Written by: David Bowie
Producers: David Bowie, David Richards
Released: 8 November 1993
The Buddha Of Suburbia
David Bowie: vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer
Erdal Kızılçay: guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming
David Richards: drum programming
‘Untitled No. 1’ is the eighth track on David Bowie’s 1993 album The Buddha Of Suburbia.
The song is based on a simple two-chord progression, with layered guitars and keyboards, and backwards reverb on Bowie’s understated vocals – reminiscent of Brian Eno’s on his 1977 track ‘No One Receiving’.
Although The Buddha Of Suburbia was widely overlooked upon its release, there are numerous gems to be found within, and ‘Untitled No. 1’ remains one of Bowie’s more intriguing studio experiments of the 1990s. He is here unbound and playful, recording for pleasure not commerce, setting himself up for the greater artistic steps that would follow.
The “mantra” croon repeated throughout this song is based on a famous Bollywood star, the Elvis of India:
I wonder if his name-chanting is somehow part of the background consciousness of the father or the son in “The Buddha of Suburbia” film … or maybe even of the author Hanif Kureshi’s background mental mantra?
At the very least, David made his name a viable lyrical phrase.