Per my Monday post of last week, I’m featuring my favorite David Bowie songs until I decide to stop. There are, after all, many songs.
“Young Americans,” released in 1975 was about the predicament of two newlyweds. From the album by the same name, Bowie identified the sound as “plastic soul,” a term coined during the sixties by black musicians to describe Mick Jagger, a white musician singing soul music.
Bowie referred to Young Americans as “the definitive plastic soul record … the squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak, written and sung by a white limey.” Bowie was one of the few white musicians invited to perform on Soul Train—an American musical variety show that featured primarily R&B, soul, and hip hop artists.
In this video from the Dick Cavett Show, Bowie is accompanied by jazz sax player David Sanborn and Luther Vandross (who arranged the backup vocals). It’s been bittersweet learning more about the many musicians Bowie played with. I didn’t know Sanborn is 70 and Luther Vandross passed away in 2005 at age 54.
Thankfully, good music is timeless even though life is finite.
Don’t miss twenty-eight year old David Bowie performing “Young Americans.” He’s breathtaking.