Young Americans, David Bowie’s eighth studio-recorded album, might be one of his less recognised albums, despite contributions from Luther Vandross and John Lennon, was released in the 1975 and was at the root of his career in the 70s.
With a short tracklist of only eight songs, this album by no means lacks quantity due to the incredible sound of its tracks. The album starts with a dancey saxophone to title record ‘Young Americans’ and has punchy backing vocals that bear similarity to gospel music, that was popular in the late 60s and 70s. From here on, Bowie takes us on a wild journey of sound as the album marks the departure from his glam rock style, as he incorporates the swinging retro soul and R&B sounds of the Philadelphia street scene.
Although this album doesn’t reach the same heights as Let’s Dance (1983) and Diamond Dogs (1974), Young Americans is very much a music experience in itself, naming Bowie as one of the music industries’ most influential artists and one of the first British pop artists of the era to engage with black music genres.
You can listen to the single, ‘Young Americans’, performed live in December 1974 below: