Best Of Bowie

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CD 1

1.Space Oddity (1999 Digital Remaster)
2.The Man Who Sold The World (1999 Digital Remaster)
3.Oh! You Pretty Things (1999 Digital Remaster)
4.Changes (1999 Digital Remaster)
5.Life On Mars?
6.Starman
7.Ziggy Stardust
8.Suffragette City
9.John, I'm Only Dancing (2002 Digital Remaster) 10.The Jean Genie
11.Drive In Saturday (1999 Digital Remaster)
12.Sorrow (1999 Digital Remaster)
13.Diamond Dogs (1999 Digital Remaster)
14.Rebel Rebel (1999 Digital Remaster)
15.Young Americans (Single Version)
16.Fame (1999 Digital Remaster)
17.Golden Years (Single Version)
18.TVC 15 (1999 Digital Remaster)
19.Wild Is The Wind (1999 Digital Remaster)

CD 2

1.Sound And Vision (1999 Digital Remaster)
2.Heroes (Single Version) (2002 Digital Remaster)
3.Boys Keep Swinging (1999 Digital Remaster)
4.Under Pressure
5.Ashes To Ashes (Single Version)
6.Fashion (Single Version)
7.Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (Single Version)
8.Let's Dance (Single Version)
9.China Girl (Single Version)
10.Modern Love (Single Version)
11.Blue Jean
12.This Is Not America (2002 Digital Remaster)
13.Loving The Alien (Single Version) (2002 Digital Remaster)
14.Dancing In The Street (2002 Digital Remaster)
15.Absolute Beginners (Single Version) (2002 Digital Remaster)
16.Jump They Say (Radio Edit)
17.Hallo Spaceboy (Pet Shop Boys Remix)
18.Little Wonder (Edit)
19.I'm Afraid Of Americans (V1) (Radio Edit Of Trent Reznor Mix)
20.Slow Burn (Radio Edit)



Pretty self-explanatory stuff, this, since Best of Bowie collects most of Bowie's hits and a few of his more fetishised songs onto two CDs, rendering previous compilations--notably 1990's ChangesBowie--redundant. Of course, it's fantastic. For this is Bowie's pop genius shrink-wrapped: music notable for both its pretension and its accessibility, brimming with unignorable power and bespangled absurdity. Racing through these 39 songs from "Space Oddity" to "Slow Burn" (from 2002's relative return-to-form Heathen), the surprise is how coherent they sound next to each other. For someone so often portrayed as an artistic shape-shifter, it's the consistency of Bowie's vision that's most apparent, how he stamps his identity on every trend he comes across.

Like the Rolling Stones' similarly enjoyable 40 Licks, things do get a bit sticky towards the end of Disc Two, though there's mercifully nothing from the two Tin Machine albums. Obsessives should note, too, that the tracklisting of Best of Bowie varies from country to country: the albums have been compiled according to the most popular songs in each territory. Wonder which lucky place got "The Laughing Gnome" included on their version? --John Mulvey

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