Transition | Transmission 5: my baby’s in there, someplace 

Time to take a quick breather and regroup. The intent of this project is to craft a playlist of David Bowie’s deeper cuts for beginners – an anti-‘best of’ anthology, a ‘great hits’ rather than ‘greatest hits’. We’re going backwards from 2016, reversing our way through to the late 1960s before pivoting and coming back to where it all ends. 

We’re now a handful of entries in, and covered two-and-a-half decades’ worth of music in that time. While the later sections of transition | transmission are constantly being tweaked, the track list is looking to be around 42 tracks in all, totalling three hours. And that is, as a reminder, only taking one or two tracks from each of Bowie’s studio albums, and skipping soundtracks and side projects. The man’s back catalogue is a force to be reckoned with. 

If I’m to take a quick breather, it’s about now; if I add another short (but important) song to this section, my back-of-the-envelope maths tells me that we’re up to an hour or so of music. That’s a baker’s dozen of songs in the first third of the playlist, and an excellent point for folk to compile their mixtape, download their iTunes tracks, pick through Spotify or otherwise obtain these songs and have a listen to them, back to back.

As a reminder, the songs to date are;

1. Lazarus (from Blackstar, 2016)

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

3. Fall Dog Bombs The Moon (Reality, 2003)

4. I’ve Been Waiting For You (Heathen, 2002)

5. Something in the Air (‘hours…‘, 1999)

6. Seven Years in Tibet (Earthling, 1997)

7. Dead Man Walking (Earthling)

8. No Control (1. Outside, 1995)

9. Miracle Goodnight (Black Tie White Noise, 1993)

10. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (Let’s Dance, 1983)

11. It’s No Game (Part 1) (Scary Monsters, 1980)

12. Up The Hill Backwards (Scary Monsters)

13. TVC15 (Station to Station, 1976)

  Skipping right past the so-called Berlin trilogy, which I’ll cover in a few weeks, I couldn’t pull this deep cuts playlist together without featuring the song that gives this collection its name. TVC15 is a jaunty little number that is often swamped by the titans on this album – the epic title track, the brilliance of ‘Golden Years’ and the powerful ‘Wild is the Wind’. A brief tale of a man whose girlfriend is willingly swallowed by his “quadrophonic… hologramic… demonic” television, TVC15 is Bowie at his gonzo best. 


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