Blackout (David Bowie song)

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Song by David Bowie
from the album "Heroes"
ReleasedOctober 14, 1977
RecordedHansa Studio by the Wall, West Berlin
July–August 1977
GenreArt rock
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie, Tony Visconti

"Blackout" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie in 1977 for the album "Heroes". Author Nicholas Pegg described the track as "typical of the darkly exhilarating sonic schizophrenia of the "Heroes" album”,[1] while biographer David Buckley remarked on "a backing verging on industrial".[2]

Regarding its lyrics and subject matter, Bowie himself has claimed that "Blackout did indeed refer to power cuts".[3] However NME's Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray considered it to have "overtones of Bowie's personal blackout in Berlin (where he collapsed and was rushed to hospital)",[4] noting the line "Get me to the doctor’s" and an atmosphere of "disorientation, fragmentation, panic".[4] Nicholas Pegg surmised that the line "Someone's back in town, the chips are down" may have referred to his wife Angie, who had just arrived in Berlin around the same time.[1]

Live versions[edit]

A concert performance recorded in the spring of 1978 was released on Bowie's second live album, Stage. This version was also released as a single by RCA in Japan in November 1978, backed with "Soul Love" from the same series of concerts. A summer 1978 performance was included on the live album Welcome to the Blackout, released in 2018. Bowie's introduction of the song to the audience gave the 2018 album its title.


  1. ^ a b Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: p.40
  2. ^ David Buckley (1999). Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story: pp.320-321
  3. ^ UNCUT interview (1999) cited at Bowie: Golden Years Archived 2004-08-11 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 May 2007.
  4. ^ a b Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.92

External links[edit]