Station to Station (song)

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"Station to Station"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station
B-side "TVC 15"
Released January 23, 1976
Format 7" single
Recorded Los Angeles, September–November 1975
Genre Krautrock, progressive rock
Length 10:14
8:42 (edit)
3:40 (French single)
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) David Bowie
Producer(s) David Bowie, Harry Maslin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Golden Years"
(1975)
"Station to Station"
(1976)
"TVC 15"
(1976)
Station to Station track listing
"Station to Station"
(1)
"Golden Years"
(2)

"Station to Station" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie in 1975 and released in 1976 as promo single in France. It is the title track and opener for the album of the same name. The song is Bowie's longest studio recording, clocking in just above 10 minutes. Structurally, the song builds from a droning, guitar-driven introductory portion that mimics a train building up speed, to an uptempo section punctuated by the refrain "It's too late."

The lyrics contain various references to Aleister Crowley, Kabbalah[1] and gnosticism.[1] Bowie stated that "The "Station to Station" track itself is very much concerned with the stations of the cross."[1] It is on this track that Bowie introduces himself as "The Thin White Duke". It also contains the oft-quoted[by whom?] lyric, "It's not the side-effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love." The line was later used as the title of a Fall Out Boy song from their EP My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue.

Single version[edit]

The song was released as promo single (42549 A) in January 1976 in France with a shortened duration of 3:40 and TVC 15 in the b-side. It just begins at the central section of the track with the drums just prior to the "once there were mountains..." lyric. This short edit of "Station To Station" was mainly for radio stations and was played a lot on French radio at the time. The edit single can be heard on the Deluxe Edition 2010 reissues of the Station to Station album.

Live versions[edit]

  • A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was released on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, part of the 2010 reissues of the Station to Station album.
  • A live version, edited from recordings made at concert performances in Providence, RI on 5 May 1978 and in Boston, MA on 6 May 1978,[2] was released on Stage. This version was also featured in the Christiane F. movie, where Bowie made an appearance as himself performing the song at a concert. An edit of this version was released on the soundtrack of the film.
  • A live version recorded on 12 September 1983 was released on the concert film Serious Moonlight.

Personnel[edit]

  • David Bowie: Lead Vocals
  • Warren Peace: Backing Vocals
  • Earl Slick, Carlos Alomar: Guitar
  • Roy Bittan: Piano
  • George Murray: Bass Guitar
  • Dennis Davis: Drums

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Cavanagh, David (February 1997), "ChangesFiftyBowie", Q magazine: 52–59 
  2. ^ Tony Visconti (2005). Stage 2005 reissue: CD booklet