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YASSASSIN

  • Album: Lodger

  • Dutch A-Side: July 1979

As Lodger's sleeve-notes obligingly explain, "Yassassin" is Turkish for "Long Life", although in 1979 Bowie claimed he didn't know this when he wrote the song: "I just saw the word written on a wall." This sounds suspiciously like one of the self-deprecating porkies he occasionally enjoyed throwing to the press, because the title is integral to the lyric. Like the previous album's "Neukoln", "Yassassin" is inspired by the racial tensions to which Bowie's neighbours in Berlin were subjected, but this time it's lyrically direct: "We came from the farmlands to live in this city...You want to fight but I don't want to leave...Don't say nothing's wrong 'cause I've got a love and she's afeared."

     Musically "Yassassin" is a typical Lodger experiment: "An interesting thing about this track was putting two ethnic sounds together," explained Bowie. "We used the Turkish things and put them against a Jamaican backbeat." The latter was a new addition to Bowie's style-book in 1978: the same year's live reworking of "What In The World" was his first significant attempt at reggae, a style he would later subvert for "Fashion" before exploiting it more commercially on Tonight. Violinist Simon House tackled the Turkish melody, and Bowie later recalled that "He understood the notation immediately, even though he had no experience with Turkish music before." Like most of Lodger, "Yassassin" has remained in relative obscurity, although it was released as a single in Turkey and, in an edited version, in the Netherlands.

YELLOW SUBMARINE (Lennon/McCartney)

The Beatles song was included in Bowie's short-lived 1968 cabaret show.

YOU AND I AND GEORGE (Traditional)

The traditional romantic standby, as covered by everyone from Stan Kenton to The Muppets, was performed by Bowie on a couple of the American Sound + Vision dates, and later at the second of his 1996 Bridge School concerts. It was also among the numbers interpolated into "Heaven's In Here" during the second Tin Machine tour.

YOU BELONG IN ROCK N'ROLL (Bowie/Gabrels)

  • A-Side: August 1991

  • Album: Tin Machine II

  • B-Side: October 1991

  • Live: Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby

  • Live Video: Oy Vey, Baby - Tin Machine Live At The Docks

Although scarcely an epoch-making classic, Tin Machine's 1991 relaunch single is a spirited attempt at a commercial art-rock sound far removed from the unappealing racket previously associated with the band. The remixed single version is superior to the album cut, featuring some fine phased drum effects to enhance the lolloping rhythm which, in tandem with the honking saxophone breaks, is mildly reminiscent of T Rex's "Get It On". Bowie's edgy, close-to-the-mike vocal is one part Bolan to three parts Presley, and the splendidly trashy lyric is pure post-ironic glam: "I love the bad luck that you bring...I love the cheap street in your walk." Its ancestry in Bowie's own work is obvious, the latest in a long line of music-as-consummation metaphors like "Beat Of Your Drum", "Rock'n Roll With Me" and "Sweet Head".

     The single was supported by Julien Temple's video, in which the band lark about in a cluttered studio environment, taping one another with camcorders. Towards the end of the video Bowie renews his debt to the surrealist films of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, when he suggestively sucks the toe of a marble statue in a precise imitation of an erotic scene from their 1930 film L'Age d'Or: he had included a less graphic enactment of the same gesture in the previous year's video for "Pretty Pink Rose", in which he worshipped (but stopped short of sucking) the foot of Julie T Wallace.

     It was the "You Belong In Rock N'Roll" video which premiered Bowie's new-look Tin Machine II image as a clean-shaven crooner with short-cropped hair, unprecedented suntan and ubiquitous lime-green Thierry Mugler suit. The same outfit turned up for a thrillingly unlikely mimed appearance on BBC1's Wogan on August 14th 1991, during which Reeves Gabrels played his guitar with a vibrator and a brief post-performance interview dissolved into thinly veiled hostility after one too many of the host's inanities. "I suppose that's not a real guitar," Wogan bumbled at one point, to which Bowie replied, "No, it's my lunch, Terry." (In his 2000 autobiography Is It Me?, Wogan recorded his displeasure at Bowie's uncommunicative behaviour, even going so far as to boast that the singer didn't know how close he came to being slapped.) There were further performances on Paramount City (August 3rd) and Top Of The Pops (August 29th), but despite this exposure "You Belong In Rock N'Roll" went no further than an unimpressive number 33 - nonetheless Tin Machine's highest placing in the UK singles chart. One of the two CD singles was a limited edition which came in an unwieldy metal and cardboard tin; apparently these were purchased from the US Navy and had originally been used to store computer components. The tinned CD and the 12" also boasted a pull-out "streamer" of band portraits.

     "You Belong In Rock N'Roll" was performed on the It's My Life tour, from which a live version appears on Oy Vey, Baby. In 2008 an instrumental and a further alternative version from the studio sessions were leaked online.

YOU BETTER TELL HER

This otherwise unknown Bowie composition was registered with David's publisher Sparta in 1966.

YOU CAN'T SIT DOWN (Upchurch/Clark/Muldrow)

Originally recorded by the Phil Upchurch Combo in 1961, this Mod favourite was covered live by The Manish Boys.

YOU CAN'T TALK (Bowie/Gabrels/H.Sales/T.Sales)

  • Album: Tin Machine II

  • Live Video: Oy Vey, Baby - Tin Machine Live At The Docks

First "I Can't Read", now "You Can't Talk". Sadly this is no match for its predecessor, a tuneless window-rattler reminiscent of the equally inessential "Sacrifice Yourself". However, the experimental spirit - rhythmic trick-shots and bursts of funk guitar alternating with disorienting vocal effects - prefigures some of the inspired lunacy of 1.Outside. There are hints, too, of Bowie's earlier Eno collaborations: there's a "Beauty And The Beast" reference, and the pseudo-rap vocal recalls "Blackout" and "African Night Flight". "You Can't Talk" was performed during the It's My Life tour. In 2008, no fewer than five alternative versions of the original studio recording, one featuring a different lead vocal, were leaked online.

YOU DIDN'T HEAR IT FROM ME see DODO

YOU FEEL SO LONELY YOU COULD DIE

  • Album: The Next Day

While other songs on The Next Day hark back to the likes of Low, Lodger and Never Let Me Down, for the album's longest number - tracked on May 3rd 2011 with Bowie's lead vocal recorded on March 2nd the following year - it's the turn of Ziggy Stardust to put in an appearance. Every reviewer instantly spotted the self-referential steal that closes this track, as the finale gives way to a stately reprise of the slow-quick-quick drumbeat from "Five Years" - but the real DNA of this song is to found in "Rock'n'Roll Suicide", whose rock-meets-chanson, Piaf-meets-Presley ambience is here revived in a grandiose arrangement of arpeggiated guitars, swirling keyboards, chugging bass (at one point quoting directly from the "gimme your hands" section), and wall-of-sound backing vocals, against which Bowie delivers a torch-song tour de force in his most histrionic vocal style. If the verses also have a strong flavour of Leonard Cohen's ubiquitous "Hallelujah", then perhaps we can put it down to that song's shared lineage with "Rock'n'Roll Suicide" in the idioms of 1950s rock and gospel.

     But before any of that, we have the title to contend with, and not for the first time on The Next Day, we appear to have an attack of the clichés. "Yo Feel So Lonely you Could Die" is, of course, a near-verbatim quotation from one of the seminal entries in the rock and roll songbook, Elvis Presley's 1956 classic "Heartbreak Hotel". At face value, naming a song after such a famous line appears so hackneyed as to be embarrassing - but nothing on The Next Day is to be taken at face value, and just like the grandstanding soul-rock arrangement, the over-familiar title is surely an ironic feint from a writer who knows exactly what he's doing: lulling us into a set of assumptions about what kind of song this is, and then pulling the rug from under us.

     "Rock'n'Roll Suicide" is a song of solidarity in extremis, a song of redemption whose pivotal cry is "Oh no, love, you're not alone!" Like its evil twin from a parallel dimension, "You Feel So Lonely You Could Die" offers no such empathy: this is a twisted song in which Bowie wishes nothing but ill on the lonely addressee. An inattentive listening might suggest that we are simply eavesdropping on a former lover condemning an old flame (some commentators have suggested that the song is a riposte to the increasingly unbecoming media antics of Angela Bowie, or even a baroque act of revenge on an increasingly embittered Morrissey, archly handed back in the "Rock'n'Roll Suicide"-thieving style of "I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday"), but a closer reading dismantles such trivial notions. As Tony Visconti pointed out, "it sounds like a love song", but sounds can be deceptive; Visconti explained that the lyric is "about Russian history, from the time of the Cold War and espionage, and about an ugly demise." The characters in the song might still be ex-lovers, but that's only part of the picture: Bowie is singing not just about the fallout of some acrimonious affair, but about the trail of deceit and death left by a double agent from the world of Graham Greene or John le Carré. In his "work flow diagram" for The Next Day, Bowie glossed this song with the words "traitor", "urban" and "comeuppance". That last word gives the lyric its momentum, for it's clear that the net is closing: "Some night on the thriller's street will come the silent gun...There'll come assassin's needle on a crowded train / I'll bet you feel so lonely you could die."

     As the tension builds, the images become more extreme: Bowie imagines his ex-partner as "a corpse hanging from a beam" and conjures up "a room of bloody history" (an echo there of "Teenage Wildlife" with its "midwives to history" who "put on their bloody robes"), and there's a tightly-wound double-entendre conflating his target's fear of death with his own sexual jealousy - "I hear you moaning in your room, oh see if I care" - until he climaxes on some of the most unremittingly bleak words he ever set to music: "Oblivion shall own you / Death alone shall love you / I hope you feel so lonely you could die." Like the hero of a revenge tragedy - a Hamlet, a Vindice, a Titus Andronicus - Bowie's narrator appears to be both nourished and consumed by his obsession with vengeance.

     Taking nothing at face value, we can't dismiss the possibility that Bowie is playing one last reversal on us. Perhaps the violent images of Cold War espionage are themselves a feint; perhaps they are merely a hyperbolic metaphor for another kind of betrayal. Perhaps, after all, we are just listening to a vindictive ex-lover pouring out his venom. The finest Bowie songs thrive on such ambiguities.

YOU GOT TO HAVE A JOB (IF YOU DON'T WORK - YOU DON'T EAT) (Brown/Reed)

During the early Ziggy concerts in 1972 The Spiders occasionally performed a cover version of this little-known James Brown funk number, in a medley with Brown's more familiar hit "Hot Pants". Written by Brown and his occasional songwriting partner Waymon Reed, "You Got To Have A Job" was originally recorded in 1969 as a duet between Brown and his backing vocalist Marva Whitney, whose solo recordings were promoted and produced by the soul legend in the late 1960s. In this form it appeared as a Marva Whitney single and on Whitney's 1969 album It's My Thing, later resurfacing on various compilations. A further single version was released by Brown's right-hand man Bobby Byrd in 1970.

     The one extant recording of Bowie's live version, bootlegged at Kingston Polytechnic on May 6th 1972, makes for fascinating listening: The Spiders' discomfort is palpable as Bowie, saxophone to the fore, attempts with limited success to drag them in an all-out shimmying funk direction which, after dropping the song shortly afterwards, he wouldn't attempt again for another two years. The Spiders had many unbeatable talents, but funk was not among them.

YOU GOTTA KNOW

Registered by Essex Music on February 14th 1967, this obscure title is understood to be a Bowie lyric set to an existing foreign-language song, the identity of which is unknown.

YOU REALLY GOT ME (Davies)

The Kinks' 1964 hit was included in The Manish Boys' live repertoire in the same year.

(YOU WILL) SET THE WORLD ON FIRE

  • Album: The Next Day

"Midnight in the Village", begins Bowie, and for a fleeting moment it seems that we're off to another of The Next Day's small-town backwaters or remote war zones; and in a sense we are, but as "Seeger lights the candles" and "Baez leaves the stage", it becomes clear that this particular village is Greenwich Village, and our battlefield is 1960s New York. The lyric is peppered with name-checks for the protest singers of the Greenwich Village scene, from Pete Seeger and Joan Baez to Phil Ochs and Dave Van Ronk, plus a "Bobby" whom we may safely assume to be the hero commemorated in song on Hunky Dory. Drawn together on a tour of folk venues from the Bitter End to the Gaslight Cafe, this colourful cast of icons are stopped in their tracks by a "black girl and guitar" who "burn together hot in rage", attracting the attention of a promoter who takes on the role of the song's narrator, and seems less interested in the girl's artistic integrity than in the dollar signs that are falling into his eyes. The identity of the "black girl" is not vouchsafed, and although any amount of fun might be had pondering real-life candidates likes Mavis Staples or Odetta Holmes, that's hardly the point. According to Tony Visconti, the song is "about a young female singer who gets discovered in a nightclub in the 1960s. Does she set the world on fire? It's not about anybody specific, but a couple of people who sang alongside Dylan."

     "(You Will) Set The World On Fire" was tracked on July 25th 2012, followed by overdubs and the recording of David's lead vocal on September 27th. With typical Bowie contrariness, this song about the folk scene of the early 1960s is delivered in the style of a bombastic mid-eighties rocker: all thrashing drums, reverberating vocals and Robert Palmer power chords. If there's a Bowie album whose sound it echoes, it is 1987's Never Let Me Down - and specifically that album's closing track, the cover version of Iggy Pop's "Bang Bang" whose chord structure and melody are here shamelessly recycled for the choruses. In its aspirational championing of the new sensation, the lyric carries a similar sentiment too: for Iggy's "You all ought to be in pictures...you are next in line", read Bowie's "I can work the scene, babe, I can see the magazines". Hardly the pinnacle of The Next Day, then; but Bowie's fervid vocal and Earl Slick's storming guitar solo make for an exciting ride.

YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE (Rodgers/Hammerstein)

The Carousel standard, a number 1 for Gerry And The Pacemakers in 1963, was David's regular finale during the 1966 Bowie Showboat gigs at the Marquee.

YOU'VE BEEN AROUND (Bowie/Gabrels)

  • Album: Black Tie White Noise

  • B-Side: June 1993

  • Bonus: Black Tie White Noise (2003)

  • Video: Black Tie White Noise

"We wrote it together, initially to record with Tin Machine, but it never worked out satisfactorily so it got shelved," recalled Bowie in 1993 of "You've Been Around", co-written with Reeves Gabrels and essayed only once by Tin Machine on the opening date of their 1989 tour. After gathering dust for three years, the song was revamped for Black Tie White Noise. "I resurrected that particular piece and rewrote it," said David. "And what I like about it is the fact that for the first half of the song there's no harmonic reference. It's just drums, and the voice comes in out of nowhere, and you're not sure if it's a melody line or a drone. There's a really ominous feel to it that I like a lot."

     Although at the time of Black Tie White Noise Bowie was still talking of plans to revive Tin Machine, a further tongue-in-cheek comment would seem to hint at his dissatisfaction with band democracy: "I had the chance, as it was my album, not Tin Machine's, to mix Reeves way into the background, so I knew that that would doubtlessly really irritate him, which indeed it did!" Accordingly "You've Been Around" submerges Gabrel's guitar beneath layers of choppy bass, jazz trumpet and heavily treated vocals to create a thrilling hybrid superior to anything released under the Tin Machine banner. The sinister soundscape is clearly indebted to The Walker Brothers' Nite Flights (whose title track is of course covered on the same album) and Scott Walker's 1984 solo work Climate Of Hunter. The lyric also seems to take its cue from the surreal urban dreamscape of "Nite Flights", prefiguring the fractal images later found on 1.Outside: "Where the flesh meets the spirit world, where the traffic is thin, I slip from a vacant queue." And the line "you've changed me, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changed" is one of the album's many direct references to Bowie's early milestones.

     "You've Been Around" was treated to an unremarkable video performance shot by David Mallet for the Black Tie White Noise documentary. A Jack Dangers remix appeared on the "Black Tie White Noise" CD single, and later on the 2002 compilation album Pro.File Vol. 1: Jack Dangers Remix Collection and, in extended form, on 2003's Black Tie White Noise reissue. A 2'55" version, reworked from the original Tin Machine demo and featuring new vocal overdubs from Gary Oldman, appeared on Reeves Gabrels 1995 solo album The Sacred Squall Of Now. Not surprisingly this cut overturns Bowie's previous interpretation which betrays the song's Tin Machine origins.

 

YOU'VE GOT A HABIT OF LEAVING

  • A-Side: August 1965

  • Compilation: Early On (1964-1966)

  • European B-Side: June 2002

  • B-Side: September 2002

  • Download: January 2007

 

David's third single, and his first with The Lower Third, was produced by Shel Talmy at IBC Studios in Portland Place. The band was joined for the session by Talmy's favourite pianist Nicky Hopkins. Released on August 20th 1965, the single was credited to the singer alone (no longer "Davie" but "Davy" for this one release) - to the chagrin of the band, who would receive a full credit for their next and last single.

     "You've Got A Habit Of Leaving", with its angsty teenage lyric and mid-song thrash-up, is clearly inspired by The Who - in particular their 1965 debut hit "I Can't Explain", also produced by Talmy and later covered by Bowie on Pin Ups. "We had a thing about The Who," David recalled many years later. "In fact, we used to play second support to them down in Bournemouth. That was the first time I met Townshend and got talking to him about songwriting and stuff. I was hugely influenced by him. We had songs called "Baby Loves That Way", "You've Got A Habit Of Leaving" - some really duff things. Townshend came into our soundcheck and listened to a couple of things and said, 'You're trying to write like me!'...I don't think he was very impressed."

     Equally unimpressed was the record-buying public, who failed to take the single into the chart despite (or perhaps because of) a breathless press release from Parlophone which proclaimed that Davy Jones and The Lower Third were into Sammy David Jnr, barley wine, rump steak, John Steinbeck and kinky boots. Nonetheless, they were now playing a steady stream of live dates and building up a modest coterie of supporters, and just around the corner for Davy Jones lay a new record deal, a new manager and, most significantly of all, a new name.

     "You've Got A Habit Of Leaving" was among the songs re-recorded during the Toy sessions in 2000. This excellent new version appeared on some formats of 2002's "Slow Burn" single and later as a B-side of "Everyone Says 'Hi'". Leaked online in 2011, a further unreleased Toy mix differs in a few respects from the official release, notably featuring Bowie announcing Earl Slick's guitar solo. The original 1965 recording can be found on Early On and the download EP Bowie 1965!.

YOU'VE GOT IT MADE

The performing rights organisation BMI lists this otherwise unknown Bowie composition, published by the Embassy Music Corporation and almost certainly dating from the mid-1960s.

YOUNG AMERICANS

  • Album: Young Americans

  • A-Side: February 1975

  • Compilation: The Best Of David Bowie 1974/1979/Best Of Bowie/Nothing Has Changed

  • Live: Glass Spider (2007 CD/DVD Release)

  • Download: February 2006

  • A-Side: February 2015

  • Live Video: Serious Moonlight/Glass Spider/Best Of Bowie/The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons/Young Americans (2007)

Begun at Sigma Sound on August 11th 1974, the first night proper of the Young Americans sessions, the album's exuberant title track mixes gospel and soul backings with a quickfire lyric sketching an Englishman's impressionistic portrait of twentieth-century America. There are allusions to the Watergate scandal (given that Richard Nixon's resignation had occurred just three days earlier on August 8th, Bowie's disingenuous "Do you remember your President Nixon?" is hugely topical), the McCarthy witch-hunts ("Now you have been the un-American") and perhaps a famous episode in the civil rights struggle ("Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors"). Lurking alongside are the tacky totems of Westernisation ("Afro-Sheen", "Ford Mustang", "Barbie doll", "Cadi" and "Chrysler") and an undercurrent of violence and despair ("would you carry a razor in case, just in case of depression?" and, more graphically, "ain't there a woman I can sock on the jaw?"). For a song often construed as a bouncy slice of pop, the lyric cuts at least as deep as "I'm Afraid Of Americans" twenty years later.

     The opening verse carries a cynical revision of the celebrated "Wham bam, thank you ma'am" of "Suffragette City": this time the passionless sexual encounter "took him minutes, took her nowhere". In 1976 Bowie explained that the song was "about a newly-wed couple who don't know if they really like each other. Well, they do, but they don't know if they do or don't. It's a bit of a predicament." In the context of his career path at the time, it's difficult to see this "newly-wed couple" as anything other than Bowie on the one hand and America herself on the other. However, as if to remind us that it's never wise to seek concrete meaning or absolute gravity in Bowie's lyric's, the opening line "They pulled in just behind the fridge" appears to be inspired by nothing more mysterious than Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: in London a year earlier, David had attended the duo's comedy revue Behind The Fringe, its title an ironic deflation of their trailblazing 1960s show Beyond The Fringe.

     David eagerly added the syncopated "Young American" backing vocals at the suggestion of Luther Vandross. Coincidentally, the song also pre-empts Bowie's imminent collaboration with John Lennon via the quotation, musical as well as verbal, of the line "I heard the news today, oh boy" from The Beatles' "A Day In The Life" (this is Bowie's second curiously prescient lyric in this regard: back in 1971 he had sung "the workers have struck for fame / 'Cause Lennon's on sale again").

     In September 2009 a minute-long excerpt from a previously unheard take of "Young Americans" was leaked online. Deriving from a Sigma reel tape dated August 13th 1974, which labels the track as "Young American take 3", it reveals the song at an earlier stage of development: the lyrics are all present and correct, but the saxophone and the Vandross-inspired backing vocals are absent and there are significant differences in Bowie's vocal delivery, which is more conventionally on the beat and thus lacking the funkier, syncopated feel of the finished version.

     "Young Americans" received its stage premiere in Los Angeles on September 2nd 1974 at the opening of the Soul tour, when David introduced it under its working title "The Young American". The February 1975 UK single featured the full-length album cut, whereas in America it was edited to a radio-friendly 3'11" by the none-too-subtle excision of two verses and a chorus. The latter's number 28 chart peak raised Bowie's profile significantly in America; although the albums since Aladdin Sane had charted respectably in the States, his previous best single performance was a lowly 64 for "Rebel Rebel". The US single edit later appeared on Bowie Rare, Best Of 1974/1979 and some editions of Best Of Bowie, while a matching edit of Tony Visconti's 2007 remix appeared on the 3CD edition of Nothing Has Changed and on a fortieth anniversary vinyl single in 2015.

     "Young Americans" continued to feature throughout the Soul tour. The November 2nd performance on The Dick Cavett Show was used to promote the single, appearing on Top Of The Pops on February 21st 1975 and later surfacing on the Best Of Bowie and Dick Cavett Show DVDs, and the 2007 CD/DVD reissue of the Young Americans album.

     During David's duet with the host of The Cher Show on November 23rd 1975, "Young Americans" bookended a madcap medley of American classics, as the pair vamped their way through Neil Diamond's 1972 hit "Song Sung Blue", Harry Nilsson's "One" (a US hit for Three Dog Night in 1969), the Spector/Greenwich/Barry classic "Da Doo Ron Ron" (originally a hit for The Crystals in 1963), Laura Nyro's 1966 number "Wedding Bell Blues" (a hit for Fifth Dimension in 1970), The Chantels' 1957 hit "Maybe", The Crickets' 1958 hit "Maybe Baby", The Beatles' 1965 hit "Day Tripper", the Rodgers & Hart standard "Blue Moon", "Only You" (a 1956 hit for both The Hilltoppers and The Platters), the Freed/Brown standard "Temptation" (sung over the years by everyone from Bing Crosby to Miss Piggy), the 1971 Bill Withers single "Ain't No Sunshine" (a hit in 1972 for a young Michael Jackson), The Coasters' 1957 Lieber & Stoller hit "Youngblood", and thence back to "Young Americans". Almost as exhausting as it sounds, the medley can be found online.

     "Young Americans" returned for the Serious Moonlight, Glass Spider and Sound + Vision tours, invariably prompting Bowie to pick up his acoustic guitar. An audio mix of the Serious Moonlight recording was released as a download in 2006 to promote the concert's DVD release. From 1983 onwards Bowie would tend to update the lyrics, changing "Nixon" to "Reagan", "Bush", "Lincoln" or even "Anyone". On the early leg of the Sound + Vision tour, the number would often expand into a blues jam into which David would interpolate snippets from a wide variety of old numbers, including jazz and blues standards like "Jailhouse Blues", Little Brother Montgomery's "First Time I Met The Blues", the Ray Charles hit "Drown In My Own Tears", the Johnnie Ray hit "Just Walkin' In The Rain", Bessie Smith's "I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl", James Brown's "Please Please Please", Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips", Little Richard's "Going Back To Birmingham", and even Iggy Pop's "Sister Midnight". "I would just die and go to heaven if we would do "Young Americans" one time," bassist Gail Ann Dorsey revealed during A Reality Tour. "That has been my one request for the last eight years." Her entreaties were in vain: after 1990's Sound + Vision tour, Bowie never played "Young Americans" again.

     Luther Vandross continued to perform the number on stage, while The Cure recorded an unusual cover for the 1995 release 104.9 An XFM Compilation album. During U2's Elevation tour, Bono occasionally added lines from the song to "Bullet The Blue Sky". In October 2003 Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy included "Young Americans" among his choices on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, as did artist Tracey Emin in November 2004. The song provides the soundtrack to the powerful closing photo-montage sequences in Dogville and Manderlay, the first two films in Lars von Trier's "USA Trilogy", and also features in Andrew Niccol's 2005 thriller Lord Of War.

YOUR FUNNY SMILE

This unreleased out-take from the David Bowie sessions was included on a provisional track-listing of the album drawn up in December 1966, occupying the slot eventually taken by "Rubber Band". It was apparently dropped from the album because its R&B style struck an incongruous note, less in keeping with the album's other songs than with the sound of David's earlier Pye singles. It's a jaunty, up-tempo number with a groove not dissimilar to "Can't Help Thinking About Me", enlivened by a distinctive string arrangement and a "Maid Of Bond Street"-style drum roll to close the proceedings. The lyric suggests that Bowie might be riffing on Lionel Bart's Oliver!, which had been running in the West End since 1960: "'Who will buy my funny smile?' she said / 'I will buy your funny smile,' I said." Many years later, David would occasionally drop a snatch of the Oliver! song "Who Will Buy?" into the Glass Spider tour's rendition of "Fame".

YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL (Pop/Williamson)

Mixed by Bowie for Iggy Pop And The Stooges' 1973 album Raw Power, this track was recorded under the working title "Hard To Beat".

YOUR TURN TO DRIVE

  • Download: September 2003

  • Compilation: Nothing Has Changed

The most obscure of the Reality bonus tracks was originally slated to appear on the album's extra disc but was ultimately released as a download, initially as an exclusive for those who purchased Reality from HMV online, and later as the first Bowie track to be sold via Apple's newfangled iTunes Music Store, which had been launched a few months earlier in April 2003.

     Although associated with Reality, "Your Turn To Drive" was in fact recorded during 2000's Toy sessions; indeed, it's original title was "Toy". A multitude of breathy, ambient vocals sit atop lush layers of rippling piano, wah-wah guitars, a prominent Stylophone and a trumpet solo by Toy session player Cuong Vu. The vocal melody is reminiscent of the opening lines of the 'hours...' B-side "We All Go Through". It's an interesting track, but it's out of place among Reality's offerings and, if the truth be told, it's not of the same standard as the rest of the Toy album either. A slightly different mix was among the Toy material leaked in 2011, and three years later "Your Turn To Drive" made its debut in a physical format on  the 3CD edition of Nothing Has Changed.

YOUTHQUAKE

One of the US radio jingles recorded by The Lower Third in May 1965.​​