David Bowie

~ Person

Legal name: David Robert Jones


David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known as David Bowie (/ˈb.i/), was an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, and actor. He was a figure in popular music for over five decades, and was considered by critics and musicians as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft significantly impacted popular music. During his lifetime, he sold an estimated 140 million records worldwide. In the UK, he was awarded nine platinum album certifications, eleven gold and eight silver, and released eleven number-one albums. In the US, he received five platinum and seven gold certifications. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Born and raised in South London, Bowie developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity" became his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart after its release in July 1969. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, and it won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted radically towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK devotees but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie began a sporadic acting career, starring in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth. The following year, he further confounded musical expectations with the electronic-inflected album Low (1977), the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that would come to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.

After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He then reached a new commercial peak in 1983 with Let's Dance, with its title track topping both UK and US charts. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including industrial and jungle. Bowie also continued acting; his roles included Major Celliers in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), the Goblin King Jareth in Labyrinth (1986), Pontius Pilate in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and Nikola Tesla in The Prestige (2006), among other film and television appearances and cameos. He stopped concert touring after 2004, and last performed live at a charity event in 2006. In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with the release of The Next Day. He remained musically active until his death on 10 January 2016, two days after the release of his final album, Blackstar.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1967 David Bowie 2.7 8
1969 David Bowie (aka “Man of Words / Man of Music” then “Space Oddity”) 3.7 21
1970 The Man Who Sold the World 3.8 19
1971 Hunky Dory 4.5 24
1972 The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars 4.7 37
1973 Aladdin Sane 3.65 18
1973 Pin Ups 3.2 14
1974 Diamond Dogs 3.65 19
1975 Young Americans 3.6 15
1976 Station to Station 4.15 20
1977 Low 4.25 18
1977 “Heroes” 4.3 17
1979 Lodger 4 13
1980 Scary Monsters… and Super Creeps 3.15 13
1983 Let’s Dance 3.65 17
1984 Tonight 3 10
1987 Never Let Me Down 3.5 11
1993 Black Tie White Noise 2.55 8
1995 1.Outside: The Nathan Adler Diaries: A Hyper Cycle 3.9 18
1997 Earthling 3.7 15
1999 ‘hours…’ 3 17
2002 Heathen 4 19
2003 Reality 3.65 17
2013 The Next Day 3.55 15
2016 (Blackstar) 4.5 10

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1970 The World of David Bowie 1
1973 Images 1966–1967 4
1976 ChangesOneBowie 4
1977 Starting Point 2
1979 David Bowie 1
1980 The Best of Bowie 1
1981 ChangesTwoBowie 4
1981 Another Face 1
1981 Historia de la musica rock 1
1981 La grande storia del rock 1
1982 Rare 5
1982 Fashions 1
1982 Portrait of a Star 1
1983 A Second Face 1
1983 Golden Years 4
1984 Fame and Fashion (David Bowie’s All Time Greatest Hits) 6
1985 Rare Tracks 1
1989 Sound + Vision 4.5 9
1990 Changesbowie 4 9
1990 Introspective 1
1991 Early On (1964–1966) 3 1
1993 The Singles Collection 4 7
1993 The Gospel According to David Bowie 2
1995 RarestOneBowie 2
1997 The Deram Anthology 1966–1968 2

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