A Reality Tour album coverWritten by: David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Carlos Alomar
Recorded: June-August 1976; 22, 23 November 2003
Producer: David Bowie; Jerry Rappaport

Released: 25 January 2010

Available on:
The Idiot
A Reality Tour

Personnel

1976:
Iggy Pop: vocals
David Bowie: vocals, guitar, piano, Baldwin electric piano, guitar
Carlos Alomar, Phil Palmer: guitar
George Murray: bass guitar
Dennis Davis: drums, tambourine

2003:
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard: guitar
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass guitar
Mike Garson: keyboards
Catherine Russell: vocals
Sterling Campbell: drums

‘Sister Midnight’ was originally recorded by Iggy Pop for his 1977 album The Idiot. A live version by David Bowie was released on the A Reality Tour album and DVD.

The song was composed in January 1976 during rehearsals for the Isolar Tour by Bowie and guitarist Carlos Alomar, and performed at some early US dates that year. Bowie originally wrote only first verse.

In the studio

Iggy Pop completed the lyrics for ‘Sister Midnight’ and recorded it in the summer of 1976 at the Château d’Hérouville. It was produced by Bowie and featured his rhythm section: Alomar, bass guitarist George Murray, and drummer Dennis Davis.

In 1977, RCA issued a 12″ promotional single featuring a remixed ‘Sound And Vision’ which segued into Pop’s ‘Sister Midnight’.

During the Lodger sessions in 1979, Bowie added new lyrics to the 1976 backing track, and released it as ‘Red Money’. The only lines that remained from the original were in the chorus: “Can you hear me call?/Can you hear me well?/Can you hear me at all?” became “Can you hear it fall?/Can you hear it well?/Can you hear it at all?”

Red Money is a blatant copy of Iggy Pop’s ‘Sister Midnight’ where we took off his vocals, added more guitars and wrote an entirely different song over it…

Roger Powell played full and punctuated synth lines throughout, especially noticeable on ‘Red Money’ and other songs when you think you’re hearing guitar but it is really a bendy, growly synth.

Tony Visconti, April 2017
A New Career In A New Town (1977–1982) book

In concert

During 1990’s Sound + Vision Tour, Bowie occasionally sang parts of ‘Sister Midnight’ during ‘Young Americans’.

The song was performed in full on 28 occasions during A Reality Tour in 2003 and 2004. The first was at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York, on 19 August 2003, and the last performance was at Bowie’s final full show, at the Hurricane Festival at Eichenring in Scheeßel, Germany.

Bowie’s concerts at the Point Depot in Dublin on 22 and 23 November 2003 were filmed and recorded, and released on DVD in 2004, and on CD, vinyl and digital download in 2010. ‘Sister Midnight’ appears on all formats.