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Song IconDavid Bowie "Boys Keep Swinging"

About "Boys Keep Swinging"

"Boys Keep Swinging" is a song by English musician David Bowie, released on 27 April 1979 by RCA Records in the United Kingdom as the lead single from his 1979 album Lodger. It was written by Bowie and Brian Eno and recorded in Montreux and New York City in September 1978 and March 1979. The recording utilised techniques from Eno's Oblique Strategies cards, which resulted in the musicians swapping instruments. Adrian Belew contributed a guitar solo, which he played receiving little guidance and was composited from multiple takes. The song was also built on the same chord sequence as album track "Fantastic Voyage". Musically, "Boys Keep Swinging" contains elements of glam rock, funk and new wave, while lyrically, the song deals with the concept of gender identity, featuring various gender-bending lyrics. Bowie himself stated that the song was full of irony.

Bowie filmed a promotional video for "Boys Keep Swinging" alongside an appearance on The Kenny Everett Video Show. Both were directed by David Mallet, marking the first in a series of collaborations with Bowie. The video features Bowie as himself and three backing dancers dressed in drag. The video helped the single reach number seven on the UK Singles Chart, his highest chart placement in two years. Bowie gave an acclaimed performance of the song on Saturday Night Live in December 1979 and later revived it for his 1995 Outside Tour. Although it received mixed reviews on release, with some finding a lack of payoff, commentators have reacted more positively to "Boys Keep Swinging" in later decades, with some naming it one of Bowie's best songs. It has appeared on several compilation albums and was covered by the Associates in late-1979, whose version earned them their first recording contract.

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