I heard the news today, oh boy...
Thirty years ago today, the first taste of David Bowie's latest direction was launched upon a completely unsuspecting European public, in the shape of his first slab of "Plastic Soul", 1975's Young Americans 7" 45 single. An edited version had been released in the US the previous month.
Though a select few US fans knew of Bowie's flirtation with the Philly sound, (having experienced it during the tail end of the Diamond Dogs tour, which come to be known as the Soul Tour or the Philly Dogs Tour) the single was quite a shock to David's European fans (albeit a pleasant one) and indeed to anyone who was expecting something else in the Diamond Dogs vein.
Of course, the previous single, Knock On Wood, had been more than a hint of things to come and David scored another Top 30 hit in the US and a Top 20 hit in the UK with Young Americans.
Radio stations in the UK and the US were furnished with an outrageously butchered 3.11 minute mix, (see demo disc above) almost 2 minutes less than the 5.01 minute full single mix which was the same as the upcoming album version.
IMHO, the Young Americans song itself (particularly the lyrics) gives a knowing nod as much to Bruce Springsteen, and his 1973 debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., as it does to the sound of Gamble and Huff.
David enjoyed the early work of Springsteen so much that he oversaw the recording of three Springsteen covers from that first album: Spirits In The Night with The Astronettes in 1973 and his own versions of Growin' Up, during the Diamond Dogs sessions, and It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City, during the Young Americans sessions.
Anyway, I'm getting spottery again... The point of this news piece was to inform you of a new 30th Anniversary double disc edition of the Young Americans album due in a few months.
Without the aid of a time machine we certainly have no chance of hitting the exact 30th anniversary date. However, if everything goes to plan, there are going to be some very nice surprises on this one.
I'll post more details, such as release date and tracklisting as I get them.