“Hey babe, it's time to say goodbye*”
Rebel Rebel and Alabama Song are two Bowie 45s which were originally released on this day in 1974 and 1980 respectively.
The former was a Top 5 single on the UK chart while the latter peaked at #23. We’ll post more about Rebel Rebel nearer to the 40th anniversary picture disc issue next month.
Alabama Song was a fan favourite on the 1978 World Tour, so even though the record buying public may have found the unusual tempo and key changes a challenge, fans were glad that a studio version of the song had finally been made available.
The release was coupled with a new stripped back recording of Space Oddity which Bowie performed on UK TV with a video filmed especially for the Kenny Everett New Year's Eve TV show, as the decades changed from the 70s to the 80s.
If you’ve not seen it before, view it here. Certain scenes may seem familiar.
On the same night in America, a performance of Bowie miming to an abridged version of the original 1969 Space Oddity for Dick Clark's Salute to the Seventies was broadcast. View a low quality version of this beautiful video here.
Various crops of a still from this performance were used around the globe for the many different sleeves for Alabama Song, including the poster sleeve pictured here.
A tiny quantity of pink vinyl pressings of Alabama Song were purportedly pressed up by a fan working at the RCA pressing plant.
View a bigger version of that and a few of the sleeve variations on the scarily thorough David Bowie 7” Singles website.
*Today’s lyric quotation lifts a bit from Rebel Rebel and Alabama Song. You do the math.