David Bowie


Composed by Brian Eno / David Bowie

Song Review by

The first of the four neo-instrumentals which populated side two of David Bowie's mold-breaking Low album, "Warszawa" was titled for the Polish city which Bowie visited during 1976. The track's bleak, oppressive mood, he explained, was his attempt to capture the feeling he got from the city itself; the wordless vocal refrain was based upon a recording of a Balkan boys choir he had recently obtained.

A regular in Bowie's 1978 live set, "Warszawa" has continued turning up in the oddest places. Joy Division's original incarnation as Warsaw was named for the song, while Bowie's own "Jazzing for Blue Jean" video features an excerpt of the song, in the scene where "hero" Screaming Lord Byron is relaxing in his dressing room. A decade later, touring the U.S. with Nine Inch Nails, Bowie would occasionally join that band on stage to perform a version of the piece.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Low 1977
Toshiba EMI
Stage 1978 EMI Digital / Parlophone / Warner Music 6:46
Christiane F. Wir Kinder 1982 EMI Digital / Parlophone 6:23
No Image 1984 Media Records
No Image 1985 Polygram
Sound + Vision 1989 Rykodisc 6:52
No Image 1991 Ryko Distribution
Christiane F./Baal/Rarities 1995 Remembering Mark Feld 6:21
All Saints: Collected Instrumentals 1977-1999 2001 EMI / Virgin 6:22
Paper Sleeve Box 2007 Disk Union
Control [Original Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Rhino/Warner Bros. 6:21
Zeit! 77-79 2013 EMI / Virgin 6:22
A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) 2017 Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
Rhino 6:21
blue highlight denotes editor's pick