Boys Keep Swinging
|"Boys Keep Swinging"|
|Single by David Bowie|
|from the album Lodger|
|Released||27 April 1979|
|Recorded||Mountain, Montreux, September 1978; Record Plant, New York City, March 1979|
|David Bowie singles chronology|
Recording and release
During the Lodger recording sessions, Bowie had wanted to capture a garage band style for the track, and agreed with Brian Eno that the best way to achieve this sound was to get the band to swap instruments after this was 'suggested' by Eno's deck of 'Oblique Strategies' cards, which supplied the suggestion "Reverse Roles". Guitarist Carlos Alomar played drums and drummer Dennis Davis played bass.
RCA decided against releasing the single in the US, choosing "Look Back in Anger" instead.
The song reached No. 7 in the UK, returning Bowie to the Top 10 of the Singles chart for the first time since "Sound and Vision" in February 1977. It was performed only during one tour, the 1995 Outside Tour. Interviewed in 2000, Bowie said about the song – "I do not feel that there is anything remotely glorious about being either male or female. I was merely playing on the idea of the colonization of gender."
Saturday Night Live performance
On 15 December 1979, Bowie was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live and was joined by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias as backing singers during the performance, which featured a puppet body special effect (with Bowie's head superimposed over the puppet's). During the broadcast, NBC censors muted the line "other boys check you out", but failed to notice the puppet's bouncing phallus at the close of the song, which was aired uncensored.
- "Boys Keep Swinging" – 3:17
- "Fantastic Voyage" – 2:55
- David Bowie – lead vocals, guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", piano on "Fantastic Voyage"; production
- Adrian Belew – guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage"
- Dennis Davis – bass guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", percussion on "Fantastic Voyage",
- Tony Visconti – bass guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage", backing vocals on "Fantastic Voyage"; production
- Carlos Alomar – drums on "Boys Keep Swinging"
- Brian Eno – piano on "Boys Keep Swinging", ambient drone on "Fantastic Voyage"
- Simon House – violin on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage"
- Sean Mayes – piano on "Fantastic Voyage"
- The song appeared on the following compilations:
- Chameleon (Australia/New Zealand 1979)
- The Best of Bowie (1980)
- Christiane F. soundtrack (1982)
- Sound + Vision (1989)
- Bowie – The Singles 1969–1993 (1993)
- The Singles Collection (1993)
- The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979 (1998)
- Best of Bowie (2002)
- The Platinum Collection (2005/2006)
- Nothing Has Changed (2014)
- Bowie Legacy (2-CD version) (2016)
- It was released as a picture disc in the Fashions Picture Disc Set.
- The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower – INRI (2006)
- Sarah Harding – St Trinian's 2 – The Legend of Fritton's Gold (Original Soundtrack) (2009)
- Screamfeeder – Home Age (1999)
- Susanna Hoffs – When You're a Boy (1991) and David Bowie Songbook
- Blur's 1997 track "M.O.R." heavily borrowed the rhythm and harmonic structure of the song, and after legal intervention, was credited to "Blur/Bowie/Eno".
- Duran Duran – We Were So Turned On – A Tribute to David Bowie (2010)
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||18|
|Irish Singles Chart||19|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||16|
- Graham, Ben (11 January 2016). "30-Years On – David Bowie's Lodger Comes In From The Cold". The Quietus. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
- Abdulmajid, Iman (Fall 2000). "Watch That Man". Bust. pp. 32–33.
- "Boys Keep Swinging" (Single liner notes). David Bowie. UK: RCA Victor. 1979. BOW 2/PB 1585.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
- "David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
- "David Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 12 September 2020.