“If you can possibly get your hands on any of these I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure” – Here are David Bowie’s 25 favourite records ever.
Back in 2003, David Bowie did an interview with Vanity Fair where he talked about his favourite records (vinyl that is) of all time and why he adores them so much. The interview was a rare insight into Bowie’s musical tastes that had been largely forgotten until his death in January this year when it resurfaced once again.
As Open Culture uncovered, David Bowie rummaged through his impressive collection of 2,500 records to pick out 25 records he said, “could change your reputation.”
Predictably, the list is a rich sonic tapestry. His favourites range from The Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico to lesser-known folk records like The Incredible String Band’s The 5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion, to theatrical cast recordings like Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.
He goes into depth about each record and what effect they had on him. “If you can possibly get your hands on any of these,” he said in the interview, “I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure.”
If there’s anyone you should listen to on this topic, it’s Bowie.
Here is the list. Get hunting. And make sure you read the original article [via Vinyl of The Day] where Bowie talks about each.
The Last Poets — The Last Poets
Shipbuilding — Robert Wyatt
The Fabulous Little Richard — Little Richard
Music for 18 Musicians — Steve Reich
The Velvet Underground & Nico — The Velvet Underground
Tupelo Blues — John Lee Hooker
Blues, Rags and Hollers — Koerner, Ray and Glover
The Apollo Theatre Presents: In Person! The James Brown Show — James Brown
Forces of Victory — Linton Kwesi Johnson
The Red Flower of Tachai Blossoms Everywhere: Music Played on National Instruments — Various Artists
Banana Moon — Daevid Allen
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris — Cast Album
The Electrosoniks: Electronic Music — Tom Dissevelt
The 5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion — The Incredible String Band
Ten Songs by Tucker Zimmerman — Tucker Zimmerman
Four Last Songs (Strauss) — Gundula Janowitz
The Ascension — Glenn Branca
The Madcap Laughs — Syd Barrett
Black Angels — George Crumb
Funky Kingston — Toots & The Maytals
Delusion of the Fury — Harry Partch
Oh Yeah — Charles Mingus
Le Sacre du Printemps — Igor Stravinsky
The Fugs — The Fugs
The Glory (????) of the Human Voice — Florence Foster Jenkins
While you’re here, check out David Bowie’s favourite books of all time too.