Breaking Glass (song)

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"Breaking Glass"
Bowie BreakingGlass.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Stage
Released17 November 1978
RecordedEither Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 28/29 April; Providence, Rhode Island, 5 May or Boston, Massachusetts, 6 May 1978
GenreArt rock
Length1:52 (Low version)
3:28 (Stage version)
Producer(s)Tony Visconti
David Bowie singles chronology
"Beauty and the Beast"
"Breaking Glass"
"Boys Keep Swinging"

"Breaking Glass" is a song by the English singer-songwriter David Bowie. It was co-written by Bowie, bassist George Murray and drummer Dennis Davis in September 1976. Originally a track on Bowie's 1977 album Low, a reworked version of the song was a regular on the Isolar II Tour. A live version from that tour was used as the lead track on a 7" EP to promote his second live album, Stage in 1978. The EP reached number 54 on the UK Singles Chart in December 1978.

In the US, the track "Star" was chosen as the lead track for the live EP (with "What in the World" and "Breaking Glass" as B-sides), but failed to chart, while in Japan, "Soul Love" was released to promote Stage (with "Blackout" as the B-side).

Bowie performed "Breaking Glass" on his Isolar II, Serious Moonlight, Outside, Heathen, and A Reality tours.


The original song was uncompromising even by Low's standards. The fractured lyric is, like several songs written during Bowie's stay in Berlin, introspective of his dark, drug-filled period living in America in 1975–1976. Its lyrics, when written out, look potentially more like a paragraph than a song, and when separated into phrases, the song has a disjointed feeling. The song is also curiously short, not spanning two minutes and only going through one verse.

The lines "Don't look at the carpet; I drew something awful on it" refer to Bowie's practice of drawing the Tree of Life on the floor during that period, as he was interested in Aleister Crowley and Qabalah at the time.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Breaking Glass" (David Bowie, Dennis Davis, George Murray) – 3:28
  2. "Art Decade" (Bowie) – 3:10
  3. "Ziggy Stardust" (Bowie) – 3:32


Live versions[edit]

Other releases[edit]


  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5
  • Wilcken, Hugo, Low, Continuum International Publishing Group Inc, 2005, ISBN 0-8264-1684-5


  1. ^ "A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (1977–1982) – David Bowie Latest News". 22 July 2016. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2017.