With the recent release of Brett Morgan’s cinematic documentary Moonage Daydream, the Starman is once again at the forefront of popular culture. With over 16 million monthly listeners on Spotify, the popularity of David Bowie is at an all time high.
Aside from crafting over 60 Top 40 hits in career life between 1969 and 2016, Bowie remained a constant innovator, with styles, ideas, looks, and even genre labels frequently shifting between albums. The Thin White Duke was never one to shy away from experimenting or trying to shake up popular music with a long list of crazy collaborators, including Brian Eno and Robert Fripp. Even from his very first album, 1967's David Bowie, he was never one to shy away from trying out something totally weird.
Often tucked away in between more commercial and radio friendly songs, each Bowie album contains a song or two totally alien to the standard forms of structure, time signature, instrumentation, lyrical content, and even standard song length.
Here’s a selection of some of the weirdest and oddest creations to come from David Bowie’s 26-album discography.
10. Blackstar - Blackstar (2016)
This song and album certainly proved that right up until the end of his life, David Bowie was a constant innovator. The title track from his last studio offering, 2016's Blackstar features an all new band backing Bowie in the studio.
In a departure from his more rock and pop orientated output, this album saw David return to the genre that inspired him so much as a teen: jazz. Backed by New York jazz quartet the Donny McCaslin Band, the title track is a near ten-minute experimental art rock jazz fusion odyssey, with one of the oddest and most memorable drum grooves driving the song. Halfway through this experimental journey we are given a brief moment's calm, descending into an almost pop song, with Bowie reflecting upon life and mortality throughout.
The composition is also accompanied by one of the strangest music videos of all time, depicting the death of long-time recurring Bowie character Major Tom, who was the astronaut in David Bowie's first hit singe, 1969's Space Oddity.
Upon release, it was the longest single ever to break the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA at 9 minutes 57 seconds, until the release of Tool's Fear Inoculum in 2019.