US single release: Young Americans

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.

Young Americans picture disc (2015)

Album release: David Live
UK single release: Young Americans
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