Released: June 1987
Loving The Alien (1983-1988)
Erdal Kızılçay: keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, drums
Carlos Alomar, Peter Frampton: guitar
Philippe Saisse: piano, keyboards
Crusher Bennett: percussion
Earl Gardner: trumpet
Stan Harrison, Steve Elson, Lenny Pickett: saxophone
Robin Clark, Loni Groves, Diva Gray, Gordon Grodie: backing vocals
‘Girls’ was the b-side of David Bowie’s 1987 single ‘Time Will Crawl’.
It was co-written by Bowie and Erdal Kızılçay for Tina Turner, who had previously duetted with Bowie on ‘Tonight’. Turner recorded ‘Girls’ for her 1986 album Break Every Rule, and it was issued as a single that year.
Bowie recorded his own version of ‘Girls’ during the sessions for his 17th studio album, 1987’s Never Let Me Down.
In December 1986, an early running order for the album was assembled, which contained several differences from the final version. ‘Never Let Me Down’ had not been recorded, and the song ‘Girls’ was included. The album at that time had ‘Beat Of Your Drum’, ‘Day-In Day-Out’, ‘Time Will Crawl’, ‘New York’s In Love’ and ‘Bang Bang’ on side one, and ‘Shining Star (Makin’ My Love)’, ‘Glass Spider’, ‘Too Dizzy’, ‘’87 And Cry’, ‘Girls’ (Extended Edit), and ‘Zeroes’ on side two.
In ‘Girls’, Bowie paraphrased the Blade Runner quotation “all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”. Bowie’s version was “My heart suspended in time/Like you vanish like tears in the rain”.
Bowie was evidently fond of the phrase. In 1985 his funeral wreath for his half-brother Terry had read: “You’ve seen more things than we could imagine but all these moments will be lost, like tears washed away by the rain.”
The second Never Let Me Down single, ‘Time Will Crawl’, was released in June 1987, with an edit of ‘Girls’ on the b-side.
There were two UK 12″ singles of ‘Time Will Crawl’. One had an extended dance mix of the song, the LP version, and the full-length 5:34 version of ‘Girls’ (known as the Extended Edit). The other contained ‘Dance crew mix’ and dub versions of ‘Time Will Crawl’, and ‘Girls’ (Japanese Version).
‘Girls’ (Japanese Version) was also included on copies of Never Let Me Down in Japan, where it was appended to the end of side one of the LP, and track six on the compact disc. The Japanese translation was by Hiro Hozumi, and Bowie was coached for the recording by Kiri Teshigahara.
The 1995 Virgin Records reissue of Never Let Me Down had the bonus tracks ‘Julie’, ‘Girls’ (Extended Edit), and ‘When The Wind Blows’.
‘Girls’ (Extended Edit) was included on Re:Call 4, part of the 2018 box set Loving The Alien (1983-1988).