Album release: Young Americans

David Bowie’s ninth studio album, Young Americans, was released on 7 March 1975.

Critical reactions to Young Americans were broadly positive, although some were unconvinced by Bowie’s new soulful direction.

The album peaked at number two in the United Kingdom, and number nine in America. It reached the top ten in Australia, New Zealand and Sweden, but fared less well in other countries.

Young Americans album cover

Bowie appeared to disown the album in later years. “Rock and Roll is walking all over everybody,” he told the NME in August 1975. “Like, I tried to do a little stretch of how it feels musically in this country, which is sort of … the relentless plastic soul, basically. That’s what the last album was.”

I’ll do anything until I fail. And when I succeed, I quit, too. I’m really knocked out that people actually dance to my records, though. But let’s be honest; my rhythm and blues are thoroughly plastic. Young Americans, the album ‘Fame’ is from, is, I would say, the definitive plastic soul record. It’s the squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak rock, written and sung by a white limey.
David Bowie
Playboy, September 1976

In Los Angeles on 16 March 1975, Bowie filmed a television commercial for the Young Americans album. It was directed by Chuck Braverman.

Last updated: 31 May 2023
UK single release: Young Americans
Single release: Fame
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