David Bowie

Drive-In Saturday

Song Review by

There are maybe half a dozen David Bowie songs one can never tire of listening to -- and this is the best of them all. Bowie's first single of 1973, "Drive in Saturday" was the standout track on the Aladdin Sane album, a nostalgia-laden look back at the 1970s, from an unknown date in what was then a long distant future (Bowie once said the year 2033). Equal parts '50s styling and '70s sensibility, name checking Jagger and Twiggy as icons of the age, the song is also notable for providing one David Batt with the stage name he still possesses -- Sylvian. Ironically, Bowie never even intended the song for himself. It was originally written for Mott the Hoople, as they searched for a follow-up to "All the Young Dudes"; only after they rejected it did Bowie swing into action, performing the song on British television's Russell Harty Plus a full three months before it was ready for release. It climbed to number three in Britain, but strangely made very few live appearances -- its first, just hours after it was composed, was in Phoenix on November 4, 1972; a bootleg captures another early performance, in Fort Lauderdale two weeks later. Thereafter, it drifted in and out of his repertoire, a difficult number to capture correctly even during 1974's big band phase. However, performances on the VH1 Storytellers broadcast in 1999, and a BBC concert soon after, suggest that, even after 25 years, Bowie was not prepared to give up on it.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Aladdin Sane 1973 Atlantic / Elektra / Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 4:37
Sound + Vision 1989 EMI Music Distribution 4:31
The Singles: 1969-1993 1993 Rykodisc 4:27
The Best of David Bowie 1969-1974 1997 Virgin 4:29
The Singles Collection 1 2000 EMI Music Distribution 4:29
Best of Bowie 2002 Virgin 0:00
The Best of Bowie [DVD] 2002 Virgin 4:46
The Platinum Collection 2006 Virgin 4:29
Control [Original Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:31
Jackie: Summer Special 2009
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:30
Nothing Has Changed 2014 Columbia / Legacy 4:30
Five Years (1969-1973) 2015 Parlophone / Warner Music 4:37
Legacy 2016 Columbia / Legacy / Sony Music 0:00