Farewell spaceboy: My top 15 David Bowie songs

I heard the news today, oh boy…

It really was a ‘what did he just say?’ moment listening to the radio this morning. Bowie had looked frail in his most recent music videos, but many had assumed it was all part of another act, fitting the concept of the eerie new record. On reflection it’s obvious that Blackstar was his parting gift.

Coming from a Bowie-mad household, I didn’t have much choice over getting to know his music. Below is a rough list of my favourite songs from his remarkable career. Many are from the second half of Bowie’s career, during periods perhaps less beloved by critics and fans.

Life on Mars? (Hunky Dory, 1971)

John, I’m Only Dancing (single, 1972)

Starman (The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972)

Panic in Detroit (Aladdin Sane, 1973)

Rebel Rebel (Diamond Dogs, 1974)

Sound and Vision (Low, 1977)

Under Pressure (single, 1981, with Queen)

Criminal World (Let’s Dance, 1983, originally recorded by Metro)

Time Will Crawl (Never Let Me Down, 1987)

Don’t Let Me Down and Down (Black Tie White Noise, 1993)

Hallo Spaceboy (Outside, 1995, featuring Pet Shop Boys)

Little Wonder (Earthling, 1997)

Thursday’s Child (‘Hours…’, 1999)

Everyone Says “Hi” (Heathen, 2002)

New Killer Star (Reality, 2003)

You Feel So Lonely You Could Die (The Next Day, 2013)


Is heckling journalists always wrong?

This morning a journalist from the Telegraph was booed and jeered when, at the launch of Ukip’s election manifesto, he asked why there were no black faces in the document. The video of the supporters’ response was posted online, as was another in which the senior political correspondent, Christopher Hope, personally explained the event.

The saga was presented as an example of the Ukip’s lack of ethnic minority support and its disdain for rigorous scrutiny. But was it fair? The journalist was perfectly entitled to ask the question, of course, but are hostile reactions from activists in response always wrong?

The party had just released a ‘fully costed’ 76-page manifesto with new policies on the economy, education and defence – and yet the focus of a respected broadsheet journalist was on a matter the party had been challenged on many times before. Coming up with questions and possible angles for new stories can be a relentless task, but the chosen line of questioning here seemed relatively trivial, lacking in intellectual curiosity and unlikely to reveal anything ‘new’.

It was also another example of the modern phenomenon, particularly on the left, of prioritising the issues of identity over those of economics. But I fear that ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ stories tend to generate more online traffic than those that scrutinise policy announcements: a risk to the general quality of political reporting and discussion.

Video: Talking Ukip at St Pancras International station

St Pancras International is Britain’s gateway to Brussels. Thousands of people travel from here to the heart of the European Union every week.

But what do people there think of Nigel Farage’s mission to take the country out of political union with the continent? Is there more to Ukip’s appeal than being anti-EU? And would they vote for the party?