Nightclubbing (song)

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Song by Iggy Pop
from the album The Idiot
ReleasedMarch 18, 1977 (1977-03-18)
Songwriter(s)Iggy Pop, David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie

"Nightclubbing" is a song written by David Bowie and Iggy Pop,[1][2][3] first released by Iggy Pop on his debut solo studio album, The Idiot in 1977. It has been since considered as "a career highlight", along with "Lust for Life"[4] and has been covered by many artists. It is also extensively featured on other media.


The song, which was written and recorded in Berlin,[1][5] features David Bowie on piano with the aid of a Roland drum machine.[6][7] The drum sound was kept in spite of Bowie's desire for a real drummer. The lyrics were immediately written just after the instrumental recording, after Bowie's suggestion that he write about "walking through the night like ghosts".[8] The song's riff has been perceived as a mischievous quote of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll".[9]

Cover versions and use in media[edit]

The song has been covered by many artists, including Grace Jones, The Jolly Boys, Bluvertigo and The Human League. Grace Jones' version achieved mainstream success and was included on her album of the same name.[5][10][11] Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy, Atticus Ross and Jeordie White also collaboratively covered the song live for a radio station in 2006.[12]

The song was featured in the 1996 film, Trainspotting, along with another Iggy Pop track, "Lust for Life".[4][13]

Nine Inch Nails' hit song, "Closer", features a modified sample of the Roland bass drum from the song.[7] Trent Reznor also covered the song with Peter Murphy during a live radio session. The drum loop of "Nightclubbing" was replicated by Oasis for "Force of Nature", a track recorded for their 2002 album Heathen Chemistry.



  1. ^ a b Easby and Oliver (2007)
  2. ^ Pegg (2006), p.154
  3. ^ Bianco (1998)
  4. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (September 1996). "Various artists - Soundtracks (Trainspotting)". CMJ (37): 39. ISSN 1074-6978.
  5. ^ a b Ehrlich (1997), p.96
  6. ^ Paul Trynka (2011), Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed: The Biography, p. 145, Hachette
  7. ^ a b Rule, Greg (April 1994). "Trent Reznor". Keyboard.
  8. ^ Pegg (2000), p.152-153
  9. ^ Trynka (2011), p.242-250
  10. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony and James Henke and Holly George-Warren (1992), p. 378
  11. ^ Jennings and Gardner (2012)
  12. ^ ""Nightclubbing" live 6.23.06. Trent Reznor, Peter Murphy, Atticus Ross, Jeordie White". Youtube. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  13. ^ Powrie, Phil and Robynn Jeananne Stilwell (2006), p.134


  • Bianco, David P. (1998). Parents aren't supposed to like it: rock & other pop musicians of the 1990s. U X L. ISBN 0787617326.
  • DeCurtis, Anthony, James Henke and Holly George-Warren (1992). The Rolling stone album guide: completely new reviews : every essential album, every essential artist. Random House. ISBN 0679737294.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Easby, Amber & Henry Oliver (2007). The Art of the Band T-shirt. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 1416947558.
  • Ehrlich, Dimitri (1997). Inside the music: conversations with contemporary musicians about spirituality, creativity, and consciousness. Shambhala. ISBN 1570622736.
  • Jennings, Ros & Abigail Gardner (2012). 'Rock On': Women, Ageing and Popular Music. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 1409428419.
  • Pegg, Nicholas (2006). The complete David Bowie. Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1905287151.
  • Pegg, Nicholas (2000). Op Cit.
  • Powrie, Phil & Robynn Jeananne Stilwell (2006). Changing Tunes: The Use of Pre-existing Music in Film. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 0754651371.
  • Paul Trynka (2011). Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0767927222.

External links[edit]