59 Songs Ranked: Nothing Has Changed The Very Best Of David Bowie

Nothing Has Changed

Nothing Has Changed

Nothing Has Changed, the recently released David Bowie “Very Best Of” chronologically lays out 59 of his songs in its three-disc deluxe version.

It also very ably illustrates the many musical diversions Bowie has taken throughout his career, whether they be zoot suit mod rock, blue-eyed soul, glam, new wave, disco, industrial or pretty much any other sub-genre which was trending at a given time.

What it doesn’t do, however, is pass much in the way of judgment.

That’s what we’re here for… namely to rank all the songs on Nothing Has Changed and therefore determine — at least within the parameters of what’s presented here — a ranking of 59 “best” Davie Bowie songs from worst to, well, best.

The Rankings:

59) “Jump They Say (radio edit)” … This sounds like the worst parts of ’90s alternative music.
58) “Absolute Beginners (single version)” … A complete non-event.
57) “Let Me Sleep Beside You”
56) “Sue (or In A Season Of Crime)” … Unearthed for Nothing Has Changed, this evokes a bad Tim Buckley impersonation.
55) “Seven (Marius De Vries mix)”
54) “Your Turn To Drive” … Infuriatingly — or perhaps appropriately — directionless.
53) “Strangers When We Meet (single version)”
52) “Where Are We Now?”
51) “Everyone Says ‘Hi’ (edit)”
50) “Buddha Of Suburbia
49) “Little Wonder (edit)” … Bowie discovers jungle. Nobody wins.
48) “Silly Boy Blue” … That short period when Bowie was a hippie.
47) “Shadow Man” … Attempting to sound like Elvis Costello is a downgrade.
46) “Sound And Vision”
45) “Dancing In The Street (with Mick Jagger)” … We’ll stick with Martha And The Vandellas.
44) “Modern Love (single version)”
43) “Blue Jean”
42) “Under Pressure (with Queen)” … A person should cease having any interest in anything Queen-related once they reach the age of 14.
41) “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)”
40) “Time Will Crawl (MM remix)”
39) “In The Heat Of The Morning”
38) “Survive (Marius De Vries mix)”
37) “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”
36) “The Heart’s Filthy Lesson (radio edit)”
35) “Slow Burn (radio edit)”
34) “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving” … Standard ’60s mop-top pop.
33) “Sorrow”
32) “Drive-In Saturday”
31) “Hallo Spaceboy (PSB Remix) (with The Pet Shop Boys)”
30) “Diamond Dogs”
29) “Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA Edit)” … Remixing the songs of classic rockers can be a minefield but Murphy’s subtle, aware-of-legacy touch works here.
28) “New Killer Star (radio edit)”
27) “Thursday’s Child (radio edit)”
26) “Fashion (single version)”
25) “Rebel Rebel”
24) “Heroes (single version)” … Lennon and McCartney used to have a thing they called “Let’s write a swimming pool” — basically churning out a pandering hit for $$$. This song feels like a favour to publishers.
23) “The Man Who Sold The World” … Still golden, but Nirvana’s unplugged version probably has more passion.
22) “Wild Is The Wind (2010 Harry Maslin Mix)”
21) “Boys Keep Swinging”
20) “China Girl” (single version) … If this song was released today would (could) it be a hit? Or is it socially unacceptable now?
19) “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
18) “Loving The Alien (single remix)”
17) “All The Young Dudes” … Mott The Hoople are more invested when they perform it.
16) “Changes”
15) “Oh! You Pretty Things” … Probably the definition of lipstick glam Bowie.
14) “The Jean Genie (original single mix)”
13) “Golden Years (single version)”
12) “Let’s Dance (single version)” … This was annoyingly inescapable in the ’80s, but there’s an undeniable swagger to this song that you have to be a rock star to pull off.
11) “I’m Afraid Of Americans (V1) (clean edit)” … Bowie goes industrial and it works.
10) “Life On Mars? (2003 Ken Scott Mix)” … Mostly this song triggers flashbacks of DI Sam Tyler and the brilliant TV show (British version only) of the same name.
9) “Young Americans (2007 Tony Visconti mix single edit)” … There’s a clip of Bowie performing this song live in the 20 Feet From Stardom documentary. After you watch that it all makes sense.
8) “Ashes To Ashes (single version)”
7) “This Is Not America (with The Pat Metheny Group)” (3.51) … There’s a pensive feeling here that probably represents Bowie’s best musical rumination on America.
6) “Ziggy Stardust”

The Top Five:

5) “Fame”

The blunt jabbing qualities of this John Lennon-assisted song perfectly capture a sort of rage Bowie didn’t often display.

4) “Liza Jane”

Originally recorded as Davie Jones And The King Bees in the early days before Bowie became “Bowie,” this song has that same magical quality that The High Numbers (who became The Who) displayed on “Zoot Suit,” or The Rolling Stones on their early blues covers. When you listen you can feel there’s more than just a standard rock ‘n’ roll song there.

3) “Moonage Daydream”

It’s not until an exercise like this that you realize how preoccupied with the cosmos Bowie was… or how great many of these trips were.

2) “Starman (original single mix)”

This song represents the ultimate romantic idealization of David Bowie.

1) “Space Oddity”

The best attribute of “Space Oddity” is the way it inflames the imagination. There are few songs, be they by Bowie or anyone, which can take you on a journey this grand.

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