Quicksand (David Bowie song)

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"Quicksand"
Song by David Bowie
from the album Hunky Dory
Released17 December 1971
30 January 1990 (Rykodisc Reissue)
RecordedTrident Studios, London, 14 July 1971
GenreArt rock, folk rock
Length5:03
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)Ken Scott, David Bowie

"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 Superman.[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]

Reception[edit]

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]

Marilyn Manson has stated that "Quicksand" and Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" are his favorite songs.[6]

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.

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Notes[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. Archived from the original on January 27, 2007.
  6. ^ Scaggs, Austin (October 14, 2004). "Q&A: Marilyn Manson". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved June 14, 2017.

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]