David Bowie’s 30 best songs

Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Morrissey, Ricky Gervais and more choose their favourites…

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26 Always Crashing In The Same Car
From Low (January 1977)
“Every chance that I take, I take it on the road…” Three minutes of bleak, breathtakingly nihilist melodrama, and a powerful metaphor for making the same mistakes over and over again…

RICKY GARDINER (Low guitarist): I was surprised when I got the call to play guitar on Low. I wasn’t as familiar with David’s work as I might have been. My impression of David was of a man who took life seriously and who understood the need to keep working, irrespective of what else may have been going on in his life. That is worthy of respect. He also kept working when not necessarily feeling in top form. David, Iggy Pop and I are near contemporaries [Gardiner also played on Iggy’s Lust For Life, and composed the music for “The Passenger” ] – there is something like 18 months between us. Brian [Eno] is not far away in age either. What makes this generation of musicians tick is creative expression. It is pleasure and release. It is identity and purpose. It’s love at a deep level, together with the challenge that brings.


I wasn’t instructed in any way at all regarding modes of approach or specific techniques. When it came to overdubbing the solo in “Always Crashing…”, David hummed the first few notes he wanted and I took it from there. These things don’t evolve as such. They happen spontaneously and the engineer has to catch them. I believe it was generally well received at the time. People do ask me about that solo so it must mean something out there!

25 Can’t Help Thinking About Me
By David Bowie & The Lower Third. Released as a single, January 1966.
Did not chart. Available on David Bowie: Early On (1964-66)
The first song released as Bowie: a would-be mod anthem about leaving home and making it on your own

STEVE VAN ZANDT: This is one of those really classic garage rock things that I have in my permanent playlist. I’m not really a Bowie expert, but he was quite a good, mod-ish rocker before he went into the John Lennon-slash-glam thing. I love his early stuff. He had a blues band, The King Bees, who were great, and then The Lower Third. I play early things by people in spite of their success. All of that British scene were good – The Move, The Pretty Things, The Creation, The Animals. But Bowie was a great blues singer, a great interpreter. There’s a song or two later on – “Rebel Rebel” is a wonderful track – but that era for me is it. There was a lot going on there, and he was a big part of it.


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