I've said before that as far as music goes K-Tel wasn't just in the various artists compilation business, that they also put out single artist collections as well. Seals & Crofts, Barry Manilow, Queen and ABBA were are recipients of the K-Tel treatment and in 1980, David Bowie was featured on his own K-Tel album. Unlike the mentioned artists above, The Best Of Bowie was not released in North America.
In the UK, the album was released on Monday, December 15, 1980 and entered the album chart there on January 04, 1981 at number 13. The Best Of Bowie was the highest debuting album that week, sandwiched in between Blondie's Autoamerican at number 14 and Queen's soundtrack to Flash Gordon at number 12 while ABBA's The Visitors ruled the chart for the eighth consecutive week. Bowie's album would leapfrog into the Top 5 the following week and then peak at number 3 in its third week on the chart. It held the number 3 spot for four straight weeks - kept from moving up by John Lennon's Double Fantasy and Kings Of The Wild Frontier by Adam & the Ants - before dropping out of the Top 10 to spend another 12 weeks on the chart before falling off in May 1981. A few weeks later, the album snuck back on the chart for another, brief two week run before once again falling off.
Featuring sixteen songs from throughout Bowie's career up to that point, The Best Of Bowie is both an improvement (five more songs!) over ChangesOneBowie, the 1976 compilation, as well as something of a disappointment (containing single edits rather than album versions and no "Changes", "Ziggy Stardust", "Suffragette City" or "Rebel Rebel".) The album's cover art is similar to Bowie's single "Fashion" from his 1980 album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), a former UK Number One album that sat at number 28 in its sixteenth week on the chart the week The Best Of Bowie debuted. 1972's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars also crawled back on the charts during this time for a two week stay.
Meanwhile over on the Official UK Charts Company Top 75 singles chart for the week of January 10, 1980, Bowie had two singles: the debuting at number 49 "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" and the former Top 5 hit "Fashion" stalled at number 56 into an eleven week chart run. It wasn't exactly Bowiemania as the world's music fans were still in mourning and shock from John Lennon's senseless assassination less than a month before. During that short time, UK fans had moved three of Lennon's singles into the Top 5 simultaneously. Bowie's biggest singles and largest selling album were still ahead of him.
By overwhelming demand, I created a custom K-Tel Scale just for The Best Of Bowie and it came as no surprise the album scored as high as it did.
The BEST OF BOWIE 
|1969||Space Oddity||David Bowie||5||15||17||22|
|1973||Life On Mars?||David Bowie||3|
|1974||Rock'n'Roll Suicide||David Bowie||22|
|1972||John, I'm Only Dancing||David Bowie||12|
|1972||The Jean Genie||David Bowie||2||(71)||(87)|
|1973||Breaking Glass||David Bowie||(54)|
|1974||Diamond Dogs||David Bowie||21|
|1975||Young Americans||David Bowie||18||28||20|
|1975||Golden Years||David Bowie||8||10||12||35|
|1977||Sound and Vision||David Bowie||3||(69)||(88)|
|1979||Boys Keep Swinging||David Bowie||7|