Sound and Vision

David Bowie

About Sound and Vision

"Sound and Vision" is a song and single by David Bowie which appeared on his 1977 album Low. The song is notable for juxtaposing an uplifting guitar and synthesizer-led instrumental track with Bowie's withdrawn lyrics. In keeping with the minimalist approach of Low, Bowie and co-producer Tony Visconti 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 lyrics and leaving a relatively lengthy instrumental intro on the finished song. Selected as the 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 No. 3. The song was also a top ten hit in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. However, it stalled at No. 87 in Canada and only managed No. 69 in the United States, where it signaled the end of Bowie's short commercial honeymoon until "Let's Dance" in 1983. 


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Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Don't you wonder sometimes
'Bout sound and vision?

Blue, blue, electric blue
That's the color of my room
Where I will live
Blue, blue

Pale blinds drawn all day
Nothing to do, nothing to say
Blue, blue

I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
And I will sing, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
Drifting into my solitude, over my head

Don't you wonder sometimes
'Bout sound and vision?

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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 © TINTORETTO MUSIC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

13 facts about this song

Release Details
"Sound and Vision" was released as a single in February 1977 and is a track from David Bowie's album "Low."
Chart Performance
The song was a major hit in the UK, earning Bowie a top 3 spot on the UK Singles Chart.
Instrumental Features
The song uniquely features a synthesiser and saxophone, reflecting Bowie's eclectic style. The lead guitar was played by Ricky Gardiner.
Unique Composition
Remarkably, Bowie's vocals don't kick in until almost halfway through the song, at about the 1:30 mark.
Song Purpose
Bowie stated in interviews that the song was about his seeking solace from writing and looking for inspiration.
Part of a Trilogy
The album "Low," which includes "Sound and Vision," was the first part of a trilogy of albums, with "Heroes" and "Lodger" completing the set.
The song was remixed by co-producer Tony Visconti in 2010 for inclusion on a reissue of the album "Station to Station."
Cover Versions
"Sound and Vision" has been covered by artists in various genres, including Fran Healy of Travis and Beck.
Use in Advertising
The song was famously used in a commercial by the technology company Microsoft in 2015.
Beck's "Sound and Vision" 360-degree concert from 2013, was a tribute to Bowie where the enhanced version of the song was played by 167 musicians.
Music Video
Despite the song's success, no official music video was made for "Sound and Vision" when it was first released.
In 2003, the song was ranked No. 213 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
In 1991, Bowie re-recorded the song for the Rykodisc reissue of his album "Low" as an alternate bonus track.

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    Sound and Vision

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    Top Hot 100 Songs 1977

    Billboard #69



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