Original artwork by Cap Blackard. Prints and other versions available here.
Top Songs is a feature in which we definitively handpick the very best songs in an artist or band’s catalog. Sounds simple, right? Oh, if only.
It’s no exaggeration to say that 2016 rose and set with David Bowie. The year began, in a sense, with both a birth and a death — the jubilation of welcoming a new album soon blanketed by a sense of profound cosmic loss. A week ago, the year expired in another heap of accolades and reflections with a burgeoning constellation of blackstars ready to shoulder the galaxy. In between, the gifts he left us helped us negotiate a year that for all it gave seemed to take a lot more. With ★ on the turntable, we sought out meanings and narratives far more numinous and transcendent than #2016Sucks. We examined the relationships between art, artist, and mortality not in terms of ashes to ashes, dust to dust but “Ashes to Ashes”, Stardust to stardust.
As it turns out, 2017 also seems poised to be a year in which Bowie’s name remains on the tip of our tongues. This very morning, what would have been his 70th birthday, a new David Bowie EP and video beamed down from the ★ sessions. That’s how you know someone’s an icon — we still celebrate their birthdays after they’ve stopped having them. And to that party, along with some smiles and tears, we’re bringing our list of the 70 Bowie songs from across his entire catalog that best remind us that some stars shine a bit brighter than others and never show any signs of burning out.
Happy birthday to our eternal Starman.