“The Width of a Circle” is a song written by David Bowie in 1970 for the album The Man Who Sold the World, released later that year in the U.S. and in April 1971 in the UK. It is the opening track to the album, a hard rocker with heavy metal overtones. Bowie had performed a shorter version of the song in concerts for several months before recording it. Featuring Mick Ronson’s lead guitar work and occasional choral effects from the band, this 8-minute song is divided into two parts. The music takes on a heavy R&B quality in the second half, where the narrator enjoys a sexual encounter – with God, the Devil or some other supernatural being, according to different interpretations – in the depths of Hell.
[via Simon Fisher Turner in London]