The release

Giorgio Moroder’s version of ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ was released as a single in March 1982 by MCA. The 7″ was an edited version lasting 4:08.

The full-length version, lasting 6:42, was included on the album Cat People: Original Soundtrack, released on 2 April 1982. It was also issued on a 12″ single, and later on the US Bowie compilation The Singles 1969 To 1993.

The soundtrack album also features ‘The Myth’, an instrumental version of the main theme on which Bowie hums the melody.

The single reached number 26 in the UK, 13 in Canada, and 67 in America. Its b-side was the instrumental ‘Paul’s Theme (Jogging Chase)’, written by Moroder for the Cat People soundtrack.

An extended 9:21 remix was also released on a 12″ single in Australia. An edit lasting 3:18 was a promotional release in the USA and Germany, while in the Netherlands a 3:08 promo was released.

The film Cat People contained a 4:55 mix of the song with additional panther growls.

In May 1982, MCA re-released the single, but flipped the sides so ‘Paul’s Theme’ was the lead track. It was issued again in November in the original running order.

The ‘Let’s Dance’ single was released on 14 March 1983, with ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ on the b-side. It was a worldwide smash hit, topping the charts in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA. It peaked at number two in Australia, France, Germany, and South Africa.

The album Let’s Dance was released on 14 April 1983. ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ was the seventh and penultimate song.

The Moroder recording was included on Re:Call 3 in the 2017 box set A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982), where it was billed as ‘Cat People (Putting Out Fire)’ (Soundtrack Album Version).

The 1982 version of ‘Cat People’ was included in the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. In July 2009 a limited edition 7″ single was available exclusively from HMV stores to those who pre-ordered the soundtrack album. The b-side was Nick Perito’s ‘The Green Leaves Of Summer’.

Live performances

David Bowie performed the Let’s Dance arrangement of ‘Cat People’ throughout the Serious Moonlight Tour in 1983.

A live recording, from Vancouver on 12 September 1983, is available on the album Serious Moonlight (Live ’83) and the associated concert film.

Bowie’s final performance of ‘Cat People’ was on 8 December 1983, on the last night of the tour at the Coliseum in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Previous song: ‘Criminal World’
Next song: ‘Shake It’