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David Bowie Reaches a Billion Streams on Spotify

On Thursday, August 24, the music of David Bowie reached its billionth stream on Spotify, according to a post on the late artist’s official Facebook page. The top-streamed song, not surprisingly, is his legendary 1977 track “Heroes,” which was originally recorded in English, French and German.

The post was accompanied by an interpolation of a lyric from Bowie’s 1980 deep cut “Because You’re Young” — “A billion dreams, a billion streams” (the lyric is actually “A million dreams, a million scars”) — and continued with a characteristically far-sighted 2002 quote from Bowie: “The absolute transformation of everything that we ever thought about music will take place within 10 years, and nothing is going to be able to stop it. Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity.”

The announcement comes just weeks away from the Sept. 29 release of the third and latest installment in Parlophone’s series of David Bowie’s boxed sets covering the late artist’s career from 1969. “A New Career in a New Town” compiles his material from 1977 through 1982, arguably the most experimental years of his career. The 11-CD/13-LP set includes the so-called “Berlin trilogy” of albums — “Low,” “’Heroes’” and “Lodger” — as well as “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps),” the live album “Stage,” the 1981 “Baal” soundtrack, and assorted B-sides and singles. The series completes Bowie’s enormously influential catalog originally released on RCA Records, which covers his pioneering glam-rock era (on the “Five Years 1969-73” set), his R&B years (“Who Can I Be Now? 1974-76”) and, with the new set, his more angular and experimental work. While the era that followed included Bowie’s biggest-selling album, 1983’s “Let’s Dance,” most fans feel that his influence and the quality of his work waned during the 1980s and 1990s, recovering some of its vitality with albums like “Hours” (1999) and “Heathen” (2002) before finishing with a blaze of jazz-inflected creativity on “Blackstar,” which was released just three days before his death from cancer on Jan. 10, 2016.

Bowie’s top ten most streamed solo tracks on Spotify are:

“Let’s Dance”
“Space Oddity”
“Life on Mars”
“Rebel Rebel”
“Moonage Daydream”
“Ziggy Stardust”
“Modern Love”

Bubbling under those are “Fame,” “The Man Who Sold the World,” “China Girl,” “Oh! You Pretty Things,” “Sound & Vision,” “Where Are We Now?,” “This Is Not America,” “Ashes to Ashes” and “Young Americans.”


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