Another month and yet another Bowie “Best Of” retrospective. Hard to temper the cynicism surrounding such blatant cash ins. A previously unreleased mix of Life On Mars may have you reaching for the wallet, but this is a formula that’s too easy to comply with. Lump 40 songs that have already been heard hundreds of times before from the Bowie catalogue and package them in a single, double CD or double vinyl format and the gullible completist will buy it.
This package stands out because the robust selection brings closure on his career and includes a smattering of songs from his final recording. This fact alone justifies its existence and is probably the pick of the currently available “Best Of” selections available. As some 50 such compilations already exist, it’s hard to raise a convincing argument for another such package, but this would be fitting for the casual dabbler who wants a snack size introduction into the Bowie ouvre.
The heady title is not misleading or befitting and although it’s almost implausible to believe there are those unfamiliar with Rebel Rebel, Ashes To Ashes or The Man Who Sold The World, it remains a wonder, why large parts of his career are overlooked. The hardened Bowiephile will hardly be in the throes of wonder but for everyone else it’s the product to supplement the record collection with songs that no one could argue with at a party.
By Bronius Zumeris