The David Bowie song that David Bowie called a “throwaway”
(Credit: Alamy)

The David Bowie song that David Bowie called a “throwaway”

    John Lennon, Robert Plant, Thom Yorke and Kurt Cobain are all artists who have looked back at their songs and picked out tunes they absolutely hated. More often than not, the song is attached to either an unwanted memory of an amateurish performance or became so popular it no longer held any gravitas for the artist performing it. When David Bowie came to release his less than desirable album Never Too Much, one song drove him up the wall and eventually pushed itself out of the album.

    There are a few songs that have felt Bowie’s wrath over the years. The Starman was such a staunch believer in never standing still artistically that he often found himself in phases of adoration for his past work. The cycle would see Bowie first tour some of the greatest hits before getting sick of them and lurching off in a new experimental direction. ‘Space Oddity’, one of Bowie’s most widely adored songs, was a track that really bugged Bowie for a while, at least. He also shared disdain for the track ‘Young Americans’, despite its huge fanbase. The difference about his indifference to this song is that most people agree with him.

    The end of the eighties was not a good time for David Bowie and, as the wild success of Let’s Dance once again put him on top of the pop pile, he eventually became disillusioned with the shallow nature of the music business – but not before he released Never Let Me Down.

    With the album, which is widely disliked by the singer’s army of fans, Bowie created a record that paid tribute to the sounds of 1950s musicals, and for that, he succeeded. However, the LP lacks the panache and poise of a Bowie album and falls down the list of his greatest albums because of it. Much of the album is forgettable, but one moment that will remind us all of the tragedy of the record is ‘Too Dizzy’.

    Written by Bowie and Erdal Kizilcay, the song remained a moment of embarrassment for Bowie, who, after hearing it nestled within Side 2 of Never Let Me Down made sure that it was scrapped from any subsequent reissues of the album. The Starman once said that he felt the song would have been more suited to Huey Lewis, but, in reality, even the ‘Power of Love’ singer may have felt singing this one.

    Bowie always operated in a realm of high-campery, but this song takes the biscuit. The song’s structure is poor, but the production feels closer to a pantomime than a pop song. Guitar and saxophone solos can’t save the chintzy potency of the ill-advised backing singers and unrelenting cheese. Considering the song is the only track ever to be removed from an album by Bowie, it’s fair to say that the song is low on the list of his preferred tracks.

    “That’s jealousy, isn’t it. A real jealous song,” Bowie told Music & Sound Output in 1987. “It’s a throwaway! I always thought it was better for Huey Lewis [laughs]! I was unsettled with that song, but it’s on the album anyway. It’s one of the first songs that Erdal Kızılçay and I wrote together, a sort of try-out to see how we sparred together as writers. I thought a real Fifties subject matter was either love or jealousy, so I thought I’d stick with jealousy because it’s a lot more interesting [laughs].”

    Undoubtedly one of Bowie’s worst songs, unlike the other tracks Bowie showed his dislike for, there’s a good chance that every Bowie fan would agree with him.


    Leave a Reply