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The 20 Greatest David Bowie Singles

Bowie’s best singles proved his quest to turn and face the strange never ceased so long as there was a breath left in him.

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The 20 Greatest David Bowie Singles

If any single thread connected David Bowie’s now sadly completed half century-long musical journey, it was irrepressible restlessness. Bowie never, ever stopped exploring new musical avenues, which has historically been interpreted in one of two ways: that he was rock’s ultimate chameleon, refusing to be contented with any past success and constantly pushing himself to reach new heights, or that he was a shallow trend-hopping whore who parlayed a keen ear for ever-shifting popular music trends into commercial success.

If it’s ever permissible to call pop artists geniuses, then Bowie is indubitably among them; the fact that he managed to remain a giant of popular culture for decades while completely overhauling his sound every few years is a testament to that. To dismiss him as a mere copycat would be like calling the Boeing 747 a piece of hackwork because the Wright brothers existed. Marc Bolan may have been wearing makeup and playing glammy guitar first, but he didn’t come up with the invention that was Ziggy Stardust. Kraftwerk may have pioneered the cold, cerebral electronic aesthetic that influenced Bowie during his Berlin period, but they never wrote “Heroes.”

These 20 singles, not all of them chart hits, but invariably essential entries in the rock canon, span from Bowie’s first iconic song to enter the public consciousness in 1969 to the remarkable title track from his just barely pre-posthumous swan song, Blackstar, thus proving that his quest to turn and face the strange never ceased so long as there was a breath left in him. Jeremy Winograd


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPVrFIP0CMs

20. “I’m Afraid of Americans”

The late 1980s and ‘90s are consistently regarded as Bowie’s dark ages, and “I’m Afraid of Americans” may be his sole classic of the period. Co-written with Brian Eno and featuring Trent Reznor, the song was an unveiled appropriation of the industrial rock sound Reznor helped to pioneer. Bowie returns to the familiar lyrical point of view of an alien among terrestrials, only this time his avatar is unable to escape the reach of American corporate brands and culture. The song also, of course, benefits from the slick polish of major-label capital. Such is the ambivalence of the Bowie brand. Benjamin Aspray


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbD_kBJc_gI

19. “Let’s Dance”

“Let’s Dance” may not be the best song Bowie ever released, but it’s one of his most irresistible, boasting a brass chorus riffing over a bouncy synth backbeat, all leading to a classic Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar solo. The track exposed Bowie to an entire new audience of post-disco-obsessed clubgoers in the early ‘80s, raising the singer’s international profile and, thanks in part to the song’s music video, setting the stage for his increasingly vocal protests against apartheid in South Africa and racial tensions across the Western world. While “Let’s Dance” reinvented Bowie for a younger audience, his timeless message of tolerance and commitment to cross-genre musical exploration never changed. Jesse Nee-Vogelman


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36lWAcY9IXE

18. “Diamond Dogs”

Bowie’s many and prodigious talents have been praised and written about ad infinitum, especially in the wake of his death, but one that perhaps hasn’t gotten enough attention is his guitar playing. On his first post-Spiders from Mars album, Diamond Dogs, he played virtually all the guitar parts himself, and on its rollicking title track, he managed to work up an entirely convincing Sticky Fingers/Exile on Main St.-era Rolling Stones pastiche all by his lonesome (that’s him playing the prominent sax parts too). Winograd


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HivQqTtiHVw

17. “Modern Love”

“Modern Love” was instrumental in Bowie’s ‘80s pop comeback, a song that brought his trademark incongruous combination of hesitant, doubt-filled lyrics and self-assured, energetic musicality to a newer, shinier, tackier decade. It’s such a perfect expression of the contradictory emotions behind contemporary relations that it served as the background music for not one, but two iconic cinematic expressions of such tension, in Leos Carax’s Mauvais Sang, and a later homage in Frances Ha. No song better serves frustrated dancing on the street. Nee-Vogelman


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRc2_-BCljQ

16. “Sound and Vision”

While Low is one of Bowie’s most engaging, experimental, and ambitious albums, it isn’t his most listenable. Lead single “Sound and Vision,” by contrast, worked within a traditional rock framework to deliver one of the most successful singles of Bowie’s career, contrasting Bowie’s removed sensual musings on color with catchy guitar and synth work. “Sound and Vision” exemplifies all that made Bowie great; it’s effortless, intellectual, affecting, and easy to dance to. Years later, Bowie would call “Sound and Vision” his “ultimate retreat song,” a portal away from writer’s block and a struggle with cocaine toward a new, vast world of musical creation. Nee-Vogelman

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Watch: The Long-Awaited Deadwood Movie Gets Teaser Trailer and Premiere Date

Welcome to fucking Deadwood!

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Deadwood
Photo: HBO

At long last, we’re finally going to see more of Deadwood. Very soon after the HBO series’s cancellation in 2006, creator David Milch announced that he agreed to produce a pair of two-hour films to tie up the loose ends left after the third season. It’s been a long road since, and after many false starts over the years, production on one standalone film started in fall 2018. And today we have a glorious teaser for the film, which releases on HBO on May 31. Below is the official description of the film:

The Deadwood film follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.

And below is the teaser trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcftIUE6MQ

Deadwood: The Movie airs on HBO on May 31.

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Watch: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Gets Teaser Trailer

When it rains, it pours.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Photo: Columbia Pictures

When it rains, it pours. Four days after Quentin Tarantino once more laid into John Ford in a piece written for his Beverly Cinema website that saw the filmmaker referring to Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon as Tie a Yellow Ribbon, and two days after Columbia Pictures released poster art for QT’s ninth feature that wasn’t exactly of the highest order, the studio has released a teaser for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film was announced early last year, with Tarantino describing it as “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.”

Set on the eve of the Manson family murders, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as they try to get involved in the film industry. The film also stars Margot Robbie (as Sharon Tate), Al Pacino, the late Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, and Bruce Dern in a part originally intended for the late Burt Reynolds.

See the teaser below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scf8nIJCvs4

Columbia Pictures will release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on July 26.

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Watch the Stranger Things 3 Trailer, and to the Tune of Mötley Crüe and the Who

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

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Stranger Things 3
Photo: Netflix

A wise woman once said that there’s no such thing as a coincidence. On Friday, Jeff Tremaine’s The Dirt, a biopic about Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame, drops on Netflix. Today, the streaming service has released the trailer for the third season of Stranger Things. The clip opens with the strains of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home,” all the better to underline that the peace and quiet that returned to the fictional rural town of Hawkins, Indiana at the end of the show’s second season is just waiting to be upset again.

Little is known about the plot of the new season, and the trailer keeps things pretty vague, though the Duffer Brothers have suggested that the storyline will take place a year after the events of the last season—duh, we know when “Home Sweet Home” came out—and focus on the main characters’ puberty pangs. That said, according to Reddit sleuths who’ve obsessed over such details as the nuances of the new season’s poster art, it looks like Max and company are going to have to contend with demon rats no doubt released from the Upside Down.

See below for the new season’s trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Stranger Things 3 premieres globally on July 4.

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