Quicksand (David Bowie song)

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Song by David Bowie from the album Hunky Dory
Released 17 December 1971
Rykodisc Reissue 30 January 1990
Recorded Trident Studios, London July 1971
Genre Art rock, folk rock
Length 5:03
Label RCA
Writer David Bowie
Producer Ken Scott, David Bowie
Hunky Dory track listing
"Fill Your Heart"

"Quicksand" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory; it was recorded on 14 July 1971.[1] This ballad features multi-tracked acoustic guitars and a string arrangement by Mick Ronson. Producer Ken Scott, having recently engineered George Harrison's album All Things Must Pass, attempted to create a similarly powerful acoustic sound with this track.[2]

Lyrically the song, like much of Bowie's work at this time, was influenced by Buddhism, occultism, and Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of the Overman.[3] It refers to the magical society Golden Dawn and name-checks one of its most famous members, Aleister Crowley, as well as Heinrich Himmler, Winston Churchill and Juan Pujol (codename: Garbo).[4]

30 second sample from David Bowie's "Quicksand".

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NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray have described it as "Bowie in his darkest and most metaphysical mood",[3] while a contemporary review in Rolling Stone remarked on its "superb singing" and "beautiful guitar motif".[5]

Other releases[edit]

  • It was released as the B-side of the single "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" in April 1974.
  • RCA included the song in the picture disc set Life Time.
  • A studio demo version of the song was released as a bonus track on the Rykodisc release of Hunky Dory in 1990.


Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now - David Bowie: The London Years: 1947-1974: pp.223-224
  2. ^ David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story: p.115
  3. ^ a b Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.41
  4. ^ David Sheppard (2007). "Wishful Beginnings", MOJO 60 Years of Bowie: p.24
  5. ^ John Mendelsohn (6 January 1972). "Hunky Dory". Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone). [dead link]


Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]