There is an assumed hierarchy amongst Bowie fans that certain albums will always be revered, and others forever consigned to the box that could be kindly labelled ‘errors in judgement’. The assumption is that everyone loves the ‘Berlin’ trilogy, and nobody likes ‘Pin Ups’.
That assumption is reversed here, as the albums are rated on their ability to rock – something most critics frown upon. This list works on the inherent assumption that more guitar equals more rock’n’roll – the reverse is true for the keyboard dominated works.
A couple of borderline Bowie albums – ‘Christiane F’ and ‘Peter & The Wolf’ have been kicked out for the two studio Tin Machine albums – a move that is guaranteed to offend the Bowie purists.
It is actually hard to nail down a definitive list of Bowie albums – to include ‘At The Beeb’ and ‘Live At Santa Monica’ or not, for example. I’ve chosen to include them as they are considerably better than many of the late-career records that Bowie delivered.
32. Heathen (2002)
Don't be fooled by the success of ‘Heathen’, given its chart placing. After a long gap between albums, Bowie's loyal fan base was certain to lap up anything he released, and to suspend their critical faculties into the bargain.
All hail the virtues of brand loyalty for an album without one memorable song.
There is a constant theme through the albums that Bowie released from the late ‘80s onwards, a lack of great songs and a rabid over-reaction from blindly loyal fans and the kind of critics who would have looked down with disdain upon the glam rock years and dismissed the Tin Machine era albums as too ‘rock’.