Every David Bowie Single Ranked
Even after David Bowie became a star in the ‘70s with a string of albums that helped seal his legend, he still made records that were intended only for single release. Some of his best-known songs from the era – the original version of “Rebel, Rebel,” “John, I’m Only Dancing” – never made it onto studio albums. And well into the ‘80s, following his Let’s Dance commercial comeback, he was recording one-shot songs for movies.
Bowie’s singles catalog is vast. There are 119 of them altogether, dating back to when he was still known as David Jones and going all the way through to just days before his death. Some of his greatest songs were released as singles during his 50-year career. Some weren’t. (“Ziggy Stardust,” for example, appeared only on a single as a 1972 live version from 1994.)
Like many global stars, Bowie saw his work released at different times, and in different forms, in different parts of the world. U.K. singles differed from U.S. singles, which weren’t the same as the ones released in France. And occasionally, places like the Netherlands and Turkey would get 45 records that nobody else bothered to issue like that.
Our list of Every David Bowie Single Ranked includes many classics – from Ziggy Stardust to the Berlin Trilogy to his late-career renaissance – as well as many tracks from that slippery period where it seemed like the only songs he was recording were for forgettable movies. They all add up to one of rock’s greatest legacies.