David Bowie: Young Americans

Have you heard the news today, oh boy? Good, because I didn't yesterday—February 21 was the anniversary of the release of David Bowie's Young Americans, the first single of the album of the same name. The year was 1975.


Young Americans was one of Bowie's many reinventions, breaking with his previous sound and creating a new style that he called plastic soul—a sound full of "lush strings, sliding hi-hat whispers, and swanky R&B rhythms of Philadelphia Soul [...] the squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak rock, written and sung by a white limey," as described by Lauren Smith for AV Club. The album was a huge hit around the world. In America too, where Fame got to the #1 in the charts.

The entire LP is great fun. It contains a few of my favorite Bowie songs (which, admittedly, are many): Somebody Up There Likes Me, Fascination, Can You Hear Me, Fame and Win, which is my top song in the album tied with Young Americans. Beck used Win's rift for his hit song Debra (like with many other artists, Bowie was a huge influence in Beck's discography).

Young Americans is, above all, a song that makes me smile when I listen to it. I just want to dance and drink to it. Here's his live performance at the Dick Cavett show in 1974. [Spotify, Amazon, iTunes]


The only Young Americans I care about are the ones Challenging High Technology.

Hope a couple of you get this one.