David Bowie tunes

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David Bowie changed his name so he wouldn’t be confused with the Monkees’ lead singer!

David Bowie was an English singer, songwriter, actor, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, and audio engineer.

His extravagant career started as Davie Jones with the King Bees and the single Liza Jane. Sales were modest and to avoid confusion with The Monkees’ lead singer Davy Jones, he soon adopted the name Bowie instead.

The self-titled debut album was released in 1967 and had one single on it in Love You Til Tuesday. The tune had good reviews but failed to chart.

Two years later, on his second album, David has his first hit in Space Oddity. A genius move as only a few months earlier, Neil Armstrong had just been the first man on the moon and the whole world had gone space crazy.

In 1970, Bowie’s next album was released, named The Man Who Sold The World. It had no singles, although the title track has become one of David’s best-known tunes. In 1995, Nirvana released their acoustic cover version on the MTV Unplugged in New York album.

In 1971, Hunky Dory comes out, now most songs were composed on the piano, rather than the guitar. Three big tunes are found here in Changes, Oh! You Pretty Things, and the epic Life On Mars?

The following year, we see the release of the famous The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Based on Jimi Hendrix’s life, it contained legendary tunes Starman and Ziggy Stardust. This was a career-defining album that made David Bowie a worldwide superstar.

Following the enormous success, the next album is not as known by its title, Aladdin Sane, but again, two hits here in The Jean Genie and Let’s Spend The Night Together. In the same year, 1973, he also released Pin Ups, this album had no significant songs on it.

In 1974 David Bowie kept releasing albums, and now we get one memorable tune in Rebel, Rebel on the album Diamond Dogs. The same year he released a live album with a cover of Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd).

Another year and another David Bowie album arrives, this time it’s Young Americans and the lead single is another hit. Also on this album, we get a Beatles cover of Across The Universe.

1976 and ’77 and a new character is introduced in The Thin Duke, a persona David would hold on to for some time. Especially referred to in the title track Station To Station, this is a time Bowie is struggling with a cocaine addiction and is being influenced by German bands like Kraftwerk. The next album Low has no big tunes.

1978 and a new release with a new hit in the lead single Heroes. In 1979 he released Lodger which comes with no hits. In 1980 Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) had one great tune in Ashes To Ashes.

In 1983, he teamed up with Nile Rodgers to release Let’s Dance, the title track became one of David’s biggest hits, partly down to the cameo by Stevie Ray Vaughan, who released his first big album the same year. On Let’s Dance, we also got China Girl.

Following Let’s Dance, Bowie released a further 11 studio albums up until his death in 2016, but he would have no further big tunes from any of these albums.

However, outside of his studio albums, he had great success in 1985 with Mick Jagger singing the old Motown hit Dancing In The Street. In 1986, Absolute Beginners was a single that did well, it was featured on a film soundtrack.

Finally, in 1997, he was part of a Charity single for Children In Need with Perfect Day (Lou Reed) a tune originally released in 1972.

Between the years of 1967, when he first came on the scene and 2016, when he released Blackstar as he was about to pass away from cancer, David Bowie sold 140 million albums, making him one of the greatest British artists of all time.

David Bowie Tunes | Related Pages

Dancing In The Street

Dancing In The Street chords

You can learn how to play Dancing In The Street by Martha and the Vandellas using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

E7 | E7 (D/E) | E7 | E7 (D/E) |
Callin’ out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat…

Knock On Wood

Knock On Wood chords

You can learn how to play Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, the original recording, and cover versions.

| A6 | A6 | A6 | A6 |
I don’t want to lose, this good thing, that I got…

Let’s Dance

Let's Dance chords

You can learn how to play Let’s Dance by David Bowie (and Nile Rodgers) using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recording.

Bb7sus4 | N.C | Bbm6 | N.C |
Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues…


Starman chords

You can learn how to play Starman by David Bowie using chords, lyrics, TAB, chord analysis, and Spytunes video guitar lessons.

Gm | Gm |
Didn’t know what time it was and the lights were low…

David Bowie on the web

Listen to David Bowie on Spotify

Artists & Bands

Artist and Band biographies

Behind every single tune you learn, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalogue of music, waiting to be discovered.

Find out more about these great Artists & Bands, and let their tunes guide you to success.

About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this article on David Bowie tunes.

This was an article about David Bowie tunes, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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