In 2003, David Bowie rummaged through his collection of 2500 vinyl LPs and created a list of his 25 favorite albums for Vanity Fair. The list came prefaced by these (and other) words:
If you can possibly get your hands on any of these, I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure, and you will encourage a new high-minded circle of friends, although one or two choices will lead some of your old pals to think you completely barmy. So, without chronology, genre, or reason, herewith, in no particular order, 25 albums that could change your reputation.
Just as eclectic as you might expect, the list recommends everything from blues tunes by John Lee Hooker, minimalist compositions by Steve Reich, avant garde rock by The Velvet Underground, electronic music by The Electrosoniks, psychedelic folk music by The Incredible String Band, and the last works of Richard Strauss. You can view a copy of Bowie’s list here (and perhaps couple it with his list of 100 Favorite Books).
And despite his concerns about finding these albums in supply, you can stream most of his favorite albums for free on Spotify using the playlist above. (Yes, we got a little inspired and pulled it together.) If you need the software, download it here.
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!