Golden Years (song)

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"Golden Years"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station
B-side"Can You Hear Me"
Released21 November 1975
Format7" single
RecordedCherokee Studios, Hollywood, October 1975
GenreFunk, disco, soul, rock
Length3:22 (Single edit)
4:00 (Full-length album version)
LabelRCA Records
2640
ProducerDavid Bowie, Harry Maslin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Fame"
1975
"Golden Years"
1975
"TVC 15"
1976
Station to Station track listing
"Station to Station"
(1)
"Golden Years"
(2)
"Word on a Wing"
(3)
 
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"Golden Years"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station
B-side"Can You Hear Me"
Released21 November 1975
Format7" single
RecordedCherokee Studios, Hollywood, October 1975
GenreFunk, disco, soul, rock
Length3:22 (Single edit)
4:00 (Full-length album version)
LabelRCA Records
2640
ProducerDavid Bowie, Harry Maslin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Fame"
1975
"Golden Years"
1975
"TVC 15"
1976
Station to Station track listing
"Station to Station"
(1)
"Golden Years"
(2)
"Word on a Wing"
(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.[1] At one stage it was slated to be the album's title track.[2]

Music and lyrics[edit]

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'.[2]

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".[1] He has said that he offered it to Elvis Presley to perform, but that Presley declined it.[3] Both Angela Bowie and Ava Cherry also claim to have been the inspiration for the song.[3]

Release and aftermath[edit]

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 program.[4] 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,[2] and regularly on the 1983, 1990 and 2000 tours. It was used as the theme song of Stephen King's Golden Years, and in the pilot of the CBS series Swingtown. In "Replaceable You", a 2011 episode of The Simpsons, the song plays at a scene in the retirement home and over the closing credits. It was used in the dance sequence of the 2001 Heath Ledger movie 'A Knight's Tale'.

Track listing[edit]

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

Production credits[edit]

Other releases[edit]

David Bowie vs KCRW[edit]

"Golden Years David Bowie vs KCRW"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station
Released2011
FormatCD single
RecordedCherokee Studios, Hollywood CA
GenreFunk, disco, soul, rock
LabelVirgin Records
ProducerDavid Bowie, Harry Maslin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Rebel Never Gets Old"
2004
"Golden Years
David Bowie vs KCRW
"
2011
"Where Are We Now?"
2013

An updated single for "Golden Years" was released in 2011 to coincide with the re-release of Station to Station. 4 new remixes were provided by DJs from radio station KCRW in California.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Golden Years (Single Version)" – 3:27
  2. "Golden Years (Anthony Valdez KCRW Remix)" – 4:22
  3. "Golden Years (Eric J. Lawrence KCRW Remix)" – 3:11
  4. "Golden Years (Chris Douridas KCRW Remix)" – 4:25
  5. "Golden Years (Jeremy Sole KCRW Remix)" – 4:37
"Golden Years"
Single by Loose Ends
from the album So Where Are You?
''
B-side"Let's Rock"
ReleasedJuly 1985 (UK)
FormatVinyl (12"), Vinyl (7")
Recorded1985
GenreR&B
Length3:48
LabelVirgin Records
Writer(s)David Bowie
ProducerNick Martinelli
Loose Ends singles chronology
"Magic Touch"
(1985)
"Golden Years"
(1985)
"Stay A Little While, Child"
(1986)
So Where Are You? track listing
"So Where Are You?"
(4)
"Golden Years"
(5)
"Hangin' On A String [Contemplating]"
(6)

Loose Ends version[edit]

"Golden Years" is the sixth single by English R&B band Loose Ends from their second studio album, So Where Are You?, and was released in July 1985 by Virgin Records. The single is a cover of the David Bowie song. The 7" Version is slightly different to the Album Version; mainly more vocals from Jane Eugene and vocal loops of the word 'run' during the instrumental break. The video featured the band performing in a derelict warehouse intercut with scenes of the band playing crooks stealing a case of gold bars which is torn open and the bars cascade down the staircase. Although the video was used to promote the single in the UK on ITVs 'TV-am' and Channel 4s 'Soul Train', and the group performed the song on BBCs 'Wogan', the single only reached number 59.

Track listing[edit]

7" Single: VS795

  1. "Golden Years" 3.48
  2. "Let's Rock" 3.51 - listed as 4.57 but actually fades out at 3.51

12" Single: VS795-12

  1. "Golden Years" (Remix) 5.30
  2. "Let's Rock" 4.57

Cover versions[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story: pp.258–280
  2. ^ a b c Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: pp.82–83
  3. ^ a b Christopher Sandford (1998). Bowie: Loving the Alien: p.146
  4. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: pp.75–80
  5. ^ carterburwell.com
  6. ^ KCRW.com

References[edit]

External links[edit]