Golden Years (song)


Golden Years (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Golden Years


Artist = David Bowie
from Album = Station to Station
B-side = "Can You Hear Me"
Released = 17 November 1975
Format = 7" single
Recorded = Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, October 1975
Genre = Funk, Soul
Length = 3:22 (Single edit)
4:00 (Full-length album version)
Label = RCA Records
2640
Writer =
Producer = David Bowie, Harry Maslin
Certification =
Chart position =
* #8 (UK)
* #10 (US)
Last single = "Fame"
1975
This single = "Golden Years"
1975
Next single = "TVC 15"
1976
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Album = Station to Station
Type = studio
prev_track = "Station to Station"
prev_no = 1
this_track = "Golden Years"
track_no = 2
next_track = "Word on a Wing"
next_no = 3

"Golden Years" is a song written by David Bowie in 1975. It was originally released as a shortened single in November 1975, and in its full-length version in January the following year on the "Station to Station" album. It was the first track completed during the "Station to Station" sessions, a period when Bowie's cocaine addiction was at its peak.David Buckley (1999). "Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story": pp.258-280] At one stage it was going to be the album's title track.Nicholas Pegg (2000). "The Complete David Bowie": pp.82-83]

Music and lyrics

When it first appeared as a single in 1975, "Golden Years" presented a somewhat skewed view of the forthcoming album, being more similar in style to the "Young Americans" funk/soul material from earlier in 1975 than the rest of "Station to Station", which foreshadowed the Kraftwerk-influenced Euro-centric and electronic music that Bowie would move into with his late-1970s 'Berlin Trilogy'.

Bowie was looking to emulate something of the glitzy nostalgia of "On Broadway", which he was playing on piano in the studio, when he came up with "Golden Years". He has said that he offered it to Elvis Presley to perform, but that Presley declined it.Christopher Sandford (1998). "Bowie: Loving the Alien": p.146.] Both Angela Bowie and Ava Cherry also claim to have been the inspiration for the song.

Release and aftermath

Bowie allegedly got drunk to perform the song for the American TV show "Soul Train"; at the time he was one of the few white artists to appear on the programme.Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). "Bowie: An Illustrated Record": pp.75-80] The resultant video clip was used to promote the single and continued Bowie's commercial success in the United States, where it reached #10 and charted for 16 weeks. It achieved #8 in the UK.

"Golden Years" was played sporadically by Bowie on the 1976 tour, and regularly on the 1983, 1990 and 2000 tours. It was used as the theme song of Stephen King's "Golden Years".

Track listing

# "Golden Years" (Bowie) – 3:22
# "Can You Hear Me?" (Bowie) – 5:04

Production credits

* Producer:
** Harry Maslin
** David Bowie
** Tony Visconti on "Can You Hear Me"

* Musicians:
** David Bowie: Vocals, Guitar
** Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick: Guitar on "Golden Years"
** George Murray: Bass on "Golden Years"
** Dennis Davis: Drums on "Golden Years"
** Roy Bittan: Piano on "Golden Years"
** Willie Weeks: Bass on "Can You Hear Me"
** Mike Garson: Piano on "Can You Hear Me"
** Andy Newmark: Drums on "Can You Hear Me"
** David Sanborn: Saxophone on "Can You Hear Me"
** Pablo Rosario: Percussion on "Can You Hear Me"
** Larry Washington: Congas on "Can You Hear Me"
** Ava Cherry, Robin Clark, Luther Vandross: Backing vocals on "Can You Hear Me"

Other releases

* The song appeared as the B-side of an alternate version of the single "Fame".
* It was released as the B-side of the U.S. release of "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)" in December 1979.
* In November 1981 it appeared as the B-side of the single "Wild Is the Wind".
* It was released as part of the RCA Records "Life Time" picture disc set and the "Fashion Picture Disc Set".
* Several Bowie compilations have featured the song:
** "ChangesOneBowie" (1976)
** "Best of Bowie" (1980)
** "Golden Years" (1983)
** "Changesbowie" (1990)
** "The Singles Collection" (1993)
** "The Best of 1974/1979" (1998)
* It was included in on the album "" (1997)
* It was included on the original soundtrack of "A Knight's Tale" (2001).

Cover versions

* Nina Hagen – Live recording from "Fearless/Angstlos" tour
* Loose Ends – "So Where Are You?" (1985)
* Marilyn Manson – "Dead Man on Campus" soundtrack (1998)
* Amberjack Rice, Walter Traggert and Breakfastime – "Only Bowie" (1995)
* Swell - "Crash Course for the Ravers – A Tribute to the Songs of David Bowie" (1996)
* Track One A.B. – "Reverie" (1999)
* Walk DMC – "Ashes to Ashes: A Tribute to David Bowie" (1998)
* Essra Mohawk - "Spiders from Venus: Indie Women Artists and Female-Fronted Bands Cover David Bowie" (2003)
* Count Zero - ".2 Contamination: A Tribute to David Bowie" (2006)

Notes

References

*Pegg, Nicholas, "The Complete David Bowie", Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5


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