'Ain't there one damn POLL that can make me break down and cry?': David Bowie Album Openers

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As promised in the Lodger poll. Because apparently I like forcing people to make impossible choices.

Opted for the first Bowie track on Labyrinth rather than the actual album opener. Included 'other' in case you needed to pick something from a live album or compilation.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
'Station to Station' (from Station to Station, 1976) 36
'Five Years' (from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 1972) 12
'It's No Game (No. 1)' (from Scary Monsters...and Super Creeps, 1980) 12
'Young Americans' (from Young Americans, 1975) 7
'Changes' (from Hunky Dory, 1971) 6
'Blackstar' (from Blackstar, 2016) 5
'Space Oddity' (from David Bowie/Space Oddity, 1969) 4
'Modern Love' (from Let's Dance, 1983) 3
'Beauty and the Beast' (from "Heroes", 1977) 3
'Speed of Life' (from Low, 1977) 2
'Little Wonder' (from Earthling, 1997) 1
'Fantastic Voyage' (from Lodger, 1979) 1
'Watch That Man' (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) 1
'The Width of a Circle' (from The Man Who Sold the World, 1970) 1
'Magic Dance' (from Labyrinth Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1986) 1
'Thursday's Child' (from 'hours...', 1999) 0
'Sunday' (from Heathen, 2002) 0
'New Killer Star' (from Reality, 2003) 0
'Uncle Arthur' (from David Bowie, 1967) 0
'The Next Day' (from The Next Day, 2013) 0
'Leon Takes Us Outside' (from 1. Outside, 1995) 0
'Buddha of Suburbia' (from Buddha of Suburbia Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1993) 0
'The Wedding' (from Black Tie White Noise, 1993) 0
'Baby Universal' (from Tin Machine II, 1991) 0
'Heaven's In Here' (from Tin Machine, 1989) 0
'Day-In Day-Out' (from Never Let Me Down, 1987) 0
'Loving the Alien' (from Tonight, 1984) 0
'Future Legend' (from Diamond Dogs, 1974) 0
'Rosalyn' (from Pin Ups, 1973) 0
other 0


Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Monday, 30 March 2020 14:34 (one month ago) link

not including "Diamond Dogs" with "Future Legend" is kind of cheating

Let's kill the Queen and be legends (Noodle Vague), Monday, 30 March 2020 14:35 (one month ago) link

You remind me of the babe.

Vegemite Is My Grrl (Eric H.), Monday, 30 March 2020 14:48 (one month ago) link

Station to Station

Οὖτις, Monday, 30 March 2020 14:53 (one month ago) link

Young Americans vs. Station to Station vs. Fantastic Voyage :/

J. Sam, Monday, 30 March 2020 14:54 (one month ago) link

I admit I haven't heard all of these, but I like how on "It's No Game" between his screaming and the angry-sounding Japanese spoken stuff, the whole thing just sounds unhinged.

Revolutionary Girl Utrenja (Tom Violence), Monday, 30 March 2020 14:57 (one month ago) link

xpost
Yeah some great songs but "Station to Station" easily.

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 30 March 2020 14:59 (one month ago) link

This is easily 'Day-In Day-Out.'

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:00 (one month ago) link

i do not think this is anything easily

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:02 (one month ago) link

I was going to say easily "Uncle Arthur".

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:02 (one month ago) link

Day-In Day-Out
Stay-In Fade-Out
Day-In Oo Oo
Day-Out Oo Oo Oo

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:03 (one month ago) link

Seriously though, it's tough but I can't see beyond "Station to Station",

Bridge Over Thorley Waters (Tom D.), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:03 (one month ago) link

could vote for five years, young americans, station to station, fantastic voyage, modern love, blackstar... hell, speed of life is perfect too

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:03 (one month ago) link

I count at least like three or four of these among not just my favorite Bowie songs but my favorite songs of all time. I have no clue what I'll vote for.

Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:05 (one month ago) link

Seriously though, it's tough but I can't see beyond "Station to Station"

Likewise.

coco vide (pomenitul), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:05 (one month ago) link

Well easily for me. sorry for not saying I was only expressing my opinion not a fact.

AlXTC from Paris, Monday, 30 March 2020 15:06 (one month ago) link

I will probably vote for Station too, but tbrr "Changes" and "Five Years" might be the slightly boring canon choices, but they're also amazing

rob, Monday, 30 March 2020 15:06 (one month ago) link

Shiruetto ya kage ga kakumei o miteiru
Mo tengoku no giyu no kaidan wa nai!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:09 (one month ago) link

A fun fact for those who didn't know: the Japanese vocals on 'It's No Game' are just the lines of the English verses scrambled up.

Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:19 (one month ago) link

always suspected "japanese" was fake

rob, Monday, 30 March 2020 15:25 (one month ago) link

either its no game or station to station for me

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 30 March 2020 15:44 (one month ago) link

lots of good choices. tempted to vote 'blackstar,' but 'changes' and 'five years' are sitting right there!

not to mention 'station to station' and 'fantastic voyage'

ooga booga-ing for the bourgeoisie (voodoo chili), Monday, 30 March 2020 16:05 (one month ago) link

A fun fact for those who didn't know: the Japanese vocals on 'It's No Game' are just the lines of the English verses scrambled up.

Don't think they're scrambled - more like a straight translation, I think. I'm going by the translation on the Bowiesongs blog.

Eyeball Kicks, Monday, 30 March 2020 16:16 (one month ago) link

either its no game or station to station for me

Same. Two totally different ways to open a record, either the long droning one or the unhinged screaming one, both perfect.

A perfect transcript of a routine post (Dan Peterson), Monday, 30 March 2020 16:18 (one month ago) link

"Diamond Dogs" if it counted, "Watch That Man" otherwise.

clemenza, Monday, 30 March 2020 16:29 (one month ago) link

Many, many great ones but there's no way Station isn't going to 'win' this one. I'd vote for it and I don't even include that album in my top 5 of his (I think it's the top Bowie for many here). I might wait & consider going for Loving The Alien or Sunday instead, so one of those might still get that single vote.

Valentijn, Monday, 30 March 2020 18:30 (one month ago) link

75 or 76

brimstead, Monday, 30 March 2020 18:31 (one month ago) link

I'm not in love with the album version, but this live performance of 'Loving the Alien' absolutely slayed me when it was making the rounds after Bowie's death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DBwN2Ve9Mc

Unparalleled Elegance (Old Lunch), Monday, 30 March 2020 18:37 (one month ago) link

For sheer pop joy, "Modern Love."

For sheer wtf-ness, "Speed of Life"

For sheer epic build and release, ebb 'n' flow, "Station to Station"

For gutbucket rock, "Watch That Man."

For an example of how terrible a singer and songwriter he could be, "Day-In Day-Out."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 March 2020 18:44 (one month ago) link

I like Day In Day Out and the NLMD album and find any dismissal of that stuff tacky. Even from the man himself.

Valentijn, Monday, 30 March 2020 18:59 (one month ago) link

Well, he was often wrong and loved his own PR; at the time he said it was a continuation of Scary Monsters

I don't hate the album. Tonight's far worse.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 30 March 2020 19:01 (one month ago) link

I don't hate Tonight either but do like it much less too. Although that opener is a serious contender here as far as I'm concerned!

Valentijn, Monday, 30 March 2020 19:09 (one month ago) link

if this poll was without Station to Station option, my OPO and obv pick, think i would've gone with Little Wonder, yeah

gaudio, Monday, 30 March 2020 19:25 (one month ago) link

after from station to station, my #2 might be blackstar tbh

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Monday, 30 March 2020 19:32 (one month ago) link

Blackstar is such a different type of song from Station to Station I'm somewhat torn between the two... but they are the only ones I feel come close

octobeard, Monday, 30 March 2020 19:40 (one month ago) link

Tempted to vote ‘Width of a Circle’ cos it’s a great song that isn’t going to get enough love in these circumstances. ‘Station to Station’ is ‘objectively’ the best track here, insane number of other classics, personal favourites probably ‘Speed of Life’, ‘Fantastic Voyage’ and ‘It’s No Game Pt1’... Bowie!!!!! How was he so good?

umsworth (emsworth), Monday, 30 March 2020 20:37 (one month ago) link

I mean, shit, ‘Sunday’, ‘New Killer Star’ and ‘Blackstar’ are all better than respectable. I even enjoy the loping goonery of ‘Heaven’s in Here’, god help me.

umsworth (emsworth), Monday, 30 March 2020 20:40 (one month ago) link

Ok off the cuff, I've got it to Young Americans, Modern Love, and Watch That Man, a song I didn't know I loved as much as I apparently do from looking at this list... but it kicks of Aladdin so well, and has such a gloriously trashy feel that maybe I'm inclined to vote for it as I don't expect many to.

A decade ago it would have been Speed of Life in a walk...

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 30 March 2020 20:43 (one month ago) link

lol you're not alone re: Heaven's In Here

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Monday, 30 March 2020 20:44 (one month ago) link

I really love the Tin Machine record

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 30 March 2020 20:48 (one month ago) link

Before I read the thread I thought well, "Five Years" will walk this, but I guess not!

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Monday, 30 March 2020 21:08 (one month ago) link

the U.S. cassette release of Station To Station features a different track sequencing, which I actually prefer!
starts with "Word On A Wing" and places "Station To Station" in the same position (B1) that "Trans Europe Express" ended up in. "TVC 15" makes for a great closer.
https://www.discogs.com/David-Bowie-Station-To-Station/release/13808588

Paul, Monday, 30 March 2020 22:12 (one month ago) link

Intersting, I'm not that impressed by any of these! So maybe ... Five Years or Station to Station? Or Young Americans or Modern Love? Five Years is very "first song," "Station to Station" might as well be the album. "Young Americans" is a great single. "Modern Love" though ... that one really sounds like an album starter.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 30 March 2020 23:45 (one month ago) link

Since this is ILX I predict Station to Station or Speed of Life will win. OTOH sometimes my favorite Bowie song is:

I heard telephones, opera house, favorite melodies
I saw boys, toys, electric irons and T.V.'s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I'd need so many people

then:

I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlor,
Drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine,
Don't think you knew you were in this song

That mix of hysterical and conversational kills me every time.

Why, I would make a fantastic Nero! (PBKR), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:12 (one month ago) link

I love its apocalyptic clarity, like a glam "Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 11:15 (one month ago) link

Soto OTM, those are good picks. I'll vote STS.

akm, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 14:38 (one month ago) link

I went for "Blackstar", hey.

Mark G, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 15:00 (one month ago) link

Speed of Life. Maybe not the best song here in a vacuum but to me it’s the most opener-est.

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 16:08 (one month ago) link

Feel ‘Beauty And The Beast’ isn’t get enough love here...whatta rush that track is...so that’s what swung it...otherwise it would of been ‘Its No Gane’...probably the best set of openers ever...

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 17:31 (one month ago) link

Possibly my #1

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 17:32 (one month ago) link

hard to beat Young Americans in my book

ncxkd, Tuesday, 31 March 2020 17:34 (one month ago) link

‘Its No Gane’

the still-unreleased Monade LP

justice 4 CCR (Sparkle Motion), Tuesday, 31 March 2020 18:04 (one month ago) link

How I ranked'em!

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 2 April 2020 00:26 (one month ago) link

Tempted to vote ‘Width of a Circle’ cos it’s a great song that isn’t going to get enough love in these circumstances.

me too, but . . . "modern love" is soooooooo good

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 2 April 2020 00:34 (one month ago) link

"Five Years" deserves the win but it will be "Station To Station" and I'm OK with that, but seriously people "Five Years" my god

sleeve, Thursday, 2 April 2020 01:19 (one month ago) link

Five Years because of all the reasons stated up thread and especially how utterly crushing his vocal performance is on it. Fantastic Voyage nearly beat it though.

Lemon Kitten (Dan.S.), Thursday, 2 April 2020 10:10 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Thursday, 30 April 2020 00:01 (four weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Friday, 1 May 2020 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

Thought so

Mark G, Friday, 1 May 2020 07:11 (three weeks ago) link


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