The Next Day Extra EP cover artworkWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: 12 September, 2 November 2011
Producers: David Bowie, Tony Visconti
Engineers: Mario McNulty, Tony Visconti

Released: 4 November 2013

Available on:
The Next Day Extra

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals, keyboards
Gerry Leonard: electric guitar
Morgan Visconti: acoustic guitar
Tony Levin: bass guitar
Henry Hey: piano
Zachary Alford: drums
Alex Alexander: percussion
Gail Ann Dorsey, Janice Pendarvis: vocals

‘God Bless The Girl’ was originally released as the final track on the Japanese edition of David Bowie’s The Next Day.

At one point it was on The Next Day and moved up and down the tracklisting, then it was off the album, then back on, but ultimately it was designated to be a bonus track for the Japanese album release.

Tony Visconti
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg

In the studio

The backing track for ‘God Bless The Girl’ was recorded at New York’s Magic Shop studio on 12 September 2011, along with ‘I’ll Take You There’. The working title for ‘God Bless The Girl’, retained until late in the production process, was ‘Gospel’.

There were two songs that sort of had a Bo Diddley feel. I remember specifically shying away from that because I didn’t want it to sound like ‘Panic In Detroit’.
Zachary Alford
Rolling Stone, 1 February 2013

David Bowie recorded his lead vocals on 2 November at Human World Wide, the New York studio owned by Tony Visconti’s son Morgan.

Other overdubs recorded during this period include performances by pianist Henry Hey on songs including ‘Where Are We Now?’, ‘You Feel So Lonely You Could Die’, ‘The Informer’, and ‘God Bless The Girl’. Bowie was impressed enough by Hey’s work to invite him to become the musical director of the Lazarus musical.

I played a full pass on the song, and I varied things a bit for various verses and choruses, and then tried a lot of variations on the end – all during the single pass. I figured that this would be a good way for David and Tony to hear a variety of stuff and maybe find favourite bits. After a little refining, we arrived at what it became.

Tony Visconti
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg
Previous song: ‘I’ll Take You There’
Next song: ‘So She’