Thursday, December 9, 2010
david bowie -john im only dancing (again) 1975
"John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)" was a single by David Bowie. It was a re-recording of Bowie's 1972 track "John, I’m Only Dancing", made during the sessions for the album Young Americans.
Released after five years on the shelf, the re-recording featured a much more funk-influenced take on the track, and has some similarities with the song "Stay" recorded for the Station to Station album in 1976. Originally running at 6:57, the track was cut for a 7" single release, but the full version was issued on 12" vinyl – the first Bowie single to have a regular 12" release in the UK. For the B-side, the original version of "John, I'm Only Dancing" was remixed. After the relative disappointment of the singles from Lodger on the charts, the single gave Bowie some greater degree of mainstream exposure during a period when his work was increasingly being perceived as esoteric and experimental. The long 12" version was included on the 1991 Rykodisk/Emi remaster of Young Americans as a bonus track.
The reworking of "John, I'm Only Dancing" intentionally drops the original verses, only leaving the chorus' lyrics intact, perhaps given the supposed homosexual nature of the original piece. Rather, the new lyrics were simply an embrace of the dance floor and the spirit of disco. The chorus is delivered more slowly and unswung with dance beats instead of the rather retro blues beats of the original, giving time for Bowie to demonstrate vocal virtuosity. The changes were considered somewhat strange given the original's context, especially the transformation into the "overlong" dance track, given the 12" version's extended mix, in which half of the song is a repetitive riff consisting of the lyrics "dancing, dancing, dancing, woo woo woo-oo".