2017-01-05

 

70 Damn songs that can make me break down and cry (and dance and sing and love and think)

This Sunday, January 8th will be David Bowie's 70th birthday. When he passed away last year, two days after his 69th birthday, I wrote that he was "the Rock God who outlived and outperformed Rock is dead". No doubt about that, but just to demonstrate here is a playlist with 70 of his songs. Each of these sufficient to make a career out of a regular musician. How many out there can boast 70 songs like these? And bear in mind that it was very hard to narrow the list to just 70. Not included are many others, such as hits like "Loving the Alien" or "China Girl", classics like "Song for Bob Dylan", "It ain't easy", "Beauty and the Beast", as well as recent masterpieces like "I can't give everything away", "killing a little time" or "Seven", and phenomenal live performances like the cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "America" at the 911 concert, Eddie Floyd's "Knock on Wood," and the covers of the Velvet Underground and the Rolling Stones on Ziggy's last show.

 Bowie was the ultimate artist and as it has been discussed, even his death gave us one of the most striking and high-quality artistic funeral I can think of: the perfect Blackstar album, as well as the haunting Lazurus video with David, as a bluebird passing to another station (with the mime suit from the Station to Station photos). He also worked on the Lazarus Musical, which contains three new amazing tracks that are really to be seen as part of Blackstar. It was one of the highlights of the past year that I was able to see the play in London, for sure.

 I have already ranked all of Bowie's albums, and did a live DJ set honoring him on the dancefloor. The playlist I thought of here contains 70 perfect songs, remixes and performances by anyone's measure. 70 that I like best, arranged in a loose narrative. I did not try to be complete; many other songs could be included from the man up in heaven that can also make be break down and cry. Happy 70th David Bowie. You were taken from us far too early; may you be free like a bluebird. Thank you for showing us art winning over death.


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