David Bowie

Young Americans

Composed by David Bowie

Song Review by

The title track to David Bowie's eighth studio album, in 1975, was the first song recorded for what was, even by the standards of his later maneuvering, a major stylistic change. Out went the glam and hard rock trappings of his most recent releases; in came the "plastic soul" sound which -- after three years of trying -- would finally break the singer in America: the chart-topping "Fame" was culled from the same LP, while a neatly edited version of "Young Americans," cut from five minutes to three, at least made the Top 30.

The breakneck lyric and a haunting sax refrain are the song's most familiar hallmarks, although the vocal break towards the end of the song, where Bowie implores, "ain't there just one damn song....," was later selected by Mojo magazine as the most impressive passage in his entire recorded oeuvre.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Young Americans 1975 Parlophone / Rhino / Warner Music 5:17
Changesonebowie 1976 Parlophone / Warner Music 5:17
No Image 1980 K-Tel Distribution
Fame & Fashion 1984 RCA 5:10
Serious Moonlight [1984] 1984 Pioneer
Glass Spider 1988 Virgin
Sound + Vision 1989 EMI Music Distribution 5:14
Changesbowie 1990 Rykodisc 5:14
The Singles: 1969-1993 1993 Rykodisc 5:10
The Singles Collection 1993 EMI Music Distribution 5:11
The Best of David Bowie 1974/1979 1998 Virgin 3:15
The Singles Collection 1 2000 EMI Music Distribution 5:11
The Platinum Collection 2006 Virgin 3:15
High Fidelity Hits of 70's FM 2008
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Frances Ha [Music from the Motion Picture] 2013
Original Soundtrack
ABKCO Records 4:48
20 Feet from Stardom [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2013
Original Soundtrack
Columbia 5:13
Nothing Has Changed 2014 Columbia / Legacy 3:13
Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) 2016 Parlophone 5:17
No Image 2016 Columbia / Legacy / Sony Music 3:15