|Single by David Bowie|
|from the album Station to Station|
|B-side||"We Are the Dead"|
|Released||30 April 1976|
|Recorded||September – November 1975|
|Studio||Cherokee and Record Plant, Los Angeles|
|David Bowie singles chronology|
The track was inspired by an episode in which Iggy Pop, during a drug-fueled period at Bowie's LA home, hallucinated and believed the television set was swallowing his girlfriend. Bowie developed a story of a holographic television, TVC 15. In the song, the narrator's girlfriend crawls into the television and afterwards, the narrator desires to crawl in himself to find her.
The track has been called "incongruously jolly" and "the most oblique tribute to the Yardbirds imaginable". Critic Robert Christgau described it as an "irresistible" merger of Lou Reed, disco, and Huey Smith.
It was chosen as the second single from the album in the UK, where it reached No. 33. In the US, it peaked at No. 64 on the Billboard singles chart. The song was also a top 20 hit in Sweden.
All songs written by David Bowie.
- "TVC 15" – 3:43
- "We Are the Dead" – 4:58
- 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.
- Performances from the 1978 "Heroes" tour have been released on Stage (1978) and Welcome to the Blackout (2018).
- On 15 December 1979, Bowie recorded the song for a performance as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias.
- Bowie performed the song during the Live Aid concerts on 13 July 1985. The tempo was considerably faster and more upbeat.
- It appeared on several compilations:
- The single edit of the song also appeared on the Christiane F. soundtrack (1981). It is also included on Re:Call 2, part of the Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) compilation (2016).
- It was released as a picture disc in the RCA Life Time disc set.
|UK Singles Chart||33|
|US Billboard Hot 100 Single||64|
|French Singles Chart||53|
|Swedish Singles Chart||18|
- Woodstra, Christopher (2008). All Music Guide Required Listening : Classic Rock. Backbeat. p. 24. ISBN 0879309172.
- Pegg 2004, p. 223.
- Buckley 2000, p. 274.
- Carr & Murray 1981, pp. 78–80.
- Christgau, Robert (1981). "David Bowie: Station to Station". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X.
- "TVC 15" (Single liner notes). David Bowie. UK: RCA Victor. 1976. RCA 2682.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) (Box set booklet). David Bowie. UK, Europe & US: Parlophone. 2016. 0190295989842.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Buckley, David (2000) . Strange Fascination – David Bowie: The Definitive Story. London: Virgin. ISBN 0-7535-0457-X.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Carr, Roy; Murray, Charles Shaar (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record. Eel Pie Pub. ISBN 978-0-38077-966-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Pegg, Nicholas (2004) . The Complete David Bowie. London: Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-903111-73-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)