skip to Main Content

Bowie for Beginners, Part 2: The Video Star

I am pretty satisfied with the Beginner’s Guide to Bowie I posted on August 12th (click to link). I do think it works as a true beginner’s guide. With that in mind, I thought I’d turn it into a series that ultimately takes the beginner through all of Bowie’s albums. That said, I think the best next step, subsequent to following my advice from the first post, is not to move on to another album yet but instead watch some of Bowie’s innovative videos.

Bowie is generally recognized as advancing the medium of the music video into an art form. He was a key contributor to the early days of MTV. Videos certainly existed before the late 70s and early 80s, but I don’t really think of them as being recognized as their own art form. That’s how Bowie treated his videos- they are their own works of art.

Below are links to some of Bowie’s most noteworthy videos, aside from links to songs I mentioned in part 1. It just so happens that most of these videos promote some of Bowie’s best-loved songs, which would be that second tier after the ones I identified in the first part (a few, such as “Modern Love,” arguably should have made the first list). These links are far from comprehensive, but in the spirit of a beginner’s guide, these represent a good next step (click on each to link to the videos):

The Jean Genie (1972)
Boys Keep Swinging (1979)
D.J. (1979)
Fashion (1980)
Modern Love (1983)
Jazzing’ for Blue Jean (1984)
I’m Afraid of Americans (1997)
Little Wonder (1997)
Where Are We Now? (2013)
The Next Day (2013)
The Stars Are Out Tonight (2013)
Blackstar (2016)
Lazarus (2016)

I’ll note, again, since the songs from the early post have their own videos they are not on this list, but “Life on Mars?” (video from 1973) and “Ashes to Ashes” (1980) are particularly noteworthy as videos. Also, “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean” is noteworthy as it is almost a mini- movie, more than a regular music video.

Back To Top