David Bowie’s New York: A Playlist


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Clockwise from top left; the David Bowie albums “Aladdin Sane,” “Young Americans,” Scary Monsters,” Heathen,” Reality” and “Blackstar.”

Given that David Bowie lived in New York longer than any other city, and his experiences there went back to the early 1970s, it’s not difficult to find its influence on the sound and subject matter of his music.

“I’m terribly influenced by geography and where I am,” Mr. Bowie, whose career will be honored Monday at the Grammy Awards with a performance by Lady Gaga, said in 2003. “My albums are pretty good snapshots of where I was and what I was going through when I was there.”

With this in mind, here are 12 songs you might want as company should you choose to explore Mr. Bowie’s New York.

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Spotify: David Bowie’s New York

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1. “The Jean Genie”

“Aladdin Sane” (1973)

Mr. Bowie said this track was “my first New York song.” His explanation of the song’s character varied somewhat over the years, but it’s clear that his friend Iggy Pop, whom he first met in New York in 1972, was one of the influences. He said in 1996 that the “Jean Genie” was “focused around Iggy, an Iggy-type character.”

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