Bowie said that this was the result of cramming his “whole American experience” into one song.
This was recorded between tour dates in Philadelphia the Philly soul influence had a very obvious effect on Bowie’s style.
Over the course of about eight very creative days, Bowie recorded his vocals after midnight because he heard that’s when Frank Sinatra recorded most of his vocals, and because there weren’t so many people around.
Bowie hired Luther Vandross, who had yet to establish himself as a solo artist, to sing backup and create the vocal arrangements
The line near the end, “I heard the news today, oh boy,” is a reference to the Beatles song “A Day In The Life.” John Lennon worked with Bowie on “Fame” and also Bowie’s cover of “Across The Universe.” Both songs are on this album.
Near the end of the song, Bowie gives a nod to Soul Train a show featured lots of very expressive dancing as well as a musical guest, and in November 1975, Bowie became one of the first white singers to perform on the show, something he was very proud of.
At a performance at Giants Stadium, Bowie stopped after singing the line, “Ain’t there one damn song that can make me…”, and dropped to the stage, where he stayed for 10 minutes. The crowd went nuts, but got concerned after a while. Bowie did it to see what kind of reaction he would get.
The album was going to be called “Dancin'” before Bowie decided to name it after this track.
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