David Bowie – Young Americans
It’s David Bowie’s Heavenly Birthday!
Bowie’s glam-rock genre of music was very big across the pond, but didn’t have the mass appeal in the states, outside of major metros and true music enthusiasts. His ninth album, ‘Young Americans’, David Bowie changed the style of music he was known for, to a more R & B flavor. Using a lot of smooth soul sounds and writing in a very American style. he called it “plastic-soul” being that it came from himself, a British glam guy, and not true African-American soul.
The song, itself was very political, with mentions of black repression, Richard Nixon, and a lyric from The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” (I read the news today, oh boy.) written by John Lennon, who also provided guitar and backing vocals on Bowie’s cover of Lennon’s “Across The Universe” as well as “Fame”. The backing vocal arrangement for “Young Americans” was arranged by Luther Vandross, who was an unknown singer at that time. He also appears in the video below (wearing the light blue leisure suit), which was recorded on The Dick Cavett Show where David Bowie was a guest and being interviewed (tweeking hardcore on cocaine, by the way.)
The title track did very well here, peaking at #28, making it Bowie’s second highest charter to that date.