November 1975: David Bowie Releases "Golden Years"

Photo of David BOWIE, David Bowie performing on stage (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Redferns)
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(Beth Gwinn/Redferns)

By 1975, David Bowie had showed off his exceptional transformational skills by morphing from Ziggy Stardust into a Diamond Dog and now, the Thin White Duke. The singer had shocked the world with the "Plastic Soul" of '75 full-length, Young Americans. It was the record where he would crash the black music charts with songs like the title cut, and through working with then-unknown soul singer, Luther Vandross.

It was November 21, 1975, when Bowie released his new single, "Golden Years." Where his previous single, "Fame," had rocketed to #1 in America on a surprisingly funky groove, "Golden Years" would take a more smoothed-out and soulful approach. This time, he would peak at #10 on the Hot 100.

The song would get a head start with black audiences when Bowie appeared on Soul Train to perform both "Fame" and "Golden Years" on Nov. 4. 1975. 

While it was the first song Bowie would complete for his upcoming album, it would prove to be something of an outlier. Station to Station would signal yet another shift in the artist's ever-evolving sonic universe. Mixing robotic rhythms and droning melodies next to soulful vocals, it was Bowie both accessible and foreboding. It's no surprise that the singer was gripped by cocaine addiction throughout the album's recording in Los Angeles. It was the one and only time Bowie would live in L.A.

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