Released: 4 November 2013
The Next Day Extra
David Bowie: vocals
Gerry Leonard: guitar
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass guitar
Henry Hey: keyboards
Zachary Alford: drums
‘The Informer’ is the third bonus track on The Next Day Extra, the expanded edition of David Bowie’s penultimate album.
The song contains various musical echoes from Bowie’s past, from the vamping ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’ chords in the middle section to the ‘Changes’-like final lines: “I still don’t know what we were looking for/But it wasn’t you.”
In the studio
The backing track was recorded at New York’s Magic Shop studio on 14 September 2011.
Bowie’s lead vocals were overdubbed exactly one week later, on 21 September. This made ‘The Informer’ the first of the songs recorded during The Next Day’s sessions to have final vocals.
The lead vocal is sung with Bowie angst, with the addition of twelve tracks of backing vocals and harmonies also sung by him. Leonard and Torn play hypnotic guitars, Dorsey and Alford hold down the funky beat.
The Complete David Bowie, Nicholas Pegg
Zachary Alford’s drum part was reused for the instrumental ‘Plan’, another track on The Next Day Extra.