"John, I’m Only Dancing" is a single by David Bowie, released in two versions – entirely different recordings, but carrying the same catalogue number – in September 1972 and April 1973. Bowie later re-worked the song into the disco-influenced "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)," recorded in 1974, but unreleased until 1979.
The song is widely believed to be concerned with a gay relationship, the narrator informing his boyfriend not to worry about the girl he's with because he's "only dancing" with her. Bowie had been 'out' as bisexual since an interview with Melody Maker in January 1972, and the subject matter did not affect the single's radio airplay in the UK, where it and the earlier "Starman" became his first back-to-back hits. However, the original video directed by Mick Rock, featuring androgynous dancers from Lindsay Kemp's mime troupe, was banned by Top of the Pops.
The single was not released in America, being judged too risqué by RCA and did not officially appear stateside until it was finally issued on the compilation Changesonebowie in 1976. While the hook ("John, I'm only dancing / She turns me on / But I'm only dancing") has long been considered a gay tease, author Nicholas Pegg asserts that the song's narrator "could just as easily be a straight man reassuring the girl's lover". Alternatively, it has been suggested that Bowie wrote the song in response to a derogatory comment made by John Lennon about Bowie's cross-dressing.
Musically in a light R&B style, the track was recorded on 26 June 1972.