David Bowie’s ‘Golden Years’ was released as a single on 17 November 1975, in an edited form with an early fade-out, reducing its length from 4:03 to 3:27.
The b-side worldwide was the Young Americans song ‘Can You Hear Me’, except in New Zealand, where it was issued in March 1976 with ‘TVC 15’.
We had all the guys from RCA come down to Cherokee to hear the album for the first time and it was quite an experience because they were all basically suits at the time, I knew they weren’t going to understand what they were going to hear. Because it was quite different from Young Americans , and it was quite different from what had gone before. And they sat on this couch in front of the console, said, ‘That’s just marvellous.’ They didn’t know what else to say. They knew that ‘Golden Years’ was a potential single, but I don’t think they understood or appreciated anything else.
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The single peaked at number eight in the United Kingdom, nine in Ireland, and six in the Netherlands. In Sweden it peaked at number 10, as it did on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In Canada, ‘Golden Years’ reached number 17, and in Australia it went no higher than 34.
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