Black Country Rock

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"Black Country Rock"
Song by David Bowie
from the album The Man Who Sold the World
A-side"Holy Holy"
Released4 November 1970 (US)
April 1971 (UK)
Recorded18 April – 22 May 1970
StudioTrident and Advision, London
GenreBlues rock
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)Tony Visconti

"Black Country Rock" is a song written by David Bowie in 1970 for the album The Man Who Sold the World, which was released in November 1970 in the US and April 1971 in the UK. (It was also issued as the B-side to Bowie's January 1971 "Holy Holy" single.) An upbeat blues-rock number, "Black Country Rock" has been described as a "respite" from the musical and thematical heaviness of the remainder of the album.[1] Its style has been compared to Marc Bolan's contemporary Tyrannosaurus Rex, down to Bowie's imitative vibrato in the final verse.[2] According to producer Tony Visconti, Bowie had the music ready by the start of the sessions but the words were a last-minute addition in the studio, the singer doing his Bolan impression "spontaneously ... because he ran out of lyrics ... we all thought it was cool, so it stayed."[3]

The song appeared in the soundtrack of the film The Kids Are All Right, released in 2010.

Other releases[edit]

  • B-side of the single "Holy Holy" in 1971
  • B-side of the Portuguese release of the single "Life on Mars?" in 1973
  • The Japanese compilation Best of David Bowie in 1974
  • The Russian compilation Starman in 1989
  • The Sound + Vision box set in 1989

Cover versions[edit]

  • T. Tex Edwards and the Swingin' Cornflake Killers – Only Bowie (1995) and Up Against the Floor (1998)
  • Claws of Paradise – Hero: The Main Man Records Tribute to David Bowie (2007)
  • Big Drill CarNo Worse for the Wear/Black Country Rock 7" (1994) and A Never Ending Endeavor (2009)


  1. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: pp.36–38
  2. ^ David Sheppard (2007). "Wishful Beginnings", MOJO 60 Years of Bowie: p.27
  3. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p.39

External links[edit]