UK single release: Life On Mars?

David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars?’ was released as a single in the UK on 22 June 1973.

The single was issued to capitalise on Bowie’s fame as the Ziggy Stardust Tour neared its end. ‘Life On Mars?’ had first appeared on the Hunky Dory album, released on 17 November 1971

The fans loved ‘Life On Mars?’ when it was released as a single in July 1973, when it charted at Number 3 in the UK and stayed there for thirteen weeks. By that time Bowie had become a huge star. Back in December 1971 hardly anyone seemed to give a damn about us or Hunky Dory. Funny how things ch-ch-change…
Woody Woodmansey
Spider From Mars: My Life With Bowie

Life On Mars? single – United Kingdom

The single was released in 1973 in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

David’s thing was just to make the music industry more exciting, more colourful, more adventurous – and we were into that as well. But we didn’t think that 40 years later, ‘Life On Mars?’ would still be played on the radio every week. You couldn’t think like that. We just did our best job, for that track and on that day, and hoped that people would like it.
Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey, 2018
Music Republic Magazine

In the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa, the single had ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ on the b-side. In Portugal it was backed with ‘Black Country Rock’, while Spanish listeners had the more recent ‘Drive-In Saturday’. These singles were all released in June 1973.

The single reached number three in the UK, and remained on the chart for 13 weeks.

On 13 June Mick Rock had directed Bowie in a promo film for the single.

Last updated: 11 May 2023
Live: Town Hall, Birmingham
Live: Town Hall, Birmingham
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