‘Suffragette City’ appears on by David Bowie mythical fifth album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Marswhich was critically acclaimed in 1972.
The iconic track is widely considered one of Bowie’s greatest. however, the musician has almost gave the song to Mott the Hoople. He offered the song to English rockers on the condition that they drop their breakup plan. Although the band rejected the track, they instead accepted “All the Young Dudes”, which Bowie wrote for the band to help them out of their financial crisis.
‘Suffragette City’ was recorded in the same session as ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’ and ‘Starman’ and can be classified as part of the glam rock genre. The song features a prominent piano riff running through the Little Richard-inspired song, as well as one of Bowie’s first uses of an ARP synthesizer. The instrument was used to mimic a saxophone for a wider sound, and the end result, played by Mick Ronson, accompanies Bowie’s guitar riff.
Another key moment in the song is the use of the phrase “Aw, droogie, don’t crash here”, which is inspired by the novel by Anthony Burgess. A clockwork orange. The book is written using slang words called Nadsat, and the word “droog” is what the main character, Alex, calls his friends. Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, released the year before the release of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardustgreatly influenced Bowie.
The song also features the memorable line, “Wham Bam Thank-you Ma’am”, which Bowie taken from the piece of the same name by Charles Mingus, which appeared on his 1961 album Oh yes. Apparently the phrase was commonly used by Mingus drummer Max Roach when he was “unable to express his inner feelings”.
During a live performance of the track in 1972, Bowie controversially got between Ronson’s legs and began playing his guitar with his teeth, which made it look like the star was performing oral sex with him. his teammate. The moment was captured by photographer Mick Rock, and Bowie convinced his manager to pay for an entire page in melody maker to highlight the infamous image.
With so much buzz around the track, listening to Bowie’s isolated vocals brings the track back to basics, illuminating just how beautifully powerful Bowie’s vocals are on the song.
The most popular