Probably the most comprehensive anthology of any musical artist to date, the 47-track Best of Bowie
traces the guises of David Bowie over the last four decades. From the androgynous, glam rock rebel of the 1970s, to his more recent incarnation as the self-labelled, postmodern pop ironist of the 90s. The collection provides an added insight into wider developments in fashion, music and the pop video. Most of the early material is taken from television music programmes such as The Old Grey Whistle Test
("Oh! You Pretty Things", "Queen Bitch", and "Five Years"), however, as the demands of television and music promotion progress, Bowie ventures into more sophisticated stand-alone videos culminating in 1983's "Let's Dance". As with any biographical visual record of the past, there's plenty of material, which will embarrass Bowie. Throughout his cheesy performance of "Rebel, Rebel" for Dutch programme Top Pop
, Bowie sports what looks like a ginger tomcat on his head. There's also the George Michael-style bleach blonde quiff for 1987's "Time Will Crawl". Despite the mountains of material on both discs, there are a number of unexplainable absences such as "Changes", "Under Pressure" and "Sound and Vision". Watch out for the Best of Bowie
On The DVD: Best of Bowie's animated menus, and the opening menu sequence of both discs are excellent. Although there are no listed bonus features, the discs are swarming with extra "Easter egg" features such as alternative videos and vintage interviews (these can be accessed via the track-listing menu, by pressing the RIGHT followed by the SELECT key on selected tracks). Background information about each video is displayed before the start of every promo, which is reproduced in the accompanying glossy booklet. The sound and picture quality is variable for early videos but improves (admittedly erratically) for later videos. --John Galilee
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