Shadow Man (song)

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"Shadow Man" is a song written by David Bowie and first recorded in 1971, during the Ziggy Stardust sessions. It was rerecorded by Bowie in 2000 and released for the first time in 2002.

The original recording date is uncertain. According to one Bowie scholar, an unfinished demo with vocal, guitar and drums was recorded at Trident Studios on 14 September 1971, and an earlier version may have been recorded along with "Rupert the Riley" on 23 April 1971.[1] Another Bowie researcher states that the recording date of the song is 15 November 1971.[2]

In 2000, Bowie recorded the song for the planned but unreleased album Toy. This version would later be included on the limited edition bonus disc of Heathen, and on the singles "Slow Burn" and "I've Been Waiting for You" and version 2 of the UK single "Everyone Says 'Hi'". It is also included on the 2014 compilation Nothing Has Changed.


According to artist Tanja Stark, the lyrics appear to be influenced by the insights of Carl Jung, the Shadow being a core archetypal concept in his depth psychology framework. Bowie described himself as Jungian in his relationship to the dream state, acknowledging Jung by name in the lyrics to Drive In Saturday.

Jung wrote " spite of its function as a reservoir for human darkness—or perhaps because of this—the shadow is the seat of creativity”. The lyrics to Shadow Man acknowledge this component of the psyche, recognizing its dual capacity, from a Jungian perspective to be “foe” or “friend”. In this framework, the 'girl up ahead who knows' in the lyric could represent the role of the anima.[3]


  1. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2002). "The Songs from A to Z". The Complete David Bowie (Rev. & updated 2nd ed.). London: Reynolds & Hearn. p. 157. ISBN 1-903111-40-4.
  2. ^ Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now - David Bowie: The London Years: 1947-1974: p.231
  3. ^ Stark, Tanja, (2015) “Crashing Out with Sylvian: David Bowie, Carl Jung and the Unconscious” in Deveroux, E., M.Power and A. Dillane (eds) David Bowie: Critical Perspectives: Routledge Press Contemporary Music Series (chapter 5) -