Our Favorite David Bowie Songs, and Why We Love Them

By Washington Post staff. Longer explanations here: http://wapo.st/1P4lEJD What's your favorite Bowie song? Contribute to our list below.
  1. “Life on Mars”
    No other song in existence controls my brain like “Life on Mars.” I am often scared by the power it has over me. To listen to it is to guarantee that I will break out in tears, every single time. This isn’t because it inspires great feelings of sadness, or joy, or nostalgia. This is something chemical. It’s a purely involuntary response, like when the doctor hits your knee with a tiny hammer and your leg kicks out. –David Malitz
  2. “Space Oddity”
    My wife and I went to Baltimore to see U2. During that tour, Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, Jr. and Adam Clayton would be shown backstage on the big screens around the stadium as they made their way to the stage. And, as they did that, “Space Oddity” played. I remember my wife and I going bananas. And that song — and that moment — stayed with me for days and weeks to come. And I realized the fusion of performance and art that was at the heart of Bowie. –Chris Cillizza
  3. “Magic Dance”
    The song was funky and dangerously catchy; it would almost certainly bring down the house at a karaoke bar. The scene in the “Labyrinth” is also a testament to Bowie’s uncompromising sense of self. He was game to star in a kids’ movie, but not if he had to channel Raffi. Instead, he wore snug riding pants, a leather vest and a mostly unbuttoned shirt. As usual, Bowie didn’t adhere to the guidelines of conventional characters. And that’s what made him unforgettable. –Stephanie Merry
  4. “Changes”
    He validated the pain and confusion of leaving childhood behind, and gave dignity to the solemnly juvenile determination to change the world: Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it. Like a mantra, I scrawled his words on the inside cover of my poetry notebooks. The song still feels perfect, even now, in his sudden absence; again, we turn and face the strange. –Caitlin Gibson
  5. “John, I’m Only Dancing”
    Teenagers of a certain stripe couldn’t help but fall for Bowie — the androgyny, the innuendo, the make-up, the idea that sexuality was a fluid thing that didn’t need to be pinned down right away. In all that daring ambiguity, Bowie offered an important refuge for young men and women in need of something more than just a firm identity. He gave us permission to be human question marks on the dance floor. –Hank Stuever
  6. Moonage Daydream
    Suggested by   @jfestra69
  7. Heroes
    Suggested by   @vax1965