Underground (David Bowie song)

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"Underground"
Bowie Underground.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Labyrinth
B-side"Underground (Instrumental)"
Released9 June 1986[1]
Format7"/12" single
Recorded1985
GenrePop, film soundtrack
Length5:57 (Album version)
4:25 (Edited version)
LabelEMI
EA216
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)
David Bowie singles chronology
"Absolute Beginners"
(1986)
"Underground"
(1986)
"Magic Dance"
(1986)
7" Picture Disc Cover
EAP 216 (UK)
EAP 216 (UK)
Music video
"Underground" on YouTube

"Underground" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie for the soundtrack of the film Labyrinth. It reached No. 21 in the UK Singles Chart.

Details[edit]

Bowie and producer Arif Martin recorded "Underground" at Atlantic Studios in New York. The track included a large chorus of backing vocalists (including Chaka Khan, Luther Vandross and Daphne Rubin-Vega)[2] and blues guitarist Albert Collins.

Video[edit]

Steve Barron directed the video clip for promoting the song, which included some characters from the movie, including Hoggle and the Junk Lady.[2] Jim Henson and his son Brian were impressed enough with Barron's style to offer him a job directing the pilot episode of The Storyteller.

Bowie was not happy with the video, saying in 1987, "I've found that the videos I put into other people’s hands have always been a mistake. Because of my lack of interest, I didn't get that involved with things like 'Underground' which I did for Labyrinth. I just left it up, and the result is just not my kind of video. I was a bit lax there. I didn't feel involved."[3][4] Despite Bowie's dislike for the video, Entertainment Weekly considered it to be among his best after he died in 2016.[5]

Follow-up singles[edit]

"As the World Falls Down" was considered for a Christmas 1986 single release, but was canceled.[6] "Magic Dance" was released as the second single from the soundtrack to limited countries in January 1987.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Bowie

7" Commercial Single/12" Promo Single: EMI / EA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited version)" – 4:25
  2. "Underground (Instrumental)" – 5:40
    • This is the only Instrumental version featuring the backing singers.

All other Instrumental versions are slightly longer, backing-tracks only except on the back of the promo 12-inch single.

12" Club Single: EMI / 12EA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Extended dance mix)" – 7:51
  2. "Underground (Dub)" – 5:59
  3. "Underground (Instrumental)" – 5:54

7" Picture Disc: EMI / EAP 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited version)" - 4:25
  2. "Underground (Instrumental)" - 5:52

Download: EMI / iEA 216 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Underground (Edited version)" – 4:25
  2. "Underground (Extended dance mix)" – 7:51
  3. "Underground (Instrumental of album version)" – 5:54
  4. "Underground (Dub)" – 5:59
  • released in 2007

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 26
Belgium (Ultratop 50)[8] 10
Canadian Singles Chart[9] 73
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[10] 7
Germany (GfK)[11] 20
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 7
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 6
Swedish Singles Chart[14] 19
Switzerland (Swiss Hitparade)[15] 14
UK Singles Chart[16] 21
US Hot Dance Music/Club Play 22
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ Underground Discogs
  2. ^ a b c Block, Paula; Erdmann, Terry (2016). Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History. Insight Editions. p. 165 & 166. ISBN 978-1-60887-810-9.
  3. ^ "Dave In, Dave Out", Music & Sound Output magazine, June 1987, retrieved 11 July 2013
  4. ^ "Dave In, Dave Out", Music & Sound Output magazine, June 1987, retrieved 11 July 2013
  5. ^ Anderson, Kyle (11 January 2016). "David Bowie's 20 best music videos". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (October 2016). "The Complete David Bowie New Edition: Expanded and Updated". Titan Books.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "ultratop.be". Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  9. ^ Library and Archives Canada: Volume 44, No. 16, July 12 1986, 12 July 1986, retrieved 11 July 2014
  10. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin – levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava.
  11. ^ "germancharts.de" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  12. ^ "dutchcharts.nl". Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  13. ^ "charts.org.nz". Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  14. ^ "swedishcharts.com". Hung Medien. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  15. ^ "der Schweizer Hitparade" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  16. ^ "OfficialCharts.com". Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External links[edit]