David Bowie

Best of David Bowie [K-Tel]

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Record collectors may easily dismiss K-Tel as the purveyor of pop chart snapshots, but The Best of Bowie paints a surprisingly effective portrait of the artist from 1970-1980. No stranger to the sure bet of a Top 20 single, K-Tel draws the highest-charting U.K. singles from Bowie's career and places them in near-chronological order. (Though credited on the record sleeve, "Drive-In Saturday" is actually replaced by the live version of "Breaking Glass" on the French and U.K. releases, the studio version of "Breaking Glass" on the Italian release.) The result is a lot more satisfying than Changesonebowie or Changestwobowie, tracking the artist's career as he moved from the sci-chedelic "Space Oddity" to the aggrieved observer of "Boys Keep Swinging." In fact, at 16 tracks, The Best of Bowie goes well beyond the borders of most single LPs. K-Tel's efforts were obviously appreciated in the U.K., where the album charted at number three (the record was not released in the U.S.). A lot of companies were cashing in on David Bowie in the early '80s, but K-Tel at least gave fans their money's worth.

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