Best of Bowie [Bonus CD]
Yes, there have been numerous collections chronicling the career of rock's greatest chameleon, but seldom has one cut to the chase as effectively as this set, which presents pristinely remastered, punched up versions of Bowie's personal Top 20. Kicking off with his earliest forays into post-cabaret acoustic rock (like the still-mystical "Space Oddity"), the album skips off the waves of glitter that he surfed on "Suffragette City" and "The Jean Genie" as well as the streets of Philadelphia, which inspired the soul-flaked "Fame" and "Young Americans." While some eras -- like the dark, moody Low period -- are under-represented, Bowie's forays into post-punk ("Fashion") and dance culture ("Let's Dance," presented here in the single version, which omits Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar solo) are explored fully. This two-disc set connects the dots of Bowie's musical outlines a bit more boldly than its single-disc companion, particularly in chronicling the harder edge of his glam period (in songs like "Panic in Detroit") and the bracing experimentalism of the past decade ("This Is Not America" and "Under the God," for instance). A triumph of pairing style with substance, David Bowie's best still sounds fresh.