Diamond Dogs (song)

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"Diamond Dogs"
Bowie DiamondDogsSingle.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Diamond Dogs
B-side"Holy Holy"
Released14 June 1974
RecordedJanuary–February 1974
StudioOlympic, London
Genre
Length6:02
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Rock 'n' Roll Suicide"
(1974)
"Diamond Dogs"
(1974)
"1984"
(1974)

"Diamond Dogs" is a 1974 single by English singer-songwriter David Bowie, the title track of the album of the same name.

The lyric introduces the listener to Bowie’s latest persona and his environment; Halloween Jack dwells on top of an abandoned skyscraper ("Manhattan Chase", a.k.a. One Chase Manhattan Plaza) in a post-apocalyptic Manhattan. The guitar sound is heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones, and signalled Bowie moving away from glam rock and closer to a proto-punk Stooges-influenced sound.[2]

The track was considered by many commentators to be an unconventional single, and it only reached number 21 in the United Kingdom. According to NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray, "As a potential hit single, the title track from Diamond Dogs was something of a non-event. Too long, too bleak in vision, too tough to dance to... you know the drill."[3]

Although it was not issued in the US as a single (despite the fact that copies were pressed in the US for shipment to the UK and were commonly imported into the US for sale in shops that sold imports), the song became a central part of Bowie’s North American tour in 1974.

The B-side was a version of Bowie’s 1971 single "Holy Holy", re-recorded during the Ziggy Stardust sessions the same year.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by David Bowie.[4]

  1. "Diamond Dogs" – 5:56
  2. "Holy Holy" – 2:20

In Australia, a 2'58" edit of "Diamond Dogs" was used (RCA 102462) instead of the full-length album version.[5]

Personnel[edit]

According to biographer Chris O'Leary:[6]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[7] 46
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[8] 7
French Singles Chart[verification needed] 26
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 27
UK Singles (OCC)[10] 21

Live versions[edit]

  • A live version from the first leg of the 1974 tour was released on David Live. This version was also issued on the Dutch release Rock Concert. A live recording from the second leg of the same tour (previously available on the unofficial album A Portrait in Flesh) was released in 2017 on Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74). A live version from the third leg of the tour, incorporating the chorus of the Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock 'n Roll (But I Like It)", was released in 2020 on I'm Only Dancing (The Soul Tour 74).
  • A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was included on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, which was released as part of the 2010 reissues of the Station to Station album, on the 2016 collection Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976), and as a stand–alone album in 2017.

Other releases[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Beck recorded a cover version of "Diamond Dogs", produced by Timbaland, for the film Moulin Rouge! in 2001. The dancers in the film were also called the Diamond Dogs, as were the dancers on Bowie's 1974 tour.
  • Dramarama – Live recording (1992)
  • Duran DuranThank You (Japanese version 1995)
  • Rancid Vat – "Bowiecide" single
  • Graveyard School – Hero: The Main Man Records Tribute to David Bowie (2007)
  • Gilby ClarkeSwag
  • John Vanderslice covered the entire Diamond Dogs album in "John Vanderslice Plays David Bowie's Diamond Dogs" (2015).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Crockford, C. M. (12 January 2015). "David Bowie – Diamond Dogs". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on 28 February 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  2. ^ Pegg 2016, pp. 74–75.
  3. ^ Carr & Murray 1981, p. 64.
  4. ^ "Diamond Dogs" (Single liner notes). David Bowie. UK: RCA Victor. 1974. APBO 0293.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ a b c Ruud Altenburg. "David Bowie – Illustrated db Discography". Illustrated-db-discography.nl. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  6. ^ O'Leary 2015, p. 301.
  7. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Bowie – Diamond Dogs" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  8. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Diamond Dogs". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  10. ^ "David Bowie: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 12 September 2020.

References[edit]