#1060: 1975, David Bowie, Young Americans

by Bobby_West on January 13, 2016

Continuing our tribute theme week on Songs To Learn and Sing, here’s another instalment in Bowie’s ever-changing career, the self-proclaimed ‘plastic soul’ period. Number 4 in my personal top 10, I see that it also features in Charlie’s and George’s lists.

Far from being a phony imitation, this is a great soul record, frantic and urgent, great backing vocals and a huge hook. A breakthrough hit in the USA for Bowie there was perhaps an element, like Springsteen’s Born in the USA, of missing the point of the song. But that’s probably forgivable given what sounds entirely like a self-affirming chorus line for the youth of America.

God bless David Bowie. While at times I’ve been a little wary that we were all going to tip over into Diana type hysteria, the thoughtful tributes and genuine expressions of sorrow following his death have in some ways been uplifting. He was, as Charlie set out so well earlier in the week, someone who really connected – cool, endlessly creative and, from all accounts and importantly, a decent bloke as well. Very rare to get all three.

‘I heard the news today, oh boy’

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George_East January 14, 2016 at 11:10 am

Also raises the question as to how many other artists who lived a full life (not the 27 club etc) were still producing stuff at the top of their creative game when they died. Johnny Cash is the obvious one who comes to mind. Others?


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