Written by: David Bowie, Hunt Sales, Tony Sales
Recorded: August – October 1988; February – April 1989
Producers: Tin Machine, Tim Palmer
Engineer: Justin Shirley-Smith
Released: 22 May 1989
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Reeves Gabrels, Kevin Armstrong: guitar
Tony Sales: bass guitar, vocals
Hunt Sales: drums, vocals
‘Sacrifice Yourself’ is a song on the Tin Machine, originally included only on the compact disc and cassette editions.
Although written by David Bowie and the Sales brothers, the star of ‘Sacrifice Yourself’ is arguably lead guitarist Reeves Gabrels, whose layered and intricate lines are delivered at speed, rarely letting up for the song’s entirety.
Bowie’s lyrics, meanwhile, appear to be semi-autobiographical, referencing “a Klingon who could cream him in the press” and, in the final verse, cocaine and ‘Suffragette City’ (“Wham bam, thank you Charlie”).
‘Sacrifice Yourself’ was also a b-side on Tin Machine’s debut single, ‘Under The God’, released in June 1989.
The single stalled at 51 on the UK singles chart, and failed to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. It did, however, reach number four on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart, and eight on the US Mainstream Rock chart.
‘Sacrifice Yourself’ was performed during both Tin Machine tours.