David Bowie

Quicksand

Song Review by

One of Bowie's most mystifying (and, thus, most over-analyzed) compositions, "Quicksand" originally appeared on 1971's Hunky Dory album, closing side one with a lengthy examination of the emotional mire of politics and religion. (An acoustic demo of the song also appeared on the album's 1990 reissue.)

Churchill, Himmler, Crowley, Garbo, and Nietzsche all file through the "dream reality" of this gentle, but incredibly hard-hitting song, and its occasional appearances in Bowie's live set have always proven firm fan favorites. That said, Bowie only began performing the song in its entirety in 1997 -- hitherto, it featured in a 1973-era medley with "Life on Mars?" and "Memory of a Free Festival."

However, he revived it for the 50th birthday celebrations; one version was included in the BBC's ChangesNowBowie broadcast, another -- a duet with the Cure's Robert Smith -- was aired at the Madison Square Garden birthday concert. The song then became the opening number throughout 1997's Earthling tour.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Hunky Dory 1971 Atlantic / Elektra / Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 5:06
Five Years (1969-1973) 2015 Parlophone / Warner Music 5:06