Single release: Drive-In Saturday

David Bowie’s ‘Drive-In Saturday’ was issued as a single on 6 April 1973, two weeks before the release of Aladdin Sane.

The b-side of the single was ‘Round And Round’, a cover version of Chuck Berry’s ‘Around And Around’ recorded during the sessions for The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

According to NME journalist Charles Shaar Murray, the Rolling Stones’ ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ had originally been intended for the b-side, before the decision was made to include it on Aladdin Sane.

Three months ago, I sat on the floor in the mixing room at Trident Studios in the company of David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Ken Scott and sundry others and heard the bulk of this album hot off the tapes. Since then I’ve carried the memory of it around with me, waiting to hear it again and see how accurately I’d remembered it…

The album’s changed slightly since I first heard the tapes in that the recut ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’ has been replaced by “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” originally intended as the B side of ‘Drive-In Saturday’, and a then incomplete track called ‘Zion’ has been replaced by ‘Lady Grinning Soul’. After some more concentrated listening, some different things might emerge, and in that event I’ll take some space later to discuss them.

Charles Shaar Murray
New Musical Express, 14 April 1973

The single peaked at number three in the UK charts, a major hit for Bowie and only bettered by its predecessor, ‘The Jean Genie’, which rose to number two.

In Germany the single was edited to remove nearly a minute. This shorter version was included on Re:Call 1 in the 2015 box set Five Years (1969-1973).

‘Drive-In Saturday’ was the b-side of the Spanish version of the 1973 single ‘Life On Mars?’.

Last updated: 24 January 2019
Travel: Hawaii to Yokohama
Press conference: Imperial Hotel, Tokyo
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