What are David Bowie's biggest songs?

12 January 2024, 09:30

David Bowie: one of the UK's greatest artists pictured circa 1976
David Bowie: one of the UK's greatest artists pictured circa 1976. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The iconic British singer-songwriter has influenced countless fans and musicians alike. But which are his most-played songs? Radio X adds up the streams and views.

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  1. Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure: released 2nd November 1981

    Queen - Under Pressure (Official Video)

    Bowie's all-star collaboration with Queen was the band's second No 1 in the UK (after the eternal Bohemian Rhapsody) and the singer's third, after Space Oddity and Ashes To Ashes. Issued as a stand-alone single to coincide with the release of Queen's Greatest Hits, Under Pressure later found a home on the group's album Hot Space in 1982. The track has gone double Platinum in the UK and the US, and triple Platinum in Australia. On Spotify, the song is by far and away Bowie's most popular, with over 1.4 billion streams, while on YouTube the official video has been watched over 232 million views.

  2. David Bowie - "Heroes": released 23rd September 1977

    David Bowie - Heroes (Official Video)

    The anthemic title track from Bowie's second album of 1977 is now a huge worldwide hit, but had a cooler reception at the time of its release, only scraping to No 24 in the UK charts. Over the years, the song has gained in stature and popularity, particularly after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989; the song tells of love beneath that imposing edifice of division. It's since been awarded Platinum status in the UK, has notched up over 468 million listens on Spotify and over 66 million views on the official Bowie YouTube channel.

  3. David Bowie - Space Oddity: released 11th July 1969

    David Bowie – Space Oddity (Official Video)

    Bowie's first No 1 in the UK was actually his tenth single. It was his first 45 to chart and even then the track only made No 5 in its release year of 1969. When the musician became a huge star following the Ziggy Stardust album, the single was reissued in the US complete with a Mick Rock-directed promo film, making Bowie's first appearance on their chart at No 15. When Bowie's label re-issued the track in 1975 as a maxi-single complete with Changes and the unreleased Velvet Goldmine on the flip, it crept back into the chart, eventually hitting the top spot for two weeks. On Spotify this interstellar hit has been played more than 353 million times, and the various video clips on Bowie's YouTube amount to over 120 million views.

  4. David Bowie - Let's Dance: release date 14th March 1983

    David Bowie - Let's Dance (Official Video)

    The title track of his fifteenth studio album, Let's Dance was produced by Nile Rodgers who finally made Bowie into a world superstar. With over 415 million streams and 53 million views of David Mallett's incredible video, the single was a chart topper, and is the only Bowie single to have sold over a million copies across physical and digital.

  5. David Bowie - Starman: released 28th April 1972

    David Bowie - Starman (Top Of The Pops, 1972)

    The first single from the classic album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, Bowie's TV appearance to promote the song influenced a generation. The single peaked at No 10 in July 1972 and has was certified Platinum in 2020; it's had over 447 million Spotify streams and viewed over 7.5 million times on YouTube.

  6. David Bowie - Rebel Rebel: release date 15th February 1974

    Rebel Rebel (2016 Remaster)

    Issued in a slightly different mix to the one that appeared on its parent album Diamond Dogs, Rebel Rebel was a No 5 hit for Bowie in 1974, and selling enough copies to be certified Gold in January 2021. It's had over 9 million views on YouTube and over 360 million streams.

  7. David Bowie - Life On Mars?: release date 22nd June 1973 (single release)

    David Bowie – Life On Mars? (Official Video)

    Originally released on the Hunky Dory album, this dramatic ballad was given a single release during Ziggymania in June 1973, making No 3. Awarded Platinum status, the track has gone on to be one of Bowie's most popular compositions, with some help from the striking video directed by Mick Rock. It's now had over 300 million Spotify streams and over 51 million YouTube views.

  8. David Bowie - Modern Love: release date: 12th September 1983

    David Bowie - Modern Love (Official Video)

    The final single to be taken from the landmark Let's Dance album, Modern Love was the traditional closing song on the Serious Moonlight tour. Making No 2 in the UK charts and given Silver status by the BPI, it's had over 211 million streams and over 229 million views.

  9. David Bowie - Moonage Daydream: release date: 16th June 1972

    Moonage Daydream (2012 Remaster)

    This Ziggy Stardust album track has gained a reputation over the years as one of Bowie's glam classics, lending its name to the 2022 documentary about the musician. Originally recorded as a single with Bowie's short-lived band Arnold Corns, the track was reworked with the Spiders line-up. It's had over 208 million plays on Spotify and over 11 million YouTube views.

  10. David Bowie - Changes: release date 7th January 1972

    David Bowie - Changes [Official Lyric Video]

    Something of a sleeping giant in Bowie's back catalogue, this epic tune did not chart when released as a single from his Hunky Dory album in January 1972, but in the digital age it's been certified Gold, with 185 million streams and over 3.1 million views of the iconic Mick Rock video.