Our Favorite Memories of David Bowie

We were all saddened today to hear about the passing of the incomparable David Bowie. This is our attempt at remembering both him and the way his art has been important to us here at Wikia. Here are some of our favorite Bowie songs and moments along with our thoughts.

Golden Years

The first Bowie song I heard was “Golden Years.” I remember this distinctly because a girl who I considered my “cool” friend from junior high passed it along on a mix tape. The song wasn’t very serious – like the image I had of Bowie; it was lighthearted, actually almost fun, if not a little funky. Bowie was an artist who amazingly evolved through the decades and remained not only relevant but actually cool and influential. He was a trendsetter, musical pioneer, and style icon — from the glam rock androgyny of Ziggy Stardust to the slick ’80s polish of his “Let’s Dance” era to the well-coiffed star of recent years. He spanned generations and cultural barriers. There’s never been anyone like him and there never will be again. One of a kind. — Annette Cardwell

As The World Falls Down

Labyrinth was one of those movies that shaped my childhood, due in no small part to Bowie’s portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King. Years before I would ever travel on a “Space Oddity” to discover “Life on Mars,” or idolize tragic rock “Heroes” with “Ziggy Stardust,” Bowie’s portrayal of Jareth fascinated me. Never before had I been simultaneously scared by and fascinated with a villain in such a way. Bowie’s natural charisma and enigmatic nature played naturally into the role, and even now I can easily recall many nights where I had trouble sleeping worrying that the Goblin King was coming to lure me to his kingdom. Years later, after discovering just how big a part Bowie and his music have played throughout my pop culture fandom, I must confess: Unlike Sarah, Bowie does indeed still have some strange power over me. — Matthew Allen

Cat People (Putting Out Fire)

Pick any decade since the ’70s and Bowie has a gigantic footprint in it. Whether through his music, his acting, or his presence as an icon, the man is larger than the sum of his parts. His resume is a goldmine of era-defining work and each generation has a telltale moment that speaks to them. As a youth in the ’70s, he was the Space Oddity — more alien than any human could be and his look always made him that special mix of sexy and animalistic. There was always something a little unpredictable and intimidating about him as well, and for some reason his music video for “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” always unnerved me as a kid. He always seemed a step ahead of the rest of us. He’s one of the last in a dying breed of performers whose balance of art and commerce always felt right and they didn’t break the mold after he arrived. There never was and could never be a mold for Bowie. He’s not of this world in every way and his goodbye to his fans with his last record just illustrates the cosmic brilliance he was born from and has now passed into. — Nick Nunziata

Dance Magic

As a child of the ’80s, Labyrinth was a wonderfully strange piece of Jim Henson/George Lucas brilliance that inspired my imagination. But for all the memorable creativity that Henson and Lucas contributed, it’s Bowie’s portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King that cements the film as a pop culture touchstone. It’s so twisted and beautiful that you can’t look away — even when he’s throwing that baby up in the air! — Brian Linder

Life on Mars

I won’t pretend to be a music expert or the most knowledgeable Bowie fan. My parents were not music buffs and I wasn’t blessed at a young age with some massive collection of Bowie’s oeuvre.  I didn’t first hear Bowie’s enchanting music until a friend in high school included “Life on Mars?” on a mix he made for me. Since then, Bowie’s just been part of my musical landscape — an eclectic artist I could turn to for any emotional experience I wanted. Bowie’s music could be bizarre, relaxing, and even unsettling, but it was always enchanting. He had a magic too him, and a persona that seemed an audacious confirmation of the importance of art. I’m sad to see him go, but his legacy, like his life, will continue to be a source of inspiration. — Jorge Albor

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