Where Were You in ’75?: The “Young Americans” Sessions

WHEN THIS song got airplay on the soul stations in L.A. it threw open a door onto a fusion of something — arty and funky — but without pleather junk or attitude. It was telegraphing a feeling.

The radio tended to be a segregated place back then so this “crossing over” wasn’t really “crossing over.” David Bowie’s “Young Americans” just burst through categories and, well, just was its own atmosphere. There was something just stitched through. (a young Luther Vandross was a critical part of that filling of the backspace)

This song, and the other single from the disc, “Fame” with its funk and shimmer, is both of the moment and lives comfortably outside. Then there was this: Bowie was a back-lit enigma on the album cover, it was like staring at a maze.

Happy 65th (!?), David Bowie


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