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Suffragette City 45 Is Thirty Five And Immortal

Total Blam Blam's picture
on July 09, 2011

A total blam blam...

Though a handful of territories saw the release of Suffragette City as an A-side in July (9th in the UK) 1976, an equal number had the B-side of the single, Stay, elevated to A-side status the following month with Word On A Wing as the B-side.

Suffragette City was seen as a promotional tool for the recently-released CHANGESONEBOWIE, but despite having a picture sleeve, (which was still considered a big deal at that point in the UK) the 45 flopped.

Out of the twenty or so RCA single releases from Changes in 1972 up to Beauty And The Beast in 1978, (when Bowie picture sleeves became standard issue) only four were picture sleeves and Suffragette City was the fourth. Not that it helped sales any.

Aside from the false start of Changes, (which sold healthily for years as a back catalogue single despite not charting originally) as far as I can tell, Suffragette City has the dubious honour of being the worst performing post-Mercury Bowie single of all time in the UK, (excepting old label re-issues and the like) it didn't even trouble the Top 100.

This was most likely down to the fact that it had already been available on the Ziggy Stardust album and CHANGESONEBOWIE, not to mention as a B-side to Starman. A live version appeared on both David Live and as the B-side of Young Americans. All this in the space of four years.

Benefit of hindsight and all that, but I think Stay may have performed better as an A-side...and it seems a few territories agreed with that theory the following month. Anyway, this overkill didn't spoil fan enjoyment of the song and it remained a live favourite across the years.

Indeed, it's great to see that Suffragette City is still turning people on to David Bowie even now. One of the items that didn't appear in ARTROCKER's COMPLETE ARTICLE GUIDE in our previous news story was a piece by Daniel "Sped" Spedding of the Dutch Uncles, a band who enjoyed iTunes single of the week in the UK a couple of months back with the excellent Cadenza.

The piece is called Dutch Uncles on ‘Suffragette City’ and here it is...

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BOWIE WEEK: Dutch Uncles on ‘Suffragette City’

Sped from Dutch Uncles reveals how car trips with his parents - and 'Suffragette City' - turned him into the man he is today...

Suffragette City by David Bowie takes me back to being five years old, in the back of a white Ford Capri, rocking vigorously from side to side, on a booster seat with a 90’s centre parting and a big mouth (only the hair has changed).

Parents up front. Dad driving with the window down whilst smoking and doing his best Bowie impression. My Mum shouting “Sing in your own voice, you’re not David Bowie and you’re never going to sound like him…”. The track would change to Neil Diamond or something, and again my Mum pipes up with “Sing in your own…!”

So yeah, I’ve been a fan of Bowie since I can remember and this is one of my favourites. As an artist he’s always been in my head as brilliant and iconic - nothing has changed over the years in terms of my opinion of him and I don’t believe it ever will.

It was key in shaping my musical taste which I can trace back to me wanting to pursue the guitar through to eventually meeting my band mates. Wanting to play guitar came from being inspired by great music pushed onto me by my family from a very early age... it’s what I am doing today, and seems what I have always wanted to do.

All that’s left to say is…Wham bam thank you Ma’am… & Dad!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Indeed, that immortal line is all that is left to say, courtesy of the current online Durex campaign in Switzerland! Thanx to French BowieNetter Eric for the pointer...so to speak.

blog image: 
    9 July 2011
    Suffragette City 45 Is Thirty Five And Immortal

    A total blam blam...

    Though a handful of territories saw the release of Suffragette City as an A-side in July (9th in the UK) 1976, an equal number had the B-side of the single, Stay, elevated to A-side status the following month with Word On A Wing as the B-side.

    Suffragette City was seen as a promotional tool for the recently-released CHANGESONEBOWIE, but despite having a picture sleeve, (which was still considered a big deal at that point in the UK) the 45 flopped.

    Out of the twenty or so RCA single releases from Changes in 1972 up to Beauty And The Beast in 1978, (when Bowie picture sleeves became standard issue) only four were picture sleeves and Suffragette City was the fourth. Not that it helped sales any.

    Aside from the false start of Changes, (which sold healthily for years as a back catalogue single despite not charting originally) as far as I can tell, Suffragette City has the dubious honour of being the worst performing post-Mercury Bowie single of all time in the UK, (excepting old label re-issues and the like) it didn't even trouble the Top 100.

    This was most likely down to the fact that it had already been available on the Ziggy Stardust album and CHANGESONEBOWIE, not to mention as a B-side to Starman. A live version appeared on both David Live and as the B-side of Young Americans. All this in the space of four years.

    Benefit of hindsight and all that, but I think Stay may have performed better as an A-side...and it seems a few territories agreed with that theory the following month. Anyway, this overkill didn't spoil fan enjoyment of the song and it remained a live favourite across the years.

    Indeed, it's great to see that Suffragette City is still turning people on to David Bowie even now. One of the items that didn't appear in ARTROCKER's COMPLETE ARTICLE GUIDE in our previous news story was a piece by Daniel "Sped" Spedding of the Dutch Uncles, a band who enjoyed iTunes single of the week in the UK a couple of months back with the excellent Cadenza.

    The piece is called Dutch Uncles on ‘Suffragette City’ and here it is...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    BOWIE WEEK: Dutch Uncles on ‘Suffragette City’

    Sped from Dutch Uncles reveals how car trips with his parents - and 'Suffragette City' - turned him into the man he is today...

    Suffragette City by David Bowie takes me back to being five years old, in the back of a white Ford Capri, rocking vigorously from side to side, on a booster seat with a 90’s centre parting and a big mouth (only the hair has changed).

    Parents up front. Dad driving with the window down whilst smoking and doing his best Bowie impression. My Mum shouting “Sing in your own voice, you’re not David Bowie and you’re never going to sound like him…”. The track would change to Neil Diamond or something, and again my Mum pipes up with “Sing in your own…!”

    So yeah, I’ve been a fan of Bowie since I can remember and this is one of my favourites. As an artist he’s always been in my head as brilliant and iconic - nothing has changed over the years in terms of my opinion of him and I don’t believe it ever will.

    It was key in shaping my musical taste which I can trace back to me wanting to pursue the guitar through to eventually meeting my band mates. Wanting to play guitar came from being inspired by great music pushed onto me by my family from a very early age... it’s what I am doing today, and seems what I have always wanted to do.

    All that’s left to say is…Wham bam thank you Ma’am… & Dad!

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Indeed, that immortal line is all that is left to say, courtesy of the current online Durex campaign in Switzerland! Thanx to French BowieNetter Eric for the pointer...so to speak.