David Bowie

Wild Is the Wind

Composed by Dimitri Tiomkin / Ned Washington

Song Review by

David Bowie's inclinations and abilities for classic pop/jazz crooning had long been clear by the time he tackled the standard "Wild is the Wind," perhaps most memorably performed by Nina Simone in a very low key but strong take. The tune served as the concluding number on Station to Station and in later years was released a single, helping bring further attention to his own lovely version of the song. The electric guitar's slight funk tinge updates the arrangement without dominating it, while the core acoustic guitar and rhythm section performance suggests a slightly jazzier variant on Bowie's own folk efforts from the late sixties. It's Bowie's vocals that really deserve the notice here above all else, though -- while he initially sounds almost too relaxed, he gets stronger and more passionate as the song goes, much as the music also does itself. When he hits the dramatic a capella pauses -- most especially with the line "Don't you know your life itself" -- the only reaction is to give in, it's that good.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Station to Station 1976 Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 6:06
Sound + Vision 1989 Parlophone / Rhino 6:00
The Singles: 1969-1993 1993 EMI Music Distribution 6:01
The Video Collection 1993 Rykodisc
The Singles Collection 1993 Parlophone 6:01
The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979 1998 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 6:02
The Singles Collection 2 2000 EMI Music Distribution 6:01
Bowie at the Beeb: The Best of the BBC Radio Sessions 68-72 2000 EMI Music Distribution 6:22
Best of Bowie 2002 EMI / EMI Digital / Parlophone 6:00
The Best of Bowie [DVD] 2002 Virgin 3:45
Remembering Those Scary Monsters 2002 Alternative Edge
Bittersweet Love Songs: The Two Sides Of 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 5:59
The Platinum Collection 2006 Parlophone 6:02
No Image 2006 Jones/Tintoretto
Singer 2008
Various Artists
Sony Music 6:01
Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) 2016 Parlophone / Warner Music 6:06
blue highlight denotes editor's pick