Quiz about David Bowie Hits 1969  1981
Quiz about David Bowie Hits 1969  1981

David Bowie Hits, 1969 - 1981 Trivia Quiz


This is a quiz about David Bowie songs that were commercial hits, released in the earlier part of his career between 1969 and 1981. (All release dates refer to the UK release unless otherwise stated.)

A multiple-choice quiz by agentofchaos. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
agentofchaos
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
399,304
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
311
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 165 (2/10), Guest 203 (7/10), Guest 76 (4/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. "Space Oddity," initially released in 1969, was Bowie's first commercially successful single, and told the story of an astronaut, Major Tom, who becomes lost in space. Major Tom was referred to again in what 1980 single that reached number one in the UK charts? Hint

The man Who Fell to Earth
Hallo Spaceboy
Ashes to Ashes
Rocket Man

2. Bowie released three singles in 1967, as well as a debut album, that all flopped commercially. However, one of the singles was re-released in 1973 to commercial success, reaching number six on the UK charts, despite being a novelty song markedly different in style to his other material released around that time. What was it called? Hint

The Laughing Gnome
Love You till Tuesday
Rubber Band
Please Mr. Gravedigger

3. David Bowie's fifth studio album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," was released in 1972 to widespread critical acclaim. Which one of the tracks from that album was released as a single and became his first hit since 1969's "Space Oddity"? Hint

Kooks
Life on Mars
Starman
1984

4. "Fame," a 1975 hit single, was co-written by Bowie, Carlos Alomar, and which former member of the Beatles? Hint

Stu Sutcliffe
John Lennon
Ringo Starr
George Harrison

5. Released as a single from the album "Low" in 1977, which of the following songs is notable for lyrically being one of Bowie's most minimalist works? Hint

Sound and Vision
Always Crashing in the Same Car
Beauty and the Beast
Art Decade

6. Released in 1977, which song tells a story about lovers kissing near the Berlin Wall and is featured on the album of the same name? Hint

The Man Who Sold the World
Kiss the Sky
Heroes
Aladdin Sane

7. Initially released in 1972 and then in a re-recorded version in 1973, and charting at number 12 in the UK, this song is unusual in being an "orphan," that is, it did not appear on any of Bowie's studio albums. The title and lyrics are widely thought to refer to a gay relationship, although this is open to interpretation. What is its name? Hint

John, I'm Only Dancing
Diamond Dogs
Life on Mars
Changes

8. "Sorrow" was a big hit for David Bowie in 1973, reaching number two in the UK and number one in Australia. Like the other tracks on the album "Pin Ups," on which it appears, it is actually a cover version rather than an original Bowie composition. Who was the original artist? (They are the "real" thing!) Hint

The Hatfields
The Rolling Stones
The Merseys
The McCoys

9. The second single from the album "Station to Station" was released in 1976. This song was inspired by an experience that Iggy Pop had at David Bowie's home, in which he hallucinated the television swallowing his girlfriend. What was the song's name? Hint

Panic in Detroit
Scary Monsters
TVC 15
Drive In Saturday

10. "Under Pressure". This 1981 release was Bowie's third song to reach number one in the UK and was produced in collaboration with which famous musical act? Hint

Mick Jagger
Lou Reed
Iggy Pop
Queen


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. "Space Oddity," initially released in 1969, was Bowie's first commercially successful single, and told the story of an astronaut, Major Tom, who becomes lost in space. Major Tom was referred to again in what 1980 single that reached number one in the UK charts?

Answer: Ashes to Ashes

The lyrics of "Ashes to Ashes" make the surprising revelation that, "we know Major's Tom's a junkie." The accompanying music video features David Bowie in a number of striking costumes, most prominently the clown Pierrot. Additionally, Bowie is shown wearing a space suit while sitting in a kitchen, which seems to represent him as Major Tom.

Interestingly, the music video for "Blackstar," the lead single from Bowie's final album released just before his death, features a dead astronaut whose jewelled skull is retrieved by an alien woman.

This has been interpreted as representing the final fate of Major Tom. Hence, it might be said that the character of Major Tom bookended Bowie's career.
2. Bowie released three singles in 1967, as well as a debut album, that all flopped commercially. However, one of the singles was re-released in 1973 to commercial success, reaching number six on the UK charts, despite being a novelty song markedly different in style to his other material released around that time. What was it called?

Answer: The Laughing Gnome

This rather silly song features Bowie conversing with the titular gnome (himself singing in a sped-up voice). Upon its 1967 release, it received some scathing reviews, being described as an "embarrassment" to the artist. However, it has received more positive reviews since then, despite clearly not being Bowie's finest work.

The other answers are the names of actual songs appearing on Bowie's 1967 debut album. "Rubber Band" and "Love You till Tuesday," also novelty songs, were the other two unsuccessful singles from that album.
3. David Bowie's fifth studio album, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars," was released in 1972 to widespread critical acclaim. Which one of the tracks from that album was released as a single and became his first hit since 1969's "Space Oddity"?

Answer: Starman

The album from which this song derives loosely tells the story of a fictional rock star, Ziggy Stardust, who is a messenger of an alien being who promises the human race salvation. The song is told from the point of view of a listener on the radio who tunes into Ziggy and learns about this mysterious "starman waiting in the sky" who would "like to come and meet us but he thinks he'd blow our minds." After Bowie performed the song on the TV show, "Top of the Pops," it became a hit, reaching number ten on the UK charts.
4. "Fame," a 1975 hit single, was co-written by Bowie, Carlos Alomar, and which former member of the Beatles?

Answer: John Lennon

"Fame," which appears on the "Young Americans" album, was Bowie's first number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached 17 on the UK charts. Lennon came up with the song's hook, as well as performing backup vocals and acoustic guitar. The song expresses a notably negative view of what it is like to be famous.
5. Released as a single from the album "Low" in 1977, which of the following songs is notable for lyrically being one of Bowie's most minimalist works?

Answer: Sound and Vision

This track reached number two on the UK charts. Like other songs on the "Low" album, it has very few lyrics and was originally intended to be purely instrumental. The song also featured prominently in the aptly named "Sound+Vision Tour" in 1990, in which he reprised many of his greatest hits.
6. Released in 1977, which song tells a story about lovers kissing near the Berlin Wall and is featured on the album of the same name?

Answer: Heroes

The song and album were recorded in a studio within sight of the Berlin Wall and Red Guards would sometimes look in on them through binoculars. It reached number 12 in the UK charts and was later performed by Bowie in West Berlin in 1987. It was also sampled in the movie "Moulin Rouge!" in an amusing duet between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
7. Initially released in 1972 and then in a re-recorded version in 1973, and charting at number 12 in the UK, this song is unusual in being an "orphan," that is, it did not appear on any of Bowie's studio albums. The title and lyrics are widely thought to refer to a gay relationship, although this is open to interpretation. What is its name?

Answer: John, I'm Only Dancing

The first version of this song was released in June 1972, and then a re-recorded version was released in January 1973, known as the "sax version," as it features Ken Fordham on saxophone. For some reason, RCA considered the lyrics too risqué for the American market (although it is pretty tame by today's standards) and it was not released there until 1976 when it appeared on the compilation album, "Changesonebowie." The song was re-recorded again in 1974, without the original lyrics, leaving only the chorus, and released under the name "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)" in 1979 as a 12" release, with a remix of the original version of the song on the B side. Like the original, it charted at number 12 in the UK.
8. "Sorrow" was a big hit for David Bowie in 1973, reaching number two in the UK and number one in Australia. Like the other tracks on the album "Pin Ups," on which it appears, it is actually a cover version rather than an original Bowie composition. Who was the original artist? (They are the "real" thing!)

Answer: The McCoys

The McCoys were a rock group from Indiana, USA. "Sorrow" appeared on their debut album, "Hang on Sloopy" and was released as the B side of their single "Fever," which was itself a cover of a 1956 release by American R&B singer Little Willie John. "Sorrow" was covered by the Merseys in 1966, becoming a number four hit in the UK. "Sorrow" was the only single to be released from "Pin Ups" and was Bowie's first number one hit in Australia.
9. The second single from the album "Station to Station" was released in 1976. This song was inspired by an experience that Iggy Pop had at David Bowie's home, in which he hallucinated the television swallowing his girlfriend. What was the song's name?

Answer: TVC 15

The song is the story of a holographic television called TVC 15, which the narrator's girlfriend crawls into. The narrator sings about wanting her to return and contemplates crawling in after her so they can "spend some time together." Oddly enough, the number in the title is pronounced "one five" not "fifteen." This song reached number 33 in the UK and 64 in the US. Both Iggy Pop and David Bowie were taking a lot of drugs during this period. Bowie later stated that he could remember almost nothing about the production of "Station to Station" as he was under the influence of cocaine for much of the time.

Not long after making this album, he made the decision to move to West Germany for a while, in an attempt to escape the drug scene in the US and become sober.
10. "Under Pressure". This 1981 release was Bowie's third song to reach number one in the UK and was produced in collaboration with which famous musical act?

Answer: Queen

"Under Pressure" is undoubtedly David Bowie's most celebrated musical collaboration and was also Queen's second number one hit single in the UK. It has been critically acclaimed and has appeared on several lists of the greatest songs of all time. The song's iconic bass riff was notoriously plagiarised by Vanilla Ice in his song "Ice Ice Baby." On a more positive note, in a 2018 episode of the TV show, "The Magicians", the ensemble cast performed a rendition of "Under Pressur"e to complete one step in a magical quest!
Source: Author agentofchaos

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