In no order…
Aladdin Sane (1973)
Aladdin Sane is the sixth studio album Bowie released in 1973. The album’s album cover is one of Bowie’s most recognisable and iconic to date. It is one of six Bowie entries in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time at number 277 and ranked No. 77 on Pitchfork Media‘s list of the top 100 albums of the 1970’s. The record became Bowie’s first album to reach number 1 in the UK and became the second best selling album there that year. The album went on to go Gold in France, America and the UK. To this day the album continues to gain a lot of recognition.
Best album track: Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)
Best single released: The Jean Jeanie
Hunky Dory (1971)
Hunky Dory was Bowie’s fourth album released in 1971. The record was his first release through RCA who became his label for the next decade. The album has received such acclaim with it being described as “a kaleidoscopic array of pop styles, tied together only by Bowie’s sense of vision: a sweeping, cinematic mélange of high and low art, ambiguous sexuality, kitsch, and class.” by AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine. The album peaked at number 3 in the UK making it Bowie’s highest charting album at that time. The two singles released Changes and Life On Mars? are considered two of Bowie’s signature and legendary singles.
Best album track: Oh! You Pretty Things
Best single released: Changes
Let’s Dance (1983)
Let’s Dance released in 1983 was Bowie’s most commercial album to date. The album had co-production by Chic’s Nile Rogers making the sound of the album more pop than rock. The title track of the album became one of Bowie’s most successful hits to date reaching number 1 in both the US and UK and various other countries. The album too was also topped the charts in various countries including the UK. Other singles Modern Love and China Love both peaked at number 2 in the UK making this a new peak for Bowie. With over 7 million copies sold worldwide, Let’s Dance still to this date is Bowie’s most successful and best selling album. To promote this record, Bowie went on a huge tour titled Serious Moonlight which went onto be super successful too.
Best album track: Shake It
Best single released: Modern Love
The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars (1972)
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, also known as the Ziggy Stardust album was Bowie’s fifth album released in 1972. The concept album is about a bisexual alien rock superstar, and includes use of a series of atonal and rhythmically irregular tape effects. The concept album sheds a light on the artificiality of rock in general, including issues of politics, drug use, and sexual orientation. It peaked at number 5 in the UK and number 75 in the US. Known as a fan favourite, the album has been considered one of the best albums of time with Rolling Stone’s magazine ranking it the 35th greatest ever. It was ranked the 20th greatest album ever in a 1997 British survey, the 24th greatest of all time by Q magazine and one of the 100 greatest releases ever by Time magazine. A concert film of the same name, directed by D.A. Pennebaker, was released in 1973.
Best album track: Hang On To Yourself
Best single released: Starman
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980)
In 1980 Bowie released his fourteenth studio album and his last on the RCA label, Scary Monsters his first following since the so-called Berlin Trilogy of Low, “Heroes” and Lodger (1977–79). Scary Monsters was another number 1 album in the UK and restored Bowie’s commercial standing in the US. The album contains some more of Bowie’s signature tracks that are defining 80’s hits like Ashes to Ashes and Fashion. The album went on to receive such critical acclaim and went Platinum in both the UK and Canada and Gold in France.
Best album track: It’s No Game (Part 1)
Best single released: Fashion