Young Americans

David Bowie

About Young Americans

"Young Americans" is a single by English singer and songwriter David Bowie, released in 1975. It is included in the album of the same name. The song was a breakthrough in the United States, where the glam rock of Bowie's earlier career had limited popularity outside the major cities. The song reached No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it his second biggest success on that chart until that point. In 2010, the song ranked at #486 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2016, it ranked at #44 on Pitchfork's list of the 200 best songs of the 1970s. 


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They pulled in just behind the bridge
He lays her down, he frowns
Gee my life's a funny thing, am I still too young?
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she'd have taken anything, but

All night
She wants a young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All night
But she wants the young American

Scanning life through the picture window 
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang
But Heaven forbid, she'll take anything
But the freak, and his type, all for nothing
Misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries, "Where have all Papa's heroes gone?"

All night
She wants the young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
Well she wants the young American

All the way from Washington
Her bread-winner begs off the bathroom floor
We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?

All night
He wants the young American
Young American, young American
He wants the young American
All right (all right)
Well, he wants the young American

Do you remember, your President Nixon? (ooh)
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay?
Or even yesterday?

Have been the un-American? (ooh)
Just you and your idol sing falsetto (ooh)
'Bout Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor (ooh)
In case, just in case of depression? (ooh)
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the Afro-Sheeners
Ain't that close to love?
Well, ain't that poster love?
Well, it ain't that Barbie doll
Her hearts have been broken just like you and

All night
All night you want the young American
Young American, young American, you want the young American
All right
You want the young American

You ain't a pimp and you ain't a hustler
A pimp's got a Cadi and a lady got a Chrysler
Black's got respect, and white's got his soul train
Mama's got cramps, and look at your hands ache
(I heard the news today, oh boy)
I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain't there a man who can say no more?
And, ain't there a woman I can sock on the jaw?
And, ain't there a child I can hold without judging?
Ain't there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain't you proud that you've still got faces?
Ain't there one damn song that can make me
Break down and cry?

All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
I want the young American, young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American (I want what you want, I want what you want)
All night
You and I
I want you, I
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
And all I want is the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American

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David Bowie

David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 - 10 January 2016), known by his stage name David Bowie ( /ˈboʊ.i/ BOH-ee), was an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive voice as well as the intellectual depth and considerable eclecticism of his work. more »

30 fans

Written by: David Bowie

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, TINTORETTO MUSIC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

15 facts about this song

Album Classification
"Young Americans" is a track from the ninth studio album of the same name by David Bowie which was released in March 1975.
Style Classification
The song is classified as a blend of soul and British pop which is distinctive for Bowie's career as it's characterized by the contributions of saxophonist David Sanborn.
Priority Classification
"Young Americans" was the first single from the album and is known to be one of Bowie's most significant songs.
Record Label Classification
"Young Americans" was released under the labels of RCA Records and Parlophone.
Backing Vocal Classification
Famous soul musician Luther Vandross provided backup vocals for the song, marking one of his earliest prominent industry gigs.
Recording Location Classification
This track was notably recorded at the Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, USA, which was renowned for creating ‘The Sound of Philadelphia’ style.
Chart Performance Classification
The song reached No. 28 in the UK and peaked at No. 10 in the United States, marking Bowie's first Top 10 hit in the U.S.
Legal Classification
David Bowie faced a lawsuit after the release of "Young Americans" due to its resemblance to the Beatles song "Here, There and Everywhere". He finally reached an agreement with the Beatles' company Northern Songs.
Production Classification
The song was produced by Bowie and British record producer Tony Visconti.
Live Performance Classification
"Young Americans" was regularly performed by Bowie in his concerts and the track features in a number of Bowie's greatest hits albums.
Video Classification
A promotional video shot in 1975 shows a well-groomed Bowie and a full band (and backing singers) performing the song in what appears to be a US newsroom — a direct reference to the song's lyrics.
Legacy Classification
In 2010, the NME (New Musical Express) placed "Young Americans" at number 57 in its list of the Top 100 Greatest Songs of NME's Lifetime.
Featured Artist Classification
The song credits talented members such as Carlos Alomar and Willie Weeks with prominent guitar and bass performances.
Lyrics Interpretation Classification
The lyrics of "Young Americans" provide social commentary for the time it was written, discussing issues of race and disenfranchisement in America.
Re-release Classification
The song was remastered in 1999 for the album’s re-release.

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    Young Americans

    25,298     962

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1975

    Billboard #28



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