David Bowie

DAVID BOWIE                                                                   1970                                                                   Mercury Records

The lead single from the album The Man Who Sold the World. Chart: (did not chart). Time - 3:55. Released as B side to Space Oddity, 1973. Released in U.S.A. November 4, 1970.

Recorded at Trident and Advision Studios, London, England, April 18 May 22, 1970. Produced by Tony Visconti. Engineered by Ken Scott.

Lulu had the first hit with the song, going to #3 (1974), with Bowie producing and backing on sax and vocals, Mick Ronson on guitar. The Nirvana cover from MTV Unplugged in New York album went to #6 (1995) on the Billboard alternative chart, 1996. Nobody really knew what the song was about until 1997. Kurt Cobain didn't even know any of Bowie's early music, his greatest stuff. Even tho Bowie's version was not well known in the beginning, and not a hit, it got the most airplay over time and is by far the definitive version. - Larry -


   David Bowie - lead vocals, acoustic guitar, organ
   Mick Ronson - electric guitar
   Tony Visconti - bass, backing vocals
   Woody Woodmansey - drums, percussion

Lulu - 2008:Uncut

"I first met Bowie on tour in the early '70s when he invited me to his concert. And back at the hotel, he said to me, in very heated language, 'I want to make an MF of a record with you. You're a great singer.' I didn't think it would happen, but he followed up two days later. He was uber cool at the time and I just wanted to be led by him. I didn't think 'The Man Who Sold The World' was the greatest song for my voice, but it was such a strong song in itself. In the studio, Bowie kept telling me to smoke more cigarettes, to give my voice a certain quality. We were like the odd couple. Were we ever an item? I'd rather not answer that one, thanks! ..... 'The Man Who Sold The World' saved me from a certain niche in my career. If we'd have carried on, it would have been very interesting."


"I didn't think 'The Man Who Sold the World' was the greatest song for my voice, but it was such a strong song in itself. I had no idea what it was about. "

David Bowie - 1997:BBC Radio 1

"I guess I wrote it because there was a part of myself that I was looking for. Maybe now that I feel more comfortable with the way that I live my life and my mental state (laughs) and my spiritual state whatever, maybe I feel there's some kind of unity now. That song for me always exemplified kind of how you feel when you're young, when you know that there's a piece of yourself that you haven't really put together yet. You have this great searching, this great need to find out who you really are."

Chad Channing (Nirvana) - Songfacts

"We were in Boston and stopped by this record store, and I found this copy of The Man Who Sold The World. It was a cool copy - it had the poster in it and everything. And those guys weren't familiar with the record. And I inquired about, 'What David Bowie do you like? Do you like David Bowie?' And they're like, 'Well, the only David Bowie we're familiar with is 'Let's Dance.' I was surprised. I was like, 'Really? Wow.' I was like, 'You've got to hear some early David Bowie, for sure.'

So when I got the opportunity, I made a tape of the record at somebody's house, and then while we were touring around I just went ahead and popped the tape in and let it roll. After a bit, Kurt turned around and said to me, 'Who is this?' kind of like knowingly, just something familiar with the voice and stuff. I said, 'Well, this is David Bowie. This is The Man Who Sold the World record.' He's like, 'Yeah, this is really cool.' I said, 'You should check out Hunky Dory and stuff.' And so eventually, I'm sure he did. But he totally dug it."

YOU TUBE STUDIO TRACK OFFICIAL VIDEO YOU TUBE LYRIC VIDEO YOU TUBE LIVE 2004, Japan YOU TUBE LULU version, Bowie produced & backed YOU TUBE NIRVANA cover We passed upon the stair, We spoke of was and when Although I wasn't there, He said I was his friend Which came as some surprise I spoke into his eyes I thought you died alone, A long-long time ago Oh, no, not me I never lost control You're face to face With the man who sold the world I laughed and shook his hand, And made my way back home I searched for form and land, For years and years I roamed I gazed a gazely stare At all the millions here We must have died alone, A long-long time ago Who knows? Not me We never lost control You're face to face With the man who sold the world Who knows? Not me We never lost control You're face to face With the man who sold the world