Station to Station (song)

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"Station to Station"
David Bowie - Station to Station song cover art.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station
B-side"TVC 15"
Released23 January 1976
RecordedSeptember – November 1975 at Cherokee Studios (Los Angeles, California)
  • 10:14 (album version)
  • 3:40 (French single version)
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Golden Years"
"Station to Station"
"TVC 15"

"Station to Station" is a song by English musician David Bowie. It was written and recorded at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles in 1975, and released in January 1976 as the title track and opener of Bowie's tenth studio album as well as on a promotional 7-inch single in France.


The song is Bowie's longest studio recording, at just over 10 minutes. Structurally, the song builds from a droning, guitar-driven introductory portion that mimics a train building up speed, to an uptempo section punctuated by the refrain "It's too late."

The lyrics contain various references to Aleister Crowley, Kabbalah[1] and gnosticism.[1] Bowie stated that "The "Station to Station" track itself is very much concerned with the Stations of the Cross."[1] It also references Bowie's persona The Thin White Duke.[2]

Single version[edit]

The song was released as a promo single (42549 A) in January 1976 in France, with a shortened duration of 3:40 and "TVC 15" on the b-side.[3] The single version begins at the central section of the song with the drums just prior to the "once there were mountains..." lyric. This short edit of "Station To Station" was mainly for radio stations and was played frequently on French radio at the time.[3] The single edit appears on the Deluxe Edition of the 2010 reissue of the Station to Station album and on Re:Call 2, part of the Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) compilation released in 2016.

Track listing[edit]

Side A
1."Station to Station"3:40
Side B
1."TVC 15"4:40


  • Carlos Alomar – guitar
  • Roy Bittan – piano, organ
  • David Bowie – lead vocals, guitar, composing, production
  • Dennis Davis – drums
  • Harry Maslin – melodica, train noises, production
  • George Murray – bass guitar
  • Warren Peace – percussion, backing vocals
  • Earl Slick – guitar

Live versions[edit]

  • A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was included on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, which was released as part of the 2010 reissues of the Station to Station album, on the 2016 collection Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976), and as a stand–alone album in 2017.
  • A live version, edited from recordings made at concert performances in Providence, RI on 5 May 1978 and in Boston, MA on 6 May 1978,[4] was released on Bowie's second live album, Stage. This version was also featured in the Christiane F. movie, where Bowie, miming the 1978 live recording, made an appearance as himself performing the song at a concert. An edit of this version was released on the soundtrack of the film.
  • A summer 1978 performance from the same tour was released on Welcome to the Blackout in 2018.
  • A live version recorded on 12 September 1983 was released on the concert film Serious Moonlight.
  • Bowie's 25 June 2000 performance of the song at the Glastonbury Festival was released in 2018 on Glastonbury 2000.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue no.
 France 23 January 1976 RCA/RCA Victor 7" 42549[3]


  1. ^ a b c Cavanagh, David (February 1997), "ChangesFiftyBowie", Q magazine: 52–59
  2. ^ "How David Bowie Brought Thin White Duke to Life on 'Station to Station'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "David Bowie - Station To Station (Vinyl)". Discogs. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  4. ^ Tony Visconti (2005). Stage 2005 reissue: CD booklet

External links[edit]