Neuköln

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"Neuköln"
Song by David Bowie
from the album "Heroes"
Released14 October 1977
RecordedHansa Studio by the Wall, West Berlin
July–August 1977
GenreAmbient
Length4:34
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)David Bowie, Brian Eno
Producer(s)David Bowie, Tony Visconti

"Neuköln" is an instrumental piece written by David Bowie and Brian Eno in 1977 for the album "Heroes". It was the last of three consecutive instrumentals on side two of the original vinyl album, following "Sense of Doubt" and "Moss Garden".

Neukölln (correctly spelled with a double "L") is a district of Berlin. Bowie lived in Berlin for a time in 1977, although not in Neukölln but in Schöneberg.[1] The music has been interpreted as reflecting in part the rootlessness of the Turkish immigrants who made up a large proportion of the area's population.[2] Edgar Froese, founder of Tangerine Dream, was also from southern Neukölln. Froese's album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, mostly played with Mellotron (just like Neuköln), was according to Bowie a big influence and a "soundtrack to his life in Berlin".[3] [4] [5]

NME journalists Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray described "Neuköln" as "a mood piece: the Cold War viewed through a bubble of blood or Harry Lime's last thoughts as he dies in the sewer in The Third Man.[1] The final section features Bowie's plaintive saxophone "booming out across a harbour of solitude, as if lost in fog."[2]

The main character Christiane from the film Christiane F. - We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, starring David Bowie as himself, is also from southern Neukölln. Bowie produced the Christiane F. soundtrack which gave the film a commercial boost.

Cover versions[edit]

  • Philip Glass"Heroes" Symphony (1996)
  • Dylan HoweSubterranean – New Designs on Bowie's Berlin (2014)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.92
  2. ^ a b David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story: p.325
  3. ^ "CLASSIC TRACKS: David Bowie 'Heroes' |". www.soundonsound.com. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  4. ^ "Bowie's Berlin: the city that shaped a 1970s masterpiece". History Extra. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  5. ^ "ZEITGESCHICHTEN Tangerine Dream - Groove". Groove (in German). 2015-01-26. Retrieved 2018-09-24.