Bowie: Hidden Gems

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Credit: Hunter Desportes

Exactly one week prior to the fifth anniversary of his death, and just days before what would have been his 75th birthday, the entire catalogue of David Bowie’s legacy has sold.

The $250 million deal sees Ziggy’s classics land in the hands of Warner Music Group’s Warner Chappell. It comprises the entirety of his 27 studio albums, alongside tracks released from soundtracks and various other projects.

The likes of ‘Heroes’, ‘Space Oddity’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Rebel Rebel’, and ‘Let’s Dance’ sit comfortably in and amongst many of the Thin White Duke’s most beloved hits, however, there are many hidden gems often forgotten.

Bowie’s career spanned over 50 years of chart-toppers and fan favourites that will forever hold a place in our hearts. But is the scale of his talent truly acknowledged, or is it perhaps just the few repeated classics that cement Ziggy’s – very striking – stamp on the music world?

Whether these be B-sides or just highly underrated bops, an appreciation post for the father of androgyny’s chic yet eccentric flair is one that is most certainly overdue.

Here are 10 that you should definitely lend an ear to in order to fully recognise the brilliance of Bowie.

10. The Prettiest Star (1973 – 2020 Mix)

A return to the early days, long before Ziggy found his feet firmly on the ground. Nevertheless, always an impeccable musician and always embellished with striking guitar riffs, so maybe it’s time to give this one another go…

9. Lucy Can’t Dance (1993)

A toe-tapper to add to the catalogue, Bowie’s ability to travel from genre to genre is here as seamless as ever. Was there anything he couldn’t do?

8. Buddha of Suburbia (1993)

One from the soundtrack of the television adaptation, ‘Buddha of Suburbia’ takes us one step closer to a softer side of Bowie who sings of one suburban boy’s life.

7. Karma Man – John Peel (1968)

Who else could we turn to for ‘hidden gems’ other than the great John Peel? In much more Bowie fashion than some of the previous, a catchy arrangement sees yet another hit added to the list.

6. Who Can I Be Now? (1974)

Soaked in sax, ‘Who Can I Be Now?’ is sung straight from the soul as a self-examination. Surprisingly it was dropped, alongside two other tracks, only to be rediscovered by the listener much later than its initial recording.

5. London Bye, Ta Ta (1968 – 2020 Mix)

Undoubtedly it was never going to reach the heights of ‘Let’s Dance’ and such big hits, however ‘London Bye, Ta Ta’ is certainly a catchy tune fitting of the era which helps to showcase the development of Bowie in his truest form.

4. Bombers – In Concert – John Peel (1971)

The iconic sound of Bowie paired with an unusual subject – what more could you want? A typical rock-and-roll beat will certainly get you grooving along as the track moves seamlessly from piano to ‘pow’.

3. You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving (1965)

Despite being released under the Davy Jones & The Lower Third name, the track epitomises an early Bowie swagger – true to the chic ‘mod-tastic’ era.

2. Velvet Goldmine (1982)

A B-side very much hidden in the shadow of its companion, the track presents Bowie in his element. A bouncy yet snazzy composition, this bop is certainly undeserving of being overlooked – and not to mention the comical closing note.

  1. 1. Seven (1999)

A seemingly apt track to end on as Bowie sings softly of his life. Even if he can’t remember all the details, we will certainly always remember him.

Words by Lauren Whitehead


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