Innovator David Bowie has been gone now for almost two and a half years, his ashes long since scattered on the Indonesian island of Bali. Of course, at 95.5, GLO, his musical legacy survives and lives on.
I thought I’d tip my hat to the androgynous one with perhaps my favorite hit from him, one that’s somehow disappeared from the radio these days. “Young Americans” was influenced by and recorded in Philadelphia in the early 70’s. The song comes from the 1975 album of the same name. Philly producers and musicians, including Luther Vandross (backing vocals) worked on the record. They were going for the blue-eyed, Philadelphia soul sound and wanted to have a live feel to it. Accordingly, they tried to record songs from the “Young Americans” album in single takes. Sax man David Sanborn played the solo on the title track.
The lyrics chronicle the United States past (“…do you remember, your President Nixon,”) in a dark, sarcastic way, but while he takes jabs at The States, it comes from a love of our country. Bowie was said to think of America like an ambitious, energetic, flawed teenager. I loved this song from the first listen and still do. Enjoy Doc’s Deep Dive every weekday at 6:15 pm from Peoria’s home for classic rock, 95.5, GLO.