The song is regarded as one of David Bowie’s finest singles from his Glam Rock era
David Bowie releases “Drive-In Saturday” in 1973
Regarded as one of David Bowie’s finest singles from his Glam Rock era, “Drive-In Saturday” was first released on April 6, 1973 backed with the Chuck Berry’s cover “Round And Round”. This was the second single to be released from the upcoming Bowie album “Aladdin Sane” (the first being “The Jean Genie” released still in 1972.) The song, heavily influenced by 1950’s doo-wop, was written during Bowie’s 1972 U.S tour, inspired by strange lights amidst the barren landscape between Seattle, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, as seen from a train at night. The lyrics, with multiple references to notable names including Mick Jagger, model Twiggy and Carl Jung describes how the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic world in the future, supposedly 2033, have forgotten how to make love, and need to watch old porn films to see how it’s done. Like many of David Bowie’s songs from that era, the story is told from the perspective of an inhabitant of the future looking back in time. It also contains a reference to the Sylvian fissure in the brain associated with visionary and hallucinatory experiences – “crashing out with sylvian”. David Bowie first premiered the song live in November 1972 during the U.S tour (either in Florida or Phoenix) and recorded it on studio a few weeks later in New York. Bowie offered the song first to Mott the Hoople (same way he offered “All The Young Dudes”), but they turned it down, Bowie later saying that he didn’t know why they refused and he claimed that his frustration with the band’s rejection of the song led to his shaving off his eyebrows during the Ziggy Stardust tour. “Drive-In Saturday” remained in the charts for 10 weeks and peaked to No.3 on the U.K singles charts.
Watch David Bowie performing “Drive-In Saturday” on Top Of The Pops in 1973
Listen to the studio version of “Drive-In Saturday” as released in “Aladdin Sane”, 1973
Watch more David Bowie related videos
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