Discover David Bowie’s Favorite Songs From His Own Catalog

Discover David Bowie’s Favorite Songs From His Own Catalog | I Love Classic Rock Videos

David Bowie - Clara Benigna / Youtube

In 2008, music icon David Bowie treated fans to a unique glimpse into his musical world by curating a compilation of his favorite songs from his extensive catalog. This collection, initially offered as a free gift with The Mail on Sunday, quickly became a sought-after collector’s item, showcasing Bowie’s personal perspective on his remarkable career.

The Exclusive Compilation

Bowie’s compilation featured 12 carefully selected tracks, providing a distinct insight into the artist’s musical journey. Originally exclusive to The Mail on Sunday, the CD became so popular that Virgin/EMI later released it with a booklet containing Bowie’s song-by-song comments, adding an extra layer of depth for fans eager to understand the artist’s creative process.

Unique Packaging and Special Edition: The US and Canadian release of the compilation came in a standard jewel case packaging, presenting a fitting cover for such a distinguished collection. In 2015, a limited edition red vinyl version was released to commemorate the opening of the “David Bowie Is” exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris in France, adding to the allure of this special compilation.


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Bowie’s Unconventional Choices

What makes this compilation stand out is Bowie’s deliberate avoidance of his most popular hits. Only three official singles made the cut: ‘Life on Mars?,’ ‘Loving the Alien,’ and ‘Time Will Crawl (MM Remix).’ Notably, the last track featured a remixed version by engineer Mario J. McNulty, incorporating newly recorded parts.

Bowie’s Personal Reflections: One of the standout tracks, ‘Teenage Wildlife,’ reflects Bowie’s experimental approach. In his own words,

“So it’s late morning, and I’m thinking, ‘New song and a fresh approach… Ersatz just for one day.’ And I did, and here it is. Bless. I’m still very enamored of this song and would give you two ‘Modern Love’s for it anytime.”

Another track that provides a glimpse into Bowie’s creative mind is ‘Life on Mars?,’ where he reminisces about the ease of its creation:

“This song was so easy. Being young was easy. A really beautiful day in the park, sitting on the steps of the bandstand. ‘Sailors bap-bap-bap-bap-baaa-bap.’ An anomic (not a ‘gnomic’) heroine. Middle-class ecstasy.”

The Mystery Behind ‘The Bewlay Brothers’: Bowie’s commentary on ‘The Bewlay Brothers’ unveils a personal touch. He shares,

“The only pipe I have ever smoked was a cheap Bewlay. It was a common item in the late sixties, and for this song, I used Bewlay as a cognomen – in place of my own.”

A Touch of Nostalgia in ‘Lady Grinning Soul’: The compilation also includes the obscure but beloved ‘Lady Grinning Soul,’ a song written for a girl Bowie hadn’t seen in over 30 years. Bowie reflects, “A song will put you tantalizingly close to the past, so close that you can almost reach out and touch it. The sound of ghosts again.”

Full Tracklist of David Bowie’s Favorite Songs:

  1. ‘Life On Mars?’ (Hunky Dory)
  2. ‘Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing’ (Diamond Dogs)
  3. ‘The Bewlay Brothers’ (Hunky Dory)
  4. ‘Lady Grinning Soul’ (Aladdin Sane)
  5. ‘Win’ (Young Americans)
  6. ‘Some Are’ (exclusive to this compilation)
  7. ‘Teenage Wildlife’ (Scary Monsters)
  8. ‘Repetition’ (Lodger)
  9. ‘Fantastic Voyage’ (Lodger)
  10. ‘Loving The Alien’ (Tonight)
  11. ‘Time Will Crawl (MM Remix)’ (new remix by David Bowie)
  12. ‘Hang On To Yourself [live]’ (Live Santa Monica ’72)