david-bowie-25-favorite-records-1

We all know how interesting it is to peer into the record collections, or iTunes libraries, of our nearest and dearest. Whether you find a hidden gem you had no idea about or find something deeply embarrassing with which to blackmail them, it’s always a good way to get to know somebody a little bit better. Now imagine what it would be like to rummage through the collection of a true music icon like David Bowie.

Well, thanks to Open Culture (which is a real late-night boredom savior, FYI) imagine no longer — it has uncovered a 2003 interview with Vanity Fair in which David Bowie rummaged through his collection of 2500 vinyl LPs and created a list of his 25 favorite albums that he said “could change his reputation.”

Predictably, he had impeccable taste, with albums by The Velvet Underground, Little Richard, Richard Wyatt and Steve Reich all listed. Check out the full list below.

The Last Poets — The Last Poets
Shipbuilding — Robert Wyatt
The Fabulous Little Richard — Little Richard
Music for 18 Musicians — Steve Reich
The Velvet Underground & Nico — The Velvet Underground
Tupelo Blues — John Lee Hooker
Blues, Rags and Hollers — Koerner, Ray and Glover
The Apollo Theatre Presents: In Person! The James Brown Show — James Brown
Forces of Victory — Linton Kwesi Johnson
The Red Flower of Tachai Blossoms Everywhere: Music Played on National Instruments — Various Artists
Banana Moon — Daevid Allen
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris — Cast Album
The Electrosoniks: Electronic Music — Tom Dissevelt
The 5000 Spirits of the Layers of the Onion — The Incredible String Band
Ten Songs by Tucker Zimmerman — Tucker Zimmerman
Four Last Songs (Strauss) — Gundula Janowitz
The Ascension — Glenn Branca
The Madcap Laughs — Syd Barrett
Black Angels — George Crumb
Funky Kingston — Toots & The Maytals
Delusion of the Fury — Harry Partch
Oh Yeah — Charles Mingus
Le Sacre du Printemps — Igor Stravinsky
The Fugs — The Fugs
The Glory of the Human Voice — Florence Foster Jenkins

“There is really no way to do a list of my favorite albums with any rationality. I do only have about 2,500 vinyls,” Bowie said, prefacing the list.

“I’ll look through the albums and pull together a list of those I have re-bought or am in the process of re-buying on CD. I have little time, and there are just too many to sort through. So, I’ll keep pulling stuff out blindly, and if it’s too obvious (Sgt. Pepper, Nirvana) I’ll put it back again till I find something more interesting.

“No rules then. I’ll just make ’em up as I go along,” he added. “If you can possibly get your hands on any of these, I guarantee you evenings of listening pleasure, and you will encourage a new high-minded circle of friends, although one or two choices will lead some of your old pals to think you completely barmy. So, without chronology, genre, or reason, herewith, in no particular order, 25 albums that could change your reputation.”

In other music news, Kaytranada has remixed Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky” and Chance the Rapper’s “All Night.”

Life Editor

Daniel is the editor of Highsnobiety Life. He grew up in north of England and is now based in Berlin.

What To Read Next