David Bowie Albums Ranked (rated from worst to best)
David Robert Jones, better known as David Bowie is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He studied art, music and design before becoming a professional musician in 1963. He achieved his first UK top 5 hit single in 1969 with “Space Oddity”. He was an artist who never stood still, always changing his character and musical style. He invented Ziggy Stardust and released the single “Starman” and the album “ The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.
He sadly died on January 10th 2016 from liver cancer, and during his career which spanned nearly 6 decades he released 26 studio albums, and appeared in numerous films. His earliest album saw him dabble with music hall and baroque pop and copying American R&B. He has left behind a legacy that will be inspiring artists well into the 21st century and beyond.
Best David Bowie Albums Of All Time
David Bowie released 26 studio albums and as always we’ll rank them as we see them from the rest to the best.
26. Never Let Me Down (1987)
We start with Bowie’s 17th studio album which was released on April 20th 1987. This is definitely one of his weaker albums even with the inclusion of Peter Frampton on guitar (on all but 3 songs), and Mickey Rouke rapping on “shining Star”
25. ‘hours…’ (1999)
Hours was Bowie’s 22nd studio album which was originally released on September 21st 1999 through his website, BowieNet, and then physically released as a CD on October 4th 1999. It was the first album by a major artist available as a download. Hours started life as the soundtrack to the video game “Omikron: The Nomad Soul” and was a collaboration between David Bowie and guitarist Reeves Gabrels who had been working with Bowie for 11 years.
24. Tonight (1984)
Tonight was released on September 24th 1984 and was the follow up to his most commercially successful album “Let’s Dance”. He tried to maintain the sound created on his previous album in an attempt to keep the wider audience he had gained. It wasn’t a very original album, Bowie only wrote 2 new songs for this album which also includes 3 Iggy Pop covers. The title track is a duet with Tina Turner.
23. David Bowie (1967)
This was Bowie’s debut album which was released in the UK on June 1st 1967 and is in the style of baroque pop and music hall sound which was championed by Anthony Newley. On its release the New Musical Express journalist Allan Evans said the album was “all very refreshing” and called David Bowie “a very promising talent”.
22. Black Tie White Noise (1993)
This was Bowie’s 18th studio album which was released on April 5th 1993. It was recorded after the disbandment of Bowie’s rock band “Tin Machine” and his marriage to the model Iman. He never toured to promote this album; instead, he released a film of the same name.
21. Reality (2003)
This was the 25th studio album released by David Bowie on September 15th 2003 in Europe and the following day in the US. Compared to his previous album “Heathen” it was a straightforward rock album. It included covers of “Pablo Picasso” (Modern Lovers) and “Try Some, Buy Some” (George Harrison).
20. Pin Ups (1973)
Pin Ups was released on October 19th 1973 and was the 7th studio album released by David Bowie. It was an album full of cover tracks featuring songs by British bands that had influenced Bowie as a teenager. Including the “Pretty Things”, “The Who” and “Pink Floyd”. He released one single from “Pin Ups” which was “Sorrow”.
19. The Buddha of Suburbia (1993)
This was Bowie’s 19th studio album which was released on November 8th 1993. It started as a project after Bowie met Hanif Kureishi and agreed to compose the music for an upcoming BBC miniseries adaptation of Kureishi’s 1990 novel of the same name.
18. Outside (1995)
“1. Outside” was Bowie’s 20th studio album which was released on September 25th 1995. It was heavily influenced by the cult TV classic “Twin Peaks”and has been classified as “art rock”. Many of the tracks include contributions from Brian Eno who hadn’t worked with Bowie since the late 70s.
17. The Next Day (2013)
Bowie’s 25th studio album which was released in March 2013, marked his return to recording after suffering a heart attack in 2004. It’s a mainly rock album with elements of art rock. The debut single from the album “Where Are We Now?” was released on Bowie’s 66th birthday on January 8th 2013, along with news of the upcoming album. The album was seen as a return to form and considered his best work in years.
16. David Bowie (1969)
Commonly known as “Space Oddity”, this was Bowie’s 2nd studio album which was released on November 14th 1969. The track “Space Oddity” was the only single released from the album in July 1969 and it reached number 5 on the UK singles charts.
15. Earthling (1997)
David Bowie’s 21st studio album, “Earthling” was released on February 3rd 1997. “Earthling” was inspired by the industrial and drum and bass culture of the 1990s with added influences of electronica.
14. The Man Who Sold the World (1970)
This was Bowie’s 3rd studio album which was released on November 4th 1970 in the US and April 10th 1971 in the UK. Following the almost folk-like first 2 albums, “The Man Who Sold The World” was a far more bluesy, rock album.
13. Lodger (1979)
Released on May 25th 1979, “Lodger” was David Bowie’s 13th studio album. The album reached number 4 on the UK album charts and number 20 in the US. It produced 4 singles including the top 10 hit “Boys Keep Swinging”. Often called one of Bowie’s most underrated albums, “Lodger” was originally called the weakest of the Berlin Trilogy.
12. Heathen (2002)
This was the 23rd studio album by David Bowie which was released on June 10th 2002 in the UK and the following day in the US. It contained overdubs from a number of musicians including Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Pete Townshend (The Who) and covers by Pixies, Neil Young and legendary Stardust Cowboy.
11. Aladdin Sane (1973)
This was David Bowie’s 6th studio album which was released on April 13th 1973 and followed the breakthrough album “ The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”. This was the album that gave us “The Jean Genie” and “Drive-In Saturday” amongst others.
10. “Heroes” (1977)
Released on October 14th 1977, this was David Bowie’s 12th studio album. This was the 2nd installment of the Berlin Trilogy after “Low” and before “Lodger”. “Heroes” reached number 3 on the UK album charts and number 35 on the US charts. It produced 2 singles which were the title track and “Beauty And The Beast”.
9. Let’s Dance (1983)
This was Bowie’s 15th studio album which was released on April 14th 1983. This was the album that gave us the singles “Let’s Dance”, “China Girl”, “Without You” and “Modern Love”. Lead guitarist on this album was a young, unknown guitarist by the name of Stevie Ray Vaughan. The album reached number 1 in many countries and is Bowie’s biggest selling album ever.
8. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980)
Released on September 12th 1980 this was Bowie’s 14th studio album. The album produced 4 singles which were “Ashes To Ashes”, “Fashion”, “Up The Hill Backwards” and the title track. Pete Townshend (The Who) made a guest appearance along with guitarists Chuck Hammer and Robert Fripp.
7. Blackstar (2016)
This was David Bowie’s final album and also his 26th studio album. It was released on January 8th 2016 to coincide with his 69th birthday. 2 days after the release of this album David Bowie died of liver cancer. It topped the charts in many countries and became his only number 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart in the US, remaining at number 1 on the UK charts for 3 weeks.
6. Diamond Dogs (1974)
This was Bowie’s 8th studio album which was released on May 24th 1974. It gave us the singles “Diamond Dogs” and “Rebel Rebel” and made the number 1 spot in the UK and Canada and number 5 in the US. The single “Diamond Dogs” only reached number 21 on the UK singles charts and failed to make the US charts at all.
5. Young Americans (1975)
The title track of this album was released as a single a month before the album came out on March 7th 1975. This was David Bowie’s 9th studio album and it produced one other single which was “Fame”. Backing vocalists on this album included the then unknown Ava Cherry and Luther Vandross.
4. Low (1977)
“Low” is the 11th studio album by David Bowie which was released on January 14th 1977. It was the first album in the Berlin Trilogy and produced the singles “Sound And Vision” and “Be My Wife”. The album got to number 2 on the UK album charts and number 11 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape Albums chart in the US.
3. Station To Station (1976)
Preceded by the single “Golden Years”, “Station To Station” was David Bowie’s 10th studio album which was released on January 23rd 1976. The album was a commercial success reaching the top 5 in the UK and US.
2. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972)
This was the 5th studio album released by David Bowie on June 16th 1972. The album gave us 2 singles which were “Starman”/”Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”. “Ziggy Stardust” reached number 5 in the UK and number 75 in the US and it was the single “Starman” that turned David Bowie into a star in the UK during the early 70s.
1. Hunky Dory (1971)
This was David Bowie’s 4th studio album which was released on December 17 1971. The album gave us 2 singles which were “Changes” and “Life On Mars?”. The pianist on this album was Rick Wakeman (Yes) who created a warmer, more piano based album than the previous hard rock sound of “The Man Who Sold The World”. The song “Kooks” was dedicated to David’s son Duncan.
All David Bowie Albums In Chronological Order
|David Bowie (Space Oddity)||1969|
|The Man Who Sold The World||1970|
|The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars||1972|
|Station To Station||1976|
|Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)||1980|
|Never Let Me Down||1987|
|Black Tie White Noise||1993|
|The Buddha Of Suburbia||1993|
|The Next Day||2013|
Frequently Asked Questions
David Bowie’s best selling album is “Let’s Dance” which has sold in excess of 7 million copies.
The newest David Bowie album is “Blackstar” which was released on January 8th 2016 – 2 days before he sadly passed away from liver cancer.
David Bowie’s first album was “David Bowie” which was released on June 1st 1967.
David Bowie’s most famous song is “Let’s Dance” taken from the album of the same name and released on March 14th 1983.
David Bowie started his career as a professional musician in 1963.
The genres ascribed to David Bowie are; Art rock, glam rock, electronic, experimental and pop.