Blue Jean

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This article is about the David Bowie song. For the trousers, see jeans. For the bird, see Blue-gray tanager. For the supercomputer architecture, see Blue Gene.
"Blue Jean"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Tonight
B-side Dancing with the Big Boys
Released September 1984
Format 7"/12" single
Recorded Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec, May 1984
Length 3:08
Label EMI America - EA181
Writer(s) David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"White Light/White Heat"
"Blue Jean"
7" Single Cover
7" Blue Vinyl Pressing
Music video
"Blue Jean" on YouTube
"Blue Jean" (alternate ver. for MTV) on YouTube

"Blue Jean" is a song from the album Tonight by David Bowie. One of only two tracks on the album to be written entirely by Bowie, it was released as a single ahead of the album.

Loosely inspired by Eddie Cochran,[2] the song was an uncomplicated composition, recalling earlier Bowie rockers such as "The Jean Genie," and is generally regarded as one of the better parts of a critically panned album.

Following the huge commercial success of Bowie's previous album, Let's Dance, its singles and the Serious Moonlight Tour, "Blue Jean" was launched with massive promotion. Julien Temple was engaged to direct a 21-minute short film to promote the song, Jazzin' for Blue Jean.[2] The song performance segment from this was also used as a more conventional music video.

"Blue Jean" was a hit in the UK and America, reaching No. 6 and No. 8, respectively.

The song would remain in Bowie's live repertoire for the rest of his career, being performed on tours in 1987, 1990 and 2004.

David Bowie on "Blue Jean"[edit]

Interviewed in 1987 and asked to compare a track like "Time Will Crawl" to "Blue Jean," Bowie said "'Blue Jean' is a piece of sexist rock 'n roll. [laughs] It's about picking up birds. It's not very cerebral, that piece."[3]

Track listing[edit]

7": EMI America / EA 181 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Blue Jean" - 3:08
  2. "Dancing with the Big Boys" - 3:32
  • Some versions of the 7" single were released on blue vinyl

12": EMI America / 12EA 181 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Blue Jean" (Extended Dance Mix) - 5:15
  2. "Dancing with the Big Boys" (Extended Dance Mix) - 7:28
  3. "Dancing with the Big Boys" (Extended Dub Mix) - 7:15

Production credits[edit]

  • David Bowie: Vocals
  • Carlos Alomar: Guitar
  • Carmine Rojas: Bass Guitar, Keyboards
  • Omar Hakim: Drums
  • Lenny Pickett: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
  • Stanley Harrison: Alto Sax
  • Steve Elson: Baritone Sax
  • Guy St. Onge: Marimba
  • Sammy Figueroa: Percussion

Other releases[edit]

The cover of the VHS single release of "Jazzin' for Blue Jean".
The VHS single cover

Video versions[edit]

There are 3 versions of the video:

  1. The full 21-minute version entitled Jazzin' for Blue Jean
  2. The 3-minute version of the performance of the title track, edited from the full Jazzin' for Blue Jean video. The video is available to download for the Xbox 360 karaoke game Lips.
  3. An alternate version recorded for MTV in England that has no relation to the other videos. This alternate version was not popularly available until the DVD release of Best of Bowie in 2002.

Cover versions[edit]


Chart (1984) Peak
Australian Kent Report Singles Chart 12
Austrian Singles Chart 16
Canadian Singles Chart 4
French Singles Chart 22
German Singles Chart 21
Irish Singles Chart 3
Norwegian Singles Chart 3
Swedish Singles Chart 5
Swiss Singles Chart 14
UK Singles Chart 6
US Billboard Hot 100 8


  1. ^ Inskeep, Thomas (2005-07-12). "On Second Thought: David Bowie - Tonight". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Murray, Charles Shaar (25 October 1984), "Let's Talk, A Conversation with David Bowie", Rolling Stone magazine (433): 14, 18, 74 
  3. ^ "David Bowie - The Interview" 1987, EMI America (Album) Track 24

Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]