I Can't Give Everything Away

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"I Can't Give Everything Away"
David Bowie - I Can't Give Everything Away cover art.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album
Released 6 April 2016
Format Digital download
Recorded 2015 at The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios
(New York City, New York)
Genre
Length
  • 5:47 (album version)
  • 4:26 (video edit)
Label
Songwriter(s) David Bowie
Producer(s)
David Bowie singles chronology
"Lazarus"
(2015)
"I Can't Give Everything Away"
(2016)
"Life on Mars? (2016 Mix)"
(2016)

"Lazarus"
(2015)
"I Can't Give Everything Away"
(2016)
"Life on Mars? (2016 Mix)"
(2016)

"I Can't Give Everything Away" is a song by English musician David Bowie. The song was released as a posthumous single on 6 April 2016. "I Can't Give Everything Away" is the third and final single from Bowie's twenty-fifth studio album, (2016).[1] The track was written by Bowie and produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti.

Prior to issue as a posthumous single, "I Can't Give Everything Away" peaked at number 45 on the Swiss Hitparade chart; number 141 on the UK Singles Chart; and number 142 on the French Singles Chart.

The song contains a similar harmonica part to that of "A New Career in a New Town", an instrumental from Bowie's 1977 album Low.

Critical reception[edit]

"I Can't Give Everything Away" received positive reviews from critics. Sam Richards of NME called the song "a serene, lilting number",[2] while Ben Skipper of the IB Times labelled it as a "beautiful and moving farewell".[3] Neil McCormick of The Telegraph called the song an "epic closing track", commenting that "Bowie sounds like he is grappling with his own mystery: 'Seeing more and feeling less / Saying no but meaning yes / This is all I ever meant / That's the message that I sent.'"[4]

The American online magazine Pitchfork listed "I Can't Give Everything Away" at number 23 on their ranking of the 100 best songs to be released in 2016.[5]

Music video[edit]

On 6 April 2016 an animated lyric video was released, created by Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the album's artwork. He explained his motives behind the video as follows:

“This is really a very simple little video that I wanted to be ultimately positive,” Barnbrook says. “We start off in the black and white world of ★, but in the final chorus we move to brilliant colour, I saw it as a celebration of David, to say that despite the adversity we face, the difficult things that happen such as David’s passing, that human beings are naturally positive, they look forward and can take the good from the past and use it as something to help with the present. We are a naturally optimistic species and we celebrate the good that we are given.”

"I Can't Give Everything Away" impacted radio worldwide and was playlisted at BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, Absolute and Radio X in the UK.

Farewell Mix[edit]

A reworked version of the song, known as "I Can't Give Everything Away (Farewell Mix)", was performed by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, with whom Bowie had collaborated and toured on occasions, during their I Can't Seem To Wake Up tour.[6] Singer Trent Reznor stated he made the remix as a healing factor to cope with Bowie's death. Reznor had anonymously uploaded a studio version of the remix to Soundcloud several months before performing it live.[7] The studio version features only Bowie's vocals, while performing the song live Reznor sings along with Bowie's vocals.[8]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
France (SNEP)[9] 142
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[10] 45
Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)[11] 33
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 141
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[13] 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ Young, Alex (6 April 2016). "David Bowie's longtime artist releases beautiful posthumous video for "I Can't Give Everything Away"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Richards, Sam (8 January 2016). "David Bowie – 'Blackstar' Review: The NME Verdict". NME. Retrieved 11 February 2016. 
  3. ^ Skipper, Ben (11 January 2016). "David Bowie's final song I Can't Give Everything Away is a poignant and beautiful farewell". International Business Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  4. ^ McCormick, Neil (8 January 2016). "David Bowie, Blackstar, review: 'extraordinary'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "The 100 Best Songs of 2016". Pitchfork. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. 
  6. ^ Jazz Monroe (July 20, 2017). "Watch Nine Inch Nails Cover David Bowie's "I Can't Give Everything Awa - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  7. ^ Alex Young (20 July 2017). "Studio version of Nine Inch Nails' cover of David Bowie's "I Can't Give Everything Away" surfaces online: Stream". Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  8. ^ Greg Kennelty (20 July 2017). "NINE INCH NAILS Secretly Released A Cover Of DAVID BOWIE's "I Can't Give Everything Away" - Metal Injection". Metal Injection LLC. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  9. ^ "Lescharts.com – David Bowie – I Can't Give Everything Away" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – David Bowie – I Can't Give Everything Away". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  11. ^ "David Bowie – Chart history". Billboard Mexico Ingles Airplay for David Bowie. Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Chart Log UK – New Chart Entries – 16.01.2016". zobbel.de. Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 27 January 2016.

External links[edit]