Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Blue Jean" by David Bowie

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2053
Date:  09/15/1984
Debut:  54
Peak:  8
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock, Dance

Pop Bits:  Bowie's Let's Dance would end up being the best-selling studio album of his career. It featured three major hits including the #1 title-track. Following his highly successful Serious Moonlight tour supporting the LP, Bowie was pressured to get back into the studio for a follow-up. With little time to write new music, the majority of his new disc, titled Tonight, would consist of cover tunes, three of which were originally recorded by Iggy Pop (with two of those co-written by Bowie). Of the four new tunes on the album, two were solely written by Bowie; the opening track "Loving the Alien" and this first single. The song would reach #2 at both Rock and Dance while going Top 10 at Pop. It would be Bowie's fifth and final solo Top 10 hit at Pop. The album would reach #11 and eventually become a platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  This was the album that Bowie kind of caved in to pressure. Like most of his albums, Let's Dance was just another experiment to him. Once it was done, he planned to move on to something else - a different sound or style. However, the unexpected massive success of the album changed things. With lots of potential money to make, Bowie's label wanted more hits and wanted them quickly. Feeling a lot of pressure, Bowie decided to forge ahead with another commercial pop album. The results were not received well by critics. Several consider it his weakest album. However, a good chunk of folks admired this song and "Loving the Alien." While I do admit that the album does not rank among his best (or even second best), I do think it got a bit of a bad rap. This song and "Alien" are pretty much classics in his catalog and there are a couple of other worthwhile tunes. Is it rushed and a bit messy? Sure. And Bowie later said he was not fond of the LP. But it was interesting to me then and I still kinda like it. This song, of course, was a standout.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This song got a boost thanks to a popular video that hit heavy rotation on MTV. It was directed by Julian Temple, who had become a star director in the music video medium. In addition to the regular single-version of the video, there was also a much longer mini-movie version titled Jazzin' for Blue Jean that was about 20 minutes long. This version would win a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video. Although he didn't play on the recording, the person performing as the bass player in the video was Richard Fairbrass. In 1991, Fairbrass and his brother would become one-hit wonders in the US as the duo Right Said Fred. Their lone hit was the #1 "I'm Too Sexy."



  1. Just discovered this site about a month ago, love it! "Blue Jean" gets an 8 out of 10 for me. Not my favorite Bowie song, but a pretty good decent one. Also, you called Nik Kershaw's "Wouldn't it be Good" "Wouldn't it be Nice" instead. Minor mistake.

    1. Ha! Thanks for the heads up. Must have had Beach Boys on the mind...

  2. Just discovered this site about a month ago. Love it! I give this song an 8 out of 10. Not my favorite Bowie song, but still a pretty decent one at best. Also, I heard about the interesting backstory to that Shamus M'Cool song "American Memories" long before I even knew this site existed. I give that song an 8 out of 10. I find it enjoyable, although a bit cheesy. I discovered that song in late 2014.

    1. Nice! Thanks for following and checking out the site! I've had a blast doing it.