John, I'm Only Dancing

David Bowie

About John, I'm Only Dancing

"John, I'm Only Dancing" is a single by David Bowie, released in two versions – entirely different recordings, but carrying the same catalogue number – in September 1972 and April 1973. Bowie later re-worked the song into the disco-influenced "John, I'm Only Dancing (Again)," recorded in 1974, but unreleased until 1979.


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Well, Annie's pretty neat, she always eats her meat
Joe is awful strong, bet your life he's putting us on
Oh lordy, oh lordy, you know I need some loving
Oh move me, touch me

John, I'm only dancing
She turns me on, but I'm only dancing
She turns me on, don't get me wrong
I'm only dancing

Oh shadow love was quick and clean, life's a well-thumbed machine
I saw you watching from the stairs, you're everyone that ever cared
Oh lordy, oh lordy, you know I need some loving
Move me, touch me

John, I'm only dancing
She turns me on, but I'm only dancing
She turns me on, don't get me wrong
I'm only dancing

John, I'm only dancing
She turns me on, but I'm only dancing
She turns me on, don't get me wrong
I'm only dancing

Won't someone dance with me?
Touch me, ohh

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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, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

12 facts about this song

Release Date
"John, I'm Only Dancing" was initially released by David Bowie in the United Kingdom on September 1, 1972.
Record Label
It was published by the RCA Victor record label, marking the second single presented by Bowie with this company.
Chart Success
Upon its release, the track reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart, increasing Bowie's popularity.
Musical Contributors
Instrumentalists in "John, I'm Only Dancing" include Mick Ronson on guitar, Trevor Bolder on bass, and Mick Woodmansey on drums. They were part of Bowie's backing band 'The Spiders from Mars'.
Multiple Versions
There exist two main versions of the song - the original, and a 'sax version'. A re-recorded version also exists, created for the album 'Aladdin Sane', but it was never released until much later.
The song is noted for its implicit homoerotic content, which gave it a controversial edge during the period of release. Due to this, the song was banned by some radio stations.
The song is a homage to Iggy Pop, a friend, and collaborator of Bowie's.
Live Performances
Despite its initial success and considerable popularity, "John, I'm Only Dancing" was rarely performed live by David Bowie.
Not Included on Album
Interestingly, despite its popularity, the song was not included on any of Bowie's studio albums.
Cover Versions
"John, I'm Only Dancing" has been covered by various artists, including 'The Polecats' and 'Vivian Girls'.
Music Video
A music video for the song was directed by iconic video director Mick Rock in August 1972. It featured Bowie performing with the Spiders From Mars and his choreographer, Lindsay Kemp.
Unofficial Sequel
The 1980 track "Ashes to Ashes" has occasionally been referred to as a sort of unofficial sequel to "John, I'm Only Dancing." However, this has not been confirmed by Bowie or anyone involved in the production of either song.

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