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Recording: John, I’m Only Dancing; I Can’t Explain

David Bowie and the Spiders From Mars attempted to record two songs on 24 June 1972: ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, and ‘I Can’t Explain’.

The session took place at London’s Trident Studios, with Ken Scott producing. However, Bowie was dissatisfied with the results and both songs were subsequently re-recorded.

‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ was intended to be Bowie’s next single, a standalone release not on any album. Two takes were recorded on this day, but the song was remade at Olympic Sound Studios two days later.

‘I Can’t Explain’ was a cover of The Who’s song. Only one take was recorded. Bowie returned to ‘I Can’t Explain’ in July 1973, during the Pin Ups sessions at Château d’Hérouville in France.

Last updated: 18 April 2023
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