooth and sexy, with just the right amount of class.

80 – V-2 Schneider

Named after a member of Kraftwerk, “V-2 Schneider” is a great song from “Heroes” that would never fit on any other album.

79 – Thru’ These Architects Eyes

One of Bowie’s most underrated songs. I never hear anyone talking about the amazing lyrics and groove!

78 – Untitled No. 1

Another underrated gem, this time from “Buddha of Suburbia”. It’s definitely not as polished as some of his other works, but listening to this track feels like taking a warm bath.

77 – Tis a Pity She Was a Whore

Helluva statement to make on your final album, and what a drum part!

76 – We Are The Dead

Groovy and unsettling, “We Are The Dead” is one of the crowning achievements on “Diamond Dogs”.

75 – Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)

Some people prefer the laid-back, jazzy single, but I’ve always favoured the chaotic album version for its crazy guitar and woodwind parts.

74 – Big Brother

One of Bowie’s catchiest and most chant-able songs. Also feeds into the album closer brilliantly.

73 – Cracked Actor

Vulgar and off-putting, “Cracked Actor” is yet another example of Bowie’s lyrical genius.

72 – Cat People (Putting Out Fire)

The slower original would have made my “Amazing” tier, but the album version is still great. On some days, I feel “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” is on-par with other classics from “Let’s Dance”.

71 – The Secret Life of Arabia

After three lacklustre instrumentals in a row, “The Secret Life of Arabia” rescues “Heroes” at the eleventh hour. One of my favourite Bowie closers.

Aaaand that’s the end of Part Two! The first and last part will be linked at the top of this post – Part Three will look at the best of the best.

You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:

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