Sweet Thing (David Bowie song)

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"Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)"
Song by David Bowie from the album Diamond Dogs
Released April 24, 1974
Recorded Olympic and Island Studios, London
Ludolph Studios, Nederhorst den Berg, Netherlands
October 1973 - February 1974
Genre Glam rock, progressive rock
Length 8:50
"Sweet Thing" – 3:38
"Candidate" – 2:39
"Sweet Thing" (Reprise) – 2:31
Label RCA Records
Writer David Bowie
Producer David Bowie
Diamond Dogs track listing
"Diamond Dogs"
(2)
"Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise)"
(3, 4, 5)
"Rebel Rebel"
(6)

"Sweet Thing" is a song written by David Bowie for the album Diamond Dogs in 1974. The song is split in two with the song "Candidate" in the middle.

In the opening line, "Sweet Thing" contains the lowest note Bowie had recorded in a studio album (C2) until "I Took a Trip on a Gemini Spacecraft" for the album "Heathen"(2002), where he growled the word "Well" (G1) towards the end of the song.[1]

Bowie recorded a track with the same title, "Candidate" – but no musical similarity to the Diamond Dogs song "Candidate" and only a few words of lyrics in common – on 1 January 1974.[2] It was unavailable until 1990 when it was released as a bonus track on the Rykodisc reissue of Diamond Dogs; it also appeared on the bonus disc of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Diamond Dogs in 2004.

"Tragic Moments/Zion/Aladdin Vein"[edit]

A track now referred to as "Zion" has also appeared on bootlegs under the titles "Aladdin Vein", "Love Aladdin Vein", "A Lad in Vein",[3] and "A Lad in Vain".[4] Incorporating parts reminiscent of "Aladdin Sane" and what would become "Sweet Thing (Reprise)" on Diamond Dogs, this instrumental piece was generally thought to have been recorded during the Aladdin Sane sessions at Trident Studios early in 1973. However a recent estimate places it alongside recordings for Pinups later that year, as a preview of Bowie's next original work, leading author Nicholas Pegg to suggest that it "perhaps ought to be regarded more as a Diamond Dogs demo than an Aladdin Sane out-take".[3] A 1973 article about Bowie recording Pinups in France accurately describes the song, which seems to confirm Pegg's theory:

David asks engineer Andy to run up a quick mix of the next project. Now this is really the one - the next album of Bowie's own original material. "There are no vocals on it yet - just my la-la-la-ing. Its going to be a musical in one act called 'Tragic Moments' probably running straight through two sides. We listen to perhaps seven minutes of music. I am confused. The contrast between 'Tragic Moments' and Pinups could not be greater. The former is a highly arranged, subtly shifting music with just a touch of vaudeville: Mike Garson's piano flashes through like quicksilver. Perhaps the closest approximation to what has gone before would be the title track of Aladdin Sane.[5]

Live versions[edit]

A live version (which also included "Candidate" and "Sweet Thing (Reprise)") from the 1974 tour was released on David Live. Another live recording from the 1974 tour was released on the semi-legal album A Portrait in Flesh.

In one live version[6] in the first line, Bowie sings a step higher than C2, and a little more clearly. Some skeptics have accused Bowie of "studio tinkering" to enhance his range, but this is proof that he is capable of singing a C2.

Cover versions[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kristobak, Ryan (20 May 2014). "Comparing The Top Artists, Past And Present, By Vocal Range". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now - David Bowie: The London Years: 1947-1974: p.318
  3. ^ a b "The Complete David Bowie: Zion". Nicholas Pegg (2000). Op Cit: pp.249-250
  4. ^ Naked & Wired at Bassman's David Bowie Page
  5. ^ Martin Hayman (October 1973). "Outside David Bowie... is the closest you're gonna get". Rock Magazine. 
  6. ^ Video on YouTube

External links[edit]