Written by: David Bowie
Recorded: August – October 1988; February – April 1989
Producers: Tin Machine, Tim Palmer
Engineer: Justin Shirley-Smith
Released: 22 May 1989
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Reeves Gabrels, Kevin Armstrong: guitar
Tony Sales: bass guitar, vocals
Hunt Sales: drums, vocals
‘Baby Can Dance’ is the final song on the debut Tin Machine album.
It was one of five songs credited to Bowie alone; the others were ‘Heaven’s In Here’, ‘Crack City’, ‘Under The God’, and ‘Pretty Thing’.
‘Baby Can Dance’ was one of the earliest songs written for Tin Machine. Its origins were from the summer of 1988, when Reeves Gabrels stayed with Bowie in Switzerland to formulate ideas for the project.
When it came to the guitar parts, we thought about them in terms of architecture – Gothic spirals of sound. This is where the art-school background really helps, because we rarely speak in musical terms. He and I were writing part of the songs that would go on to become Tin Machine songs – ‘Heaven’s In Here’, ‘Baby Universal’ (we had a rough version of that without vocals), ‘Baby Can Dance’, ‘Bus Stop’.
Strange Fascination, David Buckley
Tin Machine performed ‘Baby Can Dance’ during both of their tours. A performance from their show at La Cigale, Paris, on 25 June 1989 was included on the ‘Prisoner Of Love’ single.
Another version, from the Hamburg Docks show on 24 October 1991, was included on the video Oy Vey, Baby: Tin Machine Live at the Docks. The audio was later released on the US compilation Best Of Grunge Rock.