Underground (David Bowie song)

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"Underground"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Labyrinth
B-side "Underground (Instrumental)"
Released June 1986
Format 7"/12" single
Recorded 1985
Genre Pop rock, synthpop[1]
Length 5:57 (Album Version)
4:25 (Edited Version)
Label EMI
EA216
Producer(s) David Bowie, Arif Mardin
David Bowie singles chronology
"Absolute Beginners"
(1986)
"Underground"
(1986)
"Magic Dance"
(1986)
7" Picture Disc Cover
EAP 216 (UK)

"Underground" is a song from the soundtrack of the film Labyrinth, performed by David Bowie.

Details[edit]

The track was something of an experiment for Bowie, dabbling in gospel music to a small extent, helped by a large chorus of backing vocalists and blues guitarist Albert Collins, but retaining use of synthesizers.

The single reached No. 21 in the UK charts.

Video[edit]

Steve Barron directed the video clip for promoting the song, which featured images of Bowie’s most notable "roles", including Ziggy Stardust, The Thin White Duke (Bowie’s 1975 persona, explicitly named during the title track of Station to Station), Thomas Newton (from The Man Who Fell to Earth), Jareth (from Labyrinth) and Baal, before Bowie dances with the puppet characters from the Labyrinth film and turns into a cartoon. Bowie was not happy with the video, in 1987 saying "I've found that the videos I put into other people’s hands have always been a mistake. Because of my lack of interest, I didn't get that involved with things like "Underground" which I did for Labyrinth. I just left it up, and the result is just not my kind of video. I was a bit lax there. I didn't feel involved."[2][3]

Follow-up singles[edit]

A video for "As the World Falls Down", another track from the Labyrinth album, was mooted for a Christmas 1986 single release, with a 3:36 edit and another Steve Barron video made. However, this release was canceled, for reasons that are still largely unknown. The video, consisting mainly of clips from the film, has since been released on Bowie collections. In January 1987, another track from the soundtrack, "Magic Dance," was issued as an American 12"-only release.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Bowie

7" Commercial Single/12" Promo Single: EMI / EA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited Version)" – 4:25
  2. "Underground (Instrumental)" – 5:40
    • This is the only Instrumental version featuring the backing singers.

All other Instrumental versions are slightly longer, backing-tracks only except on the back of the promo 12-inch single.

12" Club Single: EMI / 12EA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:51
  2. "Underground (Dub)" – 5:59
  3. "Underground (Instrumental)" – 5:54

7" Picture Disc: EMI / EAP 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited Version)" - 4:25
  2. "Underground (Instrumental)" - 5:52

Download: EMI / iEA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited Version)" – 4:25
  2. "Underground (Extended Dance Mix)" – 7:51
  3. "Underground (Instrumental)" – 5:54
  4. "Underground (Dub)" – 5:59
  • released in 2007

Production credits[edit]

Producers
Musicians

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
Canadian Singles Chart 73[4]
UK Singles Chart 21
US Hot Dance Music/Club Play 22
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ Underground Discogs
  2. ^ "Dave In, Dave Out", Music & Sound Output magazine, June 1987, retrieved 11 July 2013 
  3. ^ "Dave In, Dave Out", Music & Sound Output magazine, June 1987, retrieved 11 July 2013 
  4. ^ Library and Archives Canada: Volume 44, No. 16, July 12 1986, 12 July 1986, retrieved 11 July 2014 
  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]