17 Wonderful David Bowie Performances You Should Watch Right Now

David Bowie died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. Here are some of his magical performances.

1. “Starman” – from Top of the Pops in July 1972. Many people’s first taste of Bowie – you didn’t get many aliens playing androgynous art rock on teatime telly back then.

2. From the same year came this storming live performance of the apocalyptic “Five Years” on the Old Grey Whistle Test.

3. “Life on Mars” – featuring Bowie resplendent in turquoise suit and eyeshadow.

4. You may be familiar with this one.

5. This clip from Alan Yentob’s 1975 documentary Cracked Actor brilliantly captures the height of Bowiemania as the Ziggy tour snaked its way across America.

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6. The majesty of Bowie’s late-’70s masterpieces, Station to Station, Low, and Heroes, is captured in this (full-length) gig in Japan in December 1978.

7. “Ashes to Ashes” – eerie, confounding and one of the defining pop videos of the ’80s.

8. “Heroes” one of his best-loved songs, performed against a black background with burning passion.

9. Children of the ’80s may fondly remember his performance as the goblin king, Jareth, in Labyrinth in 1986. Both Michael Jackson and Sting were originally considered for the role.

10. Plus did you know he did a special introduction to the 1982 VHS version of perennial Christmas weepy The Snowman?

11. He had a wicked sense of humour and was a great fan of comedy. If any proof was needed, here he is playing himself in Ricky Gervais comedy Extras in 2006.

12. Let’s just consider how truly weird it was that Bowie took time out to sing alongside Bing Crosby in 1977, the same year he released Low.

13. “Let’s Dance” – a huge hit and a mainstay of the Serious Moonlight tour in 1983.

14. “Wild is the Wind” – from Bowie’s conquering set at Glastonbury in 2000.

15. Bowie surprised everyone by releasing this melancholic single, Where Are We Now?, his love letter to Berlin, in January 2013.

16. Then followed it with this extraordinary promo/short film for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, featuring Tilda Swinton.

17. And finally “Lazarus” from Blackstar, his final album, released three days ago on his 69th birthday. Bowie kept a media silence for years and now we’re left with this.

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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