David Bowie – Sound And Vision (1977)

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“Sound and Vision” is a song and single by David Bowie which appeared on the album Low in 1977. The song is notable for juxtaposing an uplifting guitar and synthesizer-led instrumental track with Bowie’s withdrawn lyrics. These were drawn from the cocaine-fueled paranoia the singer had lived in while residing in Los Angeles. In keeping with the minimalist approach of Low, co-producer Visconti and Bowie originally recorded the track as an instrumental, bar the backing vocal (performed by Visconti’s wife, Mary Hopkin). Bowie then recorded his vocal after the rest of the band had left the studio, before trimming verses off the lyric, and leaving a relatively lengthy instrumental intro on the finished song. Selected as a first single from the album, “Sound and Vision” was used by the BBC on trailers at the time. This provided considerable exposure, much needed as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself, and helped the song to #3. The track was initially performed live only once, at Bowie’s concert at Earl’s Court on July 1, 1978. However, in 1990, it was a regular number for Bowie’s greatest hits Sound + Vision Tour. The name had also been used for Rykodisc boxed set anthology in 1989. In 1991 808 State released an EP of remixes of “Sound and Vision” in America, credited to David Bowie vs. 808 State. In 2008 the Sea and Cake’s cover of this song from their 2003 album One Bedroom was used by Rhapsody in one of their ads. In March 2010, it was announced on Bowie official site that a digital Sound And Vision Remix EP would be made available in June 2010.



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