David Bowie’s 20 best albums, ranked

David Bowie plotted his takeoff from this world. He planned his last album, Blackstar, as a farewell, and he left his estate with blueprints for a reissue series that started with the release of Five Years (1969-1973), a case that seemed only months before his death in January 2016.

Moonage Daydream wasn’t part of Bowie’s posthumous plans. A movie by Brett Morgen, the director of the extraordinary Robert Evans 2012 documentary The Kid Stays In The Picture and 2015’s Cobain: Montage Of Heck, Moonage Daydream tells the Chameleon of Rock’s story through a kaleidoscopic mashup of sound and vision, all upgraded by uncommon footage from the official Bowie archives.

During his five-decade career, Bowie released 26 studio albums as well as seven official live albums in addition to a host of compilations. His discography has enormously expanded in the years since his 2016 death, with archival live sets, box sets, and such scrapped albums as The Gouster and Toy coming around. It’s a great deal to figure out and there are pitfalls: the shimmering swagger of “Blue Jean” keeps on persuading audience members there might be something different of worth on 1984’s terrible Tonight. Be that as it may, here, with perfect timing for the September 16 release of Moonage Daydream, The A.V. Club has selected 20 records that capture Bowie at his peak, whether he’s sharpening his art, making progress toward another sound, or summoning the original capacity of his artistry.