David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’ single was released in the United States of America on 17 February 1975, four days before its UK release. The album Young Americans followed on 7 March.
The single, RCA PB-10152, became Bowie’s biggest American hit to date, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, and 20 on the Cash Box chart. Bowie’s previous highest-charting single had been ‘Rebel Rebel’, which went no higher than number 64.
The single had a live version of ‘Knock On Wood’ on the b-side, taken from the David Live album. In the UK the b-side was a live recording of ‘Suffragette City’ from the same album.
The US release was an edited to shorten its running time from 5:10 to 3:16. This version excised the second verse (“Scanning life through the picture window…”), and everything between the lines “Do you remember, the bills you have to pay?/Or even yesterday?” and “You ain’t a pimp and you ain’t a hustler”.
The edited version was included on the compilations Bowie Rare, Best Of 1974/1979 and Best Of Bowie. Tony Visconti’s 2007 remix was similarly edited and included on Nothing Has Changed, Legacy, and on a 40th anniversary picture disc single in 2015.
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