We Count Down And Listen To David Bowie’s Favorite Songs

We Count Down And Listen To David Bowie’s Favorite Songs | Society Of Rock Videos

via David Bowie/YouTube

From Rockstar to DJ

On May 20, 1979, David Bowie presented some of his favorite songs of all time in a rarely-heard program – the two-hour long Star Special show on BBC Radio One. Bowie shared music from artists who were yet to break into mainstream and he also cheerfully chatted with the listeners. He’s funny, charming, and well, he liked laughing at his own jokes too.

With his playlist, it’s clear that Bowie enjoyed listening to songs from obscure musicians. He had an eclectic mix of tunes from punk rock to folk. Listen to him take over the radio below.

Here are some of his comments on the tracks (via BBC):

On Iggy Pop’s “TV Eye”

“A buddy of mine, Iggy Pop. This is just something that I remember with affection because it’s when I was with him on tour, playing piano for him.”

On John Lennon’s “Remember”

“I think this is a really despondent track. He left his band and he was doing his first solo album and I found it rivetingly depressing and really enjoyed playing it to myself.”

On The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”

“The first single that I heard when I first went to America on the first day that I got there was in New York and I was taken over to a writer’s apartment that he had, I think it was probably on 8th Avenue somewhere, and he played me a new album that had just come out and he was very excited about this track – and so was I – and I expect you were as well when you heard it. It was Sweet Jane by the Velvet Underground.”

On Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign”

“Here’s a band that I admire very much. Some very, very charming people, David Byrne in particular. I’m talking about Talking Heads of course. Here’s a track from their last album ‘More Songs About Buildings and Food’. I found this very impressive, it took me back actually to the days of the early Yardbirds, I don’t know why.”

On Ronnie Spector’s “Try Some, Buy Some”

“Here’s a song that made me fall in love with the singer. Absolutely incredible. My heart went straight out to her. It was produced by Phil Spector. I may be wrong, but I think it’s the last single that he ever made because he was so depressed that it didn’t do anything, that nobody bought it. Which is quite ironic really, because the title is ‘Try Some Buy Some’. It’s by his ex wife, Ronnie Spector.”

On Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”

“Here’s a great writer. I don’t like what he’s doing very much now. I loved this album when it came out, it was on ‘…Asbury Park’. And after I heard this track I never rode the subway again… That really scared the living ones out of me, that.”


The Doors, “Love Street”
Iggy Pop, “TV Eye”
John Lennon, “Remember”
? & The Mysterians, “96 Tears”
Edward Elgar, “The Nursery Suite” (extract)
Danny Kaye, “Inchworm”
Philip Glass, “Trial Prison”
The Velvet Underground, “Sweet Jane”
Mars, “Helen Fordsdale”
Little Richard, “He’s My Star”
King Crimson, “21st Century Schizoid Man”
Talking Heads, “Warning Sign”
Jeff Beck, “Beck’s Bolero”
Ronnie Spector, “Try Some, Buy Some”
Marc Bolan, “20th Century Boy”
The Mekons, “Where Were You?”
Steve Forbert, “Big City Cat”
The Rolling Stones, “We Love You”
Roxy Music, “2HB”
Bruce Springsteen, “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”
Stevie Wonder, “Fingertips”
Blondie, “Rip Her To Shreds”
Bob Seger, “Beautiful Loser”
David Bowie, “Boys Keep Swinging”
David Bowie, “Yassassin”
Talking Heads, “Book I Read”
Roxy Music, “For Your Pleasure”
King Curtis, “Something On Your Mind”
The Staple Singers, “Lies”

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