New Killer Star

“The ghost of the tragedy that happened there [Battery Park near the World Trade Center – Ed] is reflected in the song, but I’m trying to make something more positive out of it. The birth of a new star. Not trying to be negative all the time.”David Bowie (600)

The Width Of A Circle

“I went to the depths of myself in that. I tried to analogize the period of my life from when I left school to that time – to the making of that LP. Just for my own benefit, not really for any listener’s benefit. I very much doubt whether anyone could decipher that song correctly on my level. But a lot of people have deciphered it on their own levels. That’s fine – that’s what a song does.”David Bowie (601)

All The Madmen

“‘All the Madmen’ was written for my brother and it’s about my brother. He’s the man inside, and he doesn’t want to leave. He’s perfectly happy there – perfectly happy: Doesn’t have to work, just lies there on the lawn all day, looking at the sky. He’s very happy. He comes out occasionally. and we have him at home for a bit. But he gets in the way. He says ‘Well, I think I’ll go back to – ” and he goes back, and we don’t see him for a few months. We go every fortnight, we go for the weekend and we take a hamper of sandwiches and apples and things, new shirts and fresh stuff, and take his laundry. And he’s always very happy to see us, but he never has anything to say.”David Bowie (601)

Young Americans

“It’s about a newly-wed couple who don’t know if they really like each other. Well, they do, but they don’t know if they do or don’t. It’s a bit of a predicament.”David Bowie (602)


“A ‘get up off your backside’ sort of song really – a mild, precautionary sort of morality song. It was written about an impression left on me by people who don’t work very hard, or do anything much, or think very hard – like don’t blame me ‘cause I’m in the habit of working hard. You know, it’s easy – all you got to do is win.”David Bowie (602)

Somebody Up There Likes Me

“Is a ‘Watch out mate, Hitler’s on his way back’…it’s your Rock and Roll sociological bit.”David Bowie (602)


“‘Warszawa’ is about Warsaw and the very bleak atmosphere I got from that city.”David Bowie (603)

Art Decade

“‘Art Decade’ is West Berlin — a city cut off from its world, art and culture, dying with no hope of retribution.”David Bowie (603)

Weeping Wall

“‘Weeping Wall’ is about the Berlin Wall — the misery of it.”David Bowie (603)


“‘Subterraneans’ is about the people that got caught in East Berlin after the separation — hence the faint jazz saxophones representing the memory of what it was.”David Bowie (603)