Sunday, December 6, 2015

"China Girl" by David Bowie

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1482
Date:  06/04/1983
Debut:  74
Peak:  10
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock, New Wave

Pop Bits:  Bowie's "Let's Dance" was sitting in the #2 spot awaiting its turn at #1 when this follow-up hit the chart. It would slowly make its way to #10 (#3 Rock, #51 Dance) and in doing so became the first time that Bowie scored back-to-back Top 10's from the same album. The success of these singles pushed the Let's Dance album to #4. After securing five gold LPs in the 70s, this one would be Bowie's first platinum certified studio LP.

ReduxReview:  Looking back, it's weird that I didn't fully hook into this song at the time. I kinda liked it, but mainly just shrugged my shoulders at it. As the years past, this song slowly crept up on my radar and has since become one of my favorites in the Bowie catalog. I love the mysterious groove, the sparse arrangement, the Nile Rodgers production, Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar, and Bowie's vocal. Actually, if given the choice, I'd rather hear this song over "Let's Dance," but whereas "Let's Dance" is a classic of the era, this one falls just slightly short in the world of 80s pop. So I'll rate accordingly. But really, it's a 10+ for me.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  This is actually a remake of a song co-written by Bowie and Iggy Pop that first appeared on Pop's 1977 album The Idiot. Apparently, Pop had been fascinated with a Vietnamese woman and she provided the inspiration for the song. This took place during Bowie's "Berlin years," the period he lived in the city ('76-'79) and recorded a trilogy of albums (Low, Heroes, and Lodger). Bowie also co-wrote and produced two albums for Pop including The Idiot and Lust for Life.


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