Modern Love (song)

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This article is about the David Bowie song. For other songs with the same title, see Modern Love (disambiguation).
"Modern Love"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Let's Dance
B-side "Modern Love (Live)"
Released September 1983
Format 7"/12" single
Recorded Power Station, New York, December 1982
Genre New wave, dance-rock[1][2]
Length 3:56 (single)
4:46 (album)
Label EMI America Records
Writer(s) David Bowie
Producer(s) Nile Rodgers, David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"China Girl"
"Modern Love"
"Without You"
Let's Dance track listing
"Modern Love"
"China Girl"

"Modern Love" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie, and the first track on his album Let's Dance. It was issued as the third single from the album in 1983.

Bowie has claimed the song is inspired by Little Richard, and it maintains the album's theme of a struggle between God and man. Some commentators noted the similarities between the track and Elton John's near-simultaneous hit "I'm Still Standing"[citation needed], although both parties admitted the songs were recorded at roughly the same time with no knowledge of the other.[citation needed]

By the time "Modern Love" was issued and edited as a single, Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour was underway. The track had become a popular encore on the tour, and Jim Yukich's video for the song used footage of Bowie and his band performing the song from concert in Philadelphia on 20 July 1983. A live version, recorded in Montreal on 13 July, was on the B-side.

The single reached No. 2 in the UK, and No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[3] As well as being a staple of the tour, it featured in Bowie's set at Live Aid in 1985, and in his subsequent Glass Spider and Sound+Vision tours of 1987 and 1990. A re-recording with Tina Turner was also featured on a Pepsi commercial in 1987.[4]

Track listing[edit]

7": EMI America / EA 158 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Modern Love [Edit]" (Bowie) — 3:56
  2. "Modern Love [Live]" (Bowie) — 3:43

12": EMI America / 12EA 158 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Modern Love" (Bowie) — 4:46
  2. "Modern Love [Live]" (Bowie) — 3:43


Chart (1983-1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 3
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[7] 3
Canada (RPM 50 Singles)[8] 2
France (SNEP)[9] 71
Germany (Media Control Charts)[10] 27
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 6
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[15] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 14
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[18] 6

Production credits[edit]


Other album appearances[edit]

In popular culture[edit]



  • Featured on the soundtrack of the Season 1 episode titled "Wedding" in New Girl.
  • The Venture Bros. '​s David Bowie character (Voiced by James Urbaniak) quoted the first line of this song "I know when to go out" in the episode "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)"
  • Used as the opening theme for WWF All-Star Wrestling from 1984 to 1986.

Rock Band music gaming platform[edit]

It was made available to download on 25 January 2011 for use in the Rock Band 3 music gaming platform in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.


  1. ^ "Modern Love By David Bowie - Digital Sheet Music". RZO Publishing, Inc. Retrieved 24 June 2013.  cf. Arrangement Details
  2. ^ John McFerrin. "David Bowie". Retrieved 29 July 2013.  ""Modern Love" is lyrically much more interesting than your average dance rock."
  3. ^ Joel Whitburn (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ Laura Williamson (12 November 2009). "EXCLUSIVE: Didier Drogba unleashed... the shocking, other side of the Chelsea striker". Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  5. ^ bulion. "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". ARIA. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  6. ^ " – David Bowie – Modern Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Modern Love - DAVID BOWIE". VRT (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 July 2013.  Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 3
  8. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 39, No. 10, November 05 1983". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste". Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc (in French). 29 July 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "David Bowie"
  10. ^ "David Bowie – Modern Love". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". IRMA. Retrieved 29 July 2013.  2nd result when searching "Modern love"
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – David Bowie - Modern Love search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  13. ^ " – David Bowie – Modern Love" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  14. ^ " – David Bowie – Modern Love". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  15. ^ "MODERN LOVE - David Bowie". Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "David Bowie – Modern Love –". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  17. ^ "October 1983/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Let's Dance awards at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  19. ^ "Adventureland review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  20. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Hot Tub Time Machine [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] review at Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External links[edit]