The first song cut for what became Iggy Pop's seminal 1977 solo debut album, The Idiot, the Oedipal plod of "Sister Midnight" was a relentless slice of mutant funk based around a riff that co-producer David Bowie's guitarist, Carlos Alomar, had introduced during rehearsals for Bowie's 1976 world tour. Bowie initially planned to record the song as a one-off single with Iggy and had completed just one verse of the song when he handed it over. The speed with which Iggy completed the lyric, then reeled off enough material for a half dozen more, convinced Bowie that they should set their sights on making an album instead.
"Sister Midnight" received a handful of live airings during Bowie's 1976 tour before the team decamped to the studio to begin work on the LP. With the sessions influenced equally by the motorik pulse of disco master Giorgio Moroder, the computerized precision of electronic mavens Kraftwerk, and the Wall of Sound defined by Phil Spector and Joe Meek, "Sister Midnight" was the ideal opener, a lurching rhythm, a drawling lyric, and despite the absence of any conventional electronic instruments at the session, imbibed with such a defiantly futuristic ambience that even the backing vocals, pitched high and just slightly off-kilter, possess an otherworldly electricity.
Though it was certainly a highlight of Iggy's 1977 U.K. and U.S. tours, "Sister Midnight" was inexplicably ignored for the following year's TV Eye live album. However, the song gained an entire new lease of life when Bowie resurrected the riff as "Red Money," the closing track on his next album, 1979's Lodger.