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.