Bowie performing on Dick Cavett Show [4 of December 1974]
"Young Americans" is a single by English singer and songwriter David Bowie, released in 1975. It is included in the album of the same name.
The first studio result of Bowie’s mid-1970s obsession with soul music, "Young Americans" was a breakthrough hit for the artist in the United States (where the single was released in an edited 3:11 version). The sound, often later reflected on by Bowie as "plastic soul", was matched by a cynical lyric, making references to McCarthyism, black repression via Rosa Parks, Richard Nixon (who had resigned the U.S. Presidency two days before the recording session), as well as a near-direct lift from The Beatles’ "A Day in the Life" with the line "I heard the news today oh boy!" (John Lennon, who originally authored the line, appeared twice on the Young Americans album, providing background vocals and guitar on his own "Across The Universe" and "Fame", for which he also received a co-writing credit.) In falsetto, Bowie asks the question: "Ain't there one damn song that can make me... break down and cry?". The backing vocal arrangement came at the suggestion of Luther Vandross.
The song was a massive breakthrough in the United States, where glam rock had never really become very popular outside the major cities. The song reached No. 28 in the Billboard charts, making it his second biggest success there up until that point. The song is ranked at number 481 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
More information on this artist is available in the last.fm tabs below.