David Bowie

Be My Wife

Composed by David Bowie

Song Review by

One of the few straightforward songs on Low -- possessing both a verse and a chorus, for a start -- "Be My Wife" has turned into one of David Bowie's most loved numbers by his fanbase. It was never a big hit, but its balance of that album's experimental aggression with a more conventional and winning vocal performance by Bowie resulted in a surprisingly romantic, attractive song. A bit of barrelhouse/cabaret piano starts things, while a slightly stentorian piano part recurs throughout the song as musical punctuation over the rough, wired full band arrangement. Some of the guitar parts in particular are just wonderful, at once twisted and triumphant more modern takes on Mick Ronson's legendary glam efforts. Meanwhile, Bowie's singing, though certainly a bit calm and just a hint desperate, builds into a simple but winning invitation to someone to be the narrator's romantic partner -- though perhaps the best moment is his final observation "sometimes you get so lonely," a beginning line to a final verse never delivered.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Low 1977
Parlophone 2:55
Sound + Vision 1989 EMI Music Distribution 2:56
No Image 1991 Rykodisc
The Singles: 1969-1993 1993 Rykodisc 2:55
The Video Collection 1993 Rykodisc
Rarest One Bowie 1995 Trident Music International 2:44
The Best of Bowie [DVD] 2002 Virgin 3:12
A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) 2017 Parlophone / Rhino 2:56