Day-In Day-Out

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"Day-In Day-Out"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Never Let Me Down
B-side Julie
Released March 1987 (1987-03)
Format 7"/12" single
Recorded Mountain Studios, Montreux, Autumn 1986
Genre Pop rock, R&B
Length 4:14
Label EMI
EA230
Producer(s) David Bowie, David Richards
David Bowie singles chronology
"When the Wind Blows"
(1986)
"Day-In Day-Out"
(1987)
"Time Will Crawl"
(1987)
Music video
Day-In Day-Out (Dance Remix Edit) (Censored) on DavidBowie.com
"Groucho Mix" Single Cover

"Day-In Day-Out" is the first track on David Bowie's album Never Let Me Down. It was issued as a single in March 1987, ahead of the album's release.

The song criticised the urban decay and deprivation in American cities at the time, concerned largely with the depths a young mother has to sink to feed her child, including attempting to shoplift and becoming a prostitute. The video was banned and censored as a result.

The single was modest hit, entering the top 10 charts in several countries worldwide.

Song production[edit]

Bowie wrote the song out of concern for the treatment of the homeless in the US.[1] The song's R&B roots[2] were reminiscent of some of Bowie's R&B work in the 1970s[3] with one author saying that the song is "an example of Bowie's strength in the R&B genre."[2]

The single's B-side, "Julie," was described by one reviewer as the "catchiest" song of all the songs from Never Let Me Down, and lamented that the song was relegated to b-side status.[4]

Music video[edit]

Video production[edit]

Bowie shot the video in Los Angeles in early 1987, and claimed it was "not going to sell the song at all," and was designed to explore music video as a storytelling format rather than promoting the song itself. Bowie claimed the song was selected as the lead-off single for the album "more as a statement of energy" about the album, as opposed to directly trying for a chart-topping single.[5]

Bowie took a hand in designing and storyboarding the video, saying "I do the original drawings, the main shot for every situation, and then the storyboardist puts them into sequence, storyboarding backwards and forwards from that. Then I put in the major camera angles that I think would be interesting or different. And Julien puts in his input. I started working this way on the "Ashes to Ashes" video with David Mallet. It was my first real big attempt and it won awards at the time for being a new way of doing videos…."[6]

Julien Temple and Bowie co-directed the video, which made the song's message explicit, showing the young couple's struggle against an uncaring society,[1] watched by a pair of angels through fake video cameras. This was banned by some TV stations (though contrary to popular belief, not the BBC, who showed the first part of the video on their Top of the Pops music show), even after edits removed the female protagonist's heavily implied rape, and an alternate version of a scene where the couple's child spells out "Mom", "Food" and "Fuck" in building blocks (representing the child's cycle of dependency; the alternate version had the child spell out the meaningless words "Mom", "Look" and "Luck").[7]

Tony Selznik taught Bowie to roller skate for the video. In 2013, Tony recalled the experience, saying "David came across as very humble and in between careers, almost. He was disillusioned with the music industry. I taught him to skate in a parking lot. We shot the video on Hollywood Boulevard at night, with me in a wig and leather jacket as his double for some scenes. The only bad fall involved the instructor: my wheels came off, I was bleeding everywhere, and David helped me clean up. He was so nice, normal."[8]

Video controversy[edit]

When Bowie heard of the video being banned, he stated: "I think it's ludicrous. They [the censors] got caught up in the usual yellow press kind of excitement because of what it looked like instead of what it said."[9] During the press tour for the Glass Spider Tour, he was asked about the controversy and responded:

We asked the LA police to work with us and they did very happily. We wanted to indicate how some of the houses for the homeless are removed, so we asked them to bring along the kind of contraption they use... it's kind of like a tank with a big battering ram on the end of it. And on the end of the battering ram they've made a little joke. As it goes through the windows it goes "Have a nice day." And I pointed out that it would be in the video and they said they were only too pleased to keep it on, so they kept it on. Is that controversial? I don't know."[10]

—March 1987

Video award nominations[edit]

The video was nominated for a 1987 MTV Video Music award in the category of "Best Male Video", but lost to Peter Gabriel's video for "Sledgehammer."[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic Favorable[12]
Pitchfork Unfavorable[13]

Complaints about poor studio production were common,[3][12][13][14] although sources did find the song to be "fun"[12][15] and "danceable".[3][16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bowie.

7": EMI America / EA 230 / EAX 230 (UK)[edit]

The cover of the 7" single release of Day-In Day-Out.
The 7" single cover
  1. "Day-In Day-Out" – 4:14
  2. "Julie" – 3:40
  • The limited edition release contained a 7" red vinyl disc in a numbered box with a set of stickers and a photo booklet.
The red vinyl limited edition 7" single.
The red vinyl limited edition 7" single

12": EMI America / 12 EA 230 (UK) / Cassette: TCEA 230 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:15
  2. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dub Mix)" – 7:17
  3. "Julie" – 3:40

12": EMI America / 12 EAX 230 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Day-In Day-Out (Remix)" – 6:30
  2. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dub Mix)" – 7:17
  3. "Julie" – 3:40

12": EMI / V-19239 (US)[edit]

  1. "Day-In Day-Out (Groucho Mix)" – 6:29
  2. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:15
  3. "Day-In Day-Out (Single Version)" – 4:14
  4. "Julie" – 3:40

12": EMI / SPRO 9996/9997 (US)[edit]

  1. "Day-In Day-Out (7" Dance Edit)" – 3:35
  2. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:15
  3. "Day-In Day-Out (Edited Dance Mix)" – 4:30

Download: EMI / iEAX 230 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Al Alba" – 5:37
  2. "Julie" – 3:40
  3. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:15
  4. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dub Mix)" – 7:17
  5. "Day-In Day-Out (12" Groucho Mix)" – 6:29
  • All "Day-In Day-Out" remixes were made by Shep Pettibone except for the "Groucho" mix, which was remixed by Paul "Groucho" Smykle.[17]
  • The digital downloads were made available in 2007, 20 years after the single's original release.
  • "Al Alba" is the song "Day-In Day-Out" sung in Spanish.
  • The "Remix," "12" Groucho Mix" and the "Groucho Mix" are all the same mix.

Video EP[edit]

The cover of the video EP
The cover of the video EP
  1. "Day-In Day-Out (video)"
  2. "Loving the Alien (video)"
  3. "Day-In Day-Out (Extended Dance Mix) (video)"
  • Both "Day-In Day-Out" videos were conceived, written and directed by David Bowie and Julien Temple
  • The "Loving the Alien" video was conceived and written by David Bowie, directed by David Mallet

Production credits[edit]

Other releases[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak position
Austria Singles Chart 25[18]
Belgium Singles Chart 10[18]
Canada Singles Chart 16[19]
Germany Singles Chart 26[18]
Holland Singles Chart 15[18]
New Zealand Singles Chart 12[18]
Sweden Singles Chart 5[18]
Switzerland Singles Chart 28[18]
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 3[20]
US Hot Dance Music/Club Play 10[20]
UK Singles Chart 17[21]
US Billboard Hot 100 21[20]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Glass Spider Tour Press Conferences (Stockholm) (vinyl). 28 March 1987. 
  2. ^ a b Perone, James, The Words and Music of David Bowie, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 93, retrieved 24 April 2013 
  3. ^ a b c Sandford, Christopher, Bowie: Loving the Alien, p. 264, retrieved 24 April 2013 
  4. ^ Buckley, David, Strange Fascination: David Bowie: The Definitive Story, Random House, p. 374, retrieved 24 April 2013 
  5. ^ Isler, Scott (August 1987), "David Bowie Opens Up - A Little", Musician (106): 60–73 
  6. ^ "Dave In, Dave Out", Music & Sound Output magazine, June 1987 
  7. ^ Taylor, Jonathan (9 April 1987), "Cleaned Up Bowie`s New Video Is A Hit", Chicago Tribune, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  8. ^ Simpson, Dave (22 February 2013), "David Bowie and Me", The Guardian (London), retrieved 25 June 2013 
  9. ^ The Glass Spider Tour Press Conferences (Amsterdam) (vinyl). 30 March 1987. 
  10. ^ The Glass Spider Tour Press Conferences (New York) (vinyl). 18 March 1987. 
  11. ^ MTV Video Music Awards 1987, 11 September 1987, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  12. ^ a b c Raggett, Ned, David Bowie "Day-In Day-Out" Review", retrieved 28 October 2013 
  13. ^ a b Berman, Stuart (6 July 2007), David Bowie "Best of Bowie: 1980-1987" Review, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  14. ^ Pareles, Jon (26 April 1987), "David Bowie mingles glamour and gloom", The New York Times, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  15. ^ ""Never Let Me Down Rolling" Stone album review", Rolling Stone, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  16. ^ O'Brien, Glenn (May 1987), "Never Let Me Down album review", Spin Magazine: 29–30, retrieved 28 October 2013 
  17. ^ Sinclair, Paul (6 February 2013), Record Collector: David Bowie / Never Let Me Down (1987), retrieved 27 June 2013 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Ultra Top Charts: David Bowie Day-In Day-Out, retrieved 23 August 2013 
  19. ^ Library and Archives Canada: Top Singles – Volume 46, No. 9, June 06 1987, 6 June 1987, retrieved 23 August 2013 
  20. ^ a b c Artist awards: David Bowie, retrieved 21 August 2013 
  21. ^ David Bowie music charts at Official Charts Company, retrieved 10 January 2013 

References[edit]

Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5