Written by: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Recorded: May-June 1984
Producers: David Bowie, Derek Bramble, Hugh Padgham
Released: 24 September 1984
Carlos Alomar: guitar
Carmine Rojas: bass guitar
Omar Hakim: drums
Sammy Figuerosa: percussion
Guy St Onge: marimba
Mark Pender: trumpet
Stanley Harrison: alto saxophone
Lenny Pickett: tenor saxophone
Steve Elson: baritone saxophone
Robin Clark, George Simms, Curtis King: vocals
David Bowie recorded a version of Chuck Jackson’s ‘I Keep Forgettin” for his 1984 album Tonight.
Jackson was born in 1937, and was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He forged a successful career as an R&B singer, becoming one of the first performers to sing material written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
In 1962 he released the album Any Day Now. The title track, written by Bacharach and Bob Hilliard, was covered by Scott Walker in 1973, and was quoted by Bowie on the Diamond Dogs opener ‘Future Legend’.
‘I Keep Forgettin” was composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Jackson’s version also appeared on Any Day Now and was released as a single in 1962, peaking at number 55 on the Billboard Top 100.
The song was one of three cover versions on Bowie’s Tonight album, the others being Iggy Pop’s ‘Don’t Look Down’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’.
To coincide with the album’s release, Bowie gave a lengthy interview to the NME’s Charles Shaar Murray, who told Bowie that “the reinterpretation of Chuck Jackson’s ‘I Keep Forgettin” is masterful.”
Oh good! Oh, you liked that! I’ve always wanted to do that song… I think that this album gave me a chance, like Pin Ups did a few years ago, to do some covers that I always wanted to do.
NME, 29 September 1984