Be My Wife

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Be My Wife"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Low
B-side"Speed of Life"
Released17 June 1977
RecordedSeptember–November 1976
StudioChâteau d'Hérouville (Hérouville, France)
GenreArt rock
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Sound and Vision"
"Be My Wife"
Spanish cover
Music video
"Be My Wife" on YouTube

"Be My Wife" is a song by English musician David Bowie from the 1977 album Low. It was released as the second single of the album on 17 June 1977.

"Be My Wife" became the first new Bowie release since "Changes" to fail to break into the UK chart. The song reached number 57, at that time the official list only compiled the top 50 positions, but it appeared on Breakers for 2 weeks. It was frequently played live on the various tours after its release and Bowie is said to have repeatedly announced this song during live performances as "one of my favourites," as may be seen or heard in such concert footage or audio recordings.


Its presence in Low tones down the electronic feel of the rest of the album. The song also features a more conventional lyric which is closer to a traditional rock song than the more fragmented lyrics elsewhere on that album. The song features a ragtime piano opening, which serves the somewhat retro lyrics some justice, although it is soon set against a backdrop of guitars and drums. The song repeats its lyrics, changing the spacing of the lyrics amongst the song's verse. The song closes simply with a fadeout, as the song returns to the introductory ragtime riff repeating indefinitely, with the rest of the band playing behind it.


Cash Box said that it "demonstrates the rock and roll side of 'Low.'" and that there is also "a shrill organ, unusual guitar and synthesizer lines, and the creative use of a barrelhouse piano."[1]

Music video[edit]

"Be My Wife" apparently was Bowie's first official video since "Life on Mars?". The video is in fact rather similar: Bowie stands alone against a white backdrop singing the song alone. However, Stanley Dorfman's new clip featured a Bowie in make-up and clothing influenced by Buster Keaton and giving an irreverent, detached performance on a guitar, which does gel with the candid feeling generated by the song.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by David Bowie.[2]

  1. "Be My Wife" – 2:55
  2. "Speed of Life" – 2:45


Live versions[edit]

  • A live version was recorded during the Isolar II Tour for the Stage album, but was not released until 2005 on the remastered re-release of Stage. Another live performance of the song, from later in the same 1978 tour, was included on the live album Welcome to the Blackout, released in 2018.
  • A live version from Earls Court, London on 1 July 1978 (1978-07-01), was released on the semi-legal album Rarestonebowie in 1995.
  • A live performance filmed in Dublin in November 2003 during the A Reality Tour can be viewed on the DVD and is included on the corresponding album.

Other releases[edit]


  1. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 2 July 1977. p. 18. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Be My Wife" (Single liner notes). David Bowie. UK: RCA Victor. 1977. PB 1017.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5