Black Tie White Noise (song)

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"Black Tie White Noise"
Single by David Bowie
featuring Al B. Sure!
from the album Black Tie White Noise
B-side "You've Been Around (Dangers Remix)"
Released June 1993
Format 7"/12"/CD single
Recorded Mountain Studios, Montreux; Hit Factory, New York, June–July 1992
Genre Rock, soul
Length 4:10
Label Arista/BMG Records
74321-14868
Savage/BMG Records (US)
74785-50045
Writer(s) David Bowie
Producer(s) Nile Rodgers
David Bowie singles chronology
"Jump They Say"
1993
"Black Tie White Noise"
1993
"Miracle Goodnight"
1993

"Black Tie White Noise" is the title track from David Bowie's 1993 album. Featuring guest vocals by Al B. Sure!, it was released as a second single from the album in June 1993.

The track was inspired by Bowie's stay in Los Angeles in April 1992, when the city saw race riots in reaction to the Rodney King incident.[1] It is the epitome of its parent album's feelings towards conformity and corporations, with Benetton and the saccharine charity single "We Are the World" among the targets. Bowie would later explain that the track was concerned with the black community's own identity, and how it didn't need to be absorbed into the white community.

It is among the most jazz and soul influenced tracks on the album, highlighted by the key vocal of Al B. Sure!, although Lenny Kravitz was reportedly Bowie's first choice for the duet. Essentially a Rhythm and Blues tune, the song ultimately reinforced the feeling of Bowie's tendency as a chameleon of musical styles.

Released as the album's second single, "Black Tie White Noise" was something of a disappointment commercially, stalling at No. 36 in the UK, and again failing to chart in America despite a concerted promotional push. Audiences were perhaps confused by Bowie's latest departure of style and already somewhat skeptical given the breakup of Tin Machine, despite the promise that his solo career was over.

A music video for this piece was produced by Mark Romanek, featuring a montage of African-American youth playing in urban Los Angeles, while intercut with scenes of Bowie in a blue suit with his saxophone and Al B. Sure! singing. The music video attempted to capture Bowie's image behind the song: multiple ethnic groups coexisting with their own identities, and not attempting to absorb one another.

Track listing[edit]

7" version[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Radio Edit)" (Bowie) – 4:10
  2. "You've Been Around (Dangers Remix)" (Bowie, Gabrels) – 4:24

12" version[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Extended Remix)" (Bowie) – 8:12
  2. "Black Tie White Noise (Trance Mix)" (Bowie) – 7:15
  3. "Black Tie White Noise (Album Version)" (Bowie) – 4:52
  4. "Black Tie White Noise (Club Mix)" (Bowie) – 7:33
  5. "Black Tie White Noise (Extended Urban Mix)" (Bowie) – 5:32

CD version[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Radio Edit)" (Bowie) – 4:10
  2. "Black Tie White Noise (Extended Remix)" (Bowie) – 8:12
  3. "Black Tie White Noise (Urban Mix)" (Bowie) – 4:03
  4. "You've Been Around (Dangers Remix)" (Bowie, Gabrels) – 4:24

US Commercial CD (Savage 74785-50045-2)[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Waddell's Mix)" - 4:12
  2. "Black Tie White Noise (3rd Floor Mix)" - 3:42
  3. "Black Tie White Noise (Al B. Sure! Mix)" - 4:03
  4. "Black Tie White Noise (Album Version)" - 4:52
  5. "Black Tie White Noise (Club Mix)" - 7:33
  6. "Black Tie White Noise (Digi Funky's Lush Mix)" - 5:44
  7. "Black Tie White Noise (Supa Pump Mix)" - 6:36

US Promo DJ 12" (Savage SADJ-50045-1)[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Extended Remix)" – 8:12
  2. "Black Tie White Noise (Club Mix)" – 7:33
  3. "Black Tie White Noise (Trance Mix)" – 7:15
  4. "Black Tie White Noise (Digi Funky's Lush Mix)" – 5:44
  5. "Black Tie White Noise (Supa Pump Mix)" – 6:36
  6. "Black Tie White Noise (Funky Crossover Mix)" – 3:45
  7. "Black Tie White Noise (Extended Urban Remix)" – 5:32

US Promo DJ CD (Savage SADJ-50046-2)[edit]

  1. "Black Tie White Noise (Chr Mix 1)" – 3:43
  2. "Black Tie White Noise (Chr Mix 2)" – 4:12
  3. "Black Tie White Noise (Churban Mix)" – 3:45
  4. "Black Tie White Noise (Urban Mix)" – 4:03
  5. "Black Tie White Noise (Album edit)" – 4:10
  • 'CHR Mix 1' is the '3rd Floor Mix' on the regular US CD
  • 'CHR Mix 2' is the 'Waddell's Mix' on the regular US CD
  • 'Urban Mix' is the 'Al B. Sure! Mix' on the regular US CD

Tracks #1-3 re-produced, re-arranged and mixed by Marc 'Funkyman' Paley, Raul 'DJ EFX' Recinos & Jeremy 'DJ Digit' Cowan
Track # 2 remix and additional production by John Waddell
Track # 4 remix and additional production by Al B. Sure & Timar

Production credits[edit]

Other releases[edit]

  • On the bonus disc following the 10th anniversary edition of Black Tie White Noise the remixes "3rd Floor US Radio Mix" and "Here Come Da Jazz" appeared.

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bowie's Wedding Album" by David Wild, Rolling Stone magazine, 21 January 1993, page 14
  • Black Tie White Noise Limited Edition DVD, 2004
  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5