Today's my favorite human-I've-never-met's 64th birthday. Happy birthday! In celebration, I present some of his best songs that you may not have heard or noticed:
"Janine" from the 1969 album now most often referred to as Space Oddity. "If you take an axe to me you've killed another man/Not me at all."
"Tired of My Life," a very rough demo from 1970 that was later worked into "It's No Game" (parts one and two) from 1980's Scary Monsters.
"Alternative Candidate." The "Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing" suite on Diamond Dogs is one of the best things Bowie ever did, but this, a completely different song from the same time called "Candidate," is almost as amazing. Originally written for a planned 1984 stage musical that Bowie was ultimately unable to get the rights for.
"Abdulmajid." Originally untitled, recorded in 1976 or 1977 in sessions for the Berlin albums (either Low or "Heroes", probably), not released until a 1991 reissue of "Heroes" at which point Bowie decided to name it after Iman.
"I Have Not Been to Oxford Town," from 1995's 1.Outside. I wanted to post the album version, but I couldn't find it on Youtube. Luckily, this performance features him doing some seamless improvisation with a scarf someone throws up out of the audience after around 2:30. Impressive!
And a live 2003 version of "Loving the Alien," a song originally released in very cheesy form on 1984's Tonight. This version is still pretty cheesy, I will admit, but it's also beautiful. Being there for one of its performances (which, my god, was eight years and one day ago today) is one of my favorite memories.