One of the greatest stars of the rock & roll era, David Bowie evaded easy categories throughout his career, operating as the artiest rocker within the mainstream and the most accessible musician on the fringe. Bowie may have trafficked in ideas cultivated in the underground, but he never quite was an outsider as far as rock & roll was concerned. From the outset of his career in the 1960s, he attempted to break into the Top 40, playing British blues, mod rock & roll, and ornate pop before finally hitting paydirt as a hippie singer/songwriter. "Space Oddity" gave Bowie his breakthrough in the U.K., reaching the Top Ten in the summer of 1969 -- the summer of Apollo 11 -- and it belatedly performed a similar feat in America, giving him his first Top 20 hit early in 1973. By that point, Bowie had traded his folkie persona of the glam-rock ...
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