Released: 22 May 1989
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Reeves Gabrels, Kevin Armstrong: guitar
Tony Sales: bass guitar, vocals
Hunt Sales: drums, vocals
‘Amazing’ was the opening song on side two of Tin Machine, the band’s debut album.
A straightforward love song, ‘Amazing’ contains some of David Bowie’s clearest expressions of devotion: “Since I found you my life’s amazing” is the core message, but there is also a hint of jealousy and possessiveness. “I’m scared you’ll meet someone/In whom you’ll confide,” he sings, and later: “My nightmare, rooted here watching you go”.
They were there all the time saying, Don’t wimp out, sing it like you wrote it. Stand by it. I have done and frequently do censor myself in terms of lyrics. I say one thing and then I think, Ah maybe I’ll just take the edge off that a bit. I don’t know why I do that. I’m English. Maybe I just felt it was a bit impolite or something. I don’t quite know where that comes from but it’s almost like something somewhere in me doesn’t want to offend. I’ve always been like that…
They [Tin Machine] didn’t let me re-write. The lyrics were my first kind of feelings when the stuff was coming out. I just got it down as fast as I could.
Q magazine, June 1989
At the time Bowie was engaged to Melissa Hurley, formerly a dancer on the Glass Spider Tour. They split in 1990, shortly before Bowie met Iman Abdulmajid.
The music, meanwhile, was reportedly written by guitarist Reeves Gabrels in ten minutes. It was recorded as an instrumental, and was set aside for a month until Bowie added vocals.
Tin Machine performed ‘Amazing’ live during both their tours. During the first tour it was commonly the opening song.
A live version, recorded in Chicago on 7 December 1991, can be heard on Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby.