Written by: David Bowie, Kevin Armstrong
Recorded: August – October 1988; February – April 1989
Producers: Tin Machine, Tim Palmer
Engineer: Justin Shirley-Smith
Released: 22 May 1989
Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Reeves Gabrels, Kevin Armstrong: guitar
Tony Sales: bass guitar, vocals
Hunt Sales: drums, vocals
‘Run’ was a bonus track on CD and cassette editions of the Tin Machine album.
The song was co-written by David Bowie and Kevin Armstrong, the band’s rhythm guitarist and fifth member. Armstrong had worked with Bowie on ‘Absolute Beginners’, ‘Dancing In The Street’, and Live Aid, as well as playing guitar on Iggy Pop’s Bowie-produced album Blah-Blah-Blah.
‘Run’ was one of two bonus tracks on the first Tin Machine album; the other was ‘Sacrifice Yourself’. Neither was on the original vinyl edition. The two songs were placed between ‘Video Crime’ and ‘Baby Can Dance’ in the running order.
The song’s chorus bears a resemblance to that of ‘Run Run Run’, from the Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut album. The subject matter is similar too. Lou Reed sang of scoring heroin, of finding fixes, overdoses and deaths, and Bowie’s song ploughed a similar furrow.
While on the surface a love song, ‘Run’ has a far darker heart. It is a song of desperation and addiction, of people being held back by their vices. “I’m a Goldman, I’m a soaring tower/And it’s cold in here without your love,” Bowie sings. “Trouble in here, trouble out there/Mainline problems ’til you no longer care”.
‘Run’ was performed live during Tin Machine’s first tour in 1989.