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"Boys Keep Swinging" is a song by David Bowie. It was released as a single from the album Lodger on 27 April 1979.

"Boys Keep Swinging"
Bowie BoysKeepSwinging.jpg
One of UK vinyl releases
Single by David Bowie
from the album Lodger
B-side"Fantastic Voyage"
Released27 April 1979
Format7" single
RecordedMountain Studios, Montreux, September 1978; Record Plant Studios, New York City, March 1979
LabelRCA Records
David Bowie singles chronology
"Breaking Glass"
"Boys Keep Swinging"
Music video
"Boys Keep Swinging" on YouTube

Recording and releaseEdit

During the Lodger recording sessions, Bowie had wanted to capture a garage band style for the track, and agreed with Brian Eno that the best way to achieve this sound was to get the band to swap instruments after this was 'suggested' by Eno's deck of 'Oblique Strategies' cards which supplied the suggestion "Reverse Roles". Guitarist Carlos Alomar played drums and drummer Dennis Davis played bass.

"Boys Keep Swinging" has exactly the same chord sequence as the song "Fantastic Voyage"[citation needed] from the same album ("Fantastic Voyage" was also the B-side to the single of "Boys Keep Swinging"). RCA decided against releasing the single in the US, choosing "Look Back in Anger" instead. Bowie performed the track with a puppet body special effect on Saturday Night Live on 15 December 1979, joined by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias as backing singers. During the broadcast NBC censors muted the lines "life's a pop o'the cherry" and "other boys check you out", but failed to notice the puppet's bouncing phallus at the close of the song.

The song reached No. 7 in the UK, returning Bowie to the Top 10 of the Singles chart for the first time since "Sound and Vision" in February 1977. It was performed only during one tour, the 1995 Outside Tour.[citation needed] Interviewed in 2000, Bowie said the following about the song: "I do not feel that there is anything remotely glorious about being either male or female. I was merely playing on the idea of the colonization of gender."[2]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Boys Keep Swinging" (Bowie, Eno) – 3:17
  2. "Fantastic Voyage" (Bowie, Eno) – 2:55

Production creditsEdit

  • Producers:
  • Musicians:
    • David Bowie: lead vocals, guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", piano on "Fantastic Voyage"
    • Adrian Belew: guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage"
    • Dennis Davis: bass guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", percussion on "Fantastic Voyage",
    • Tony Visconti: bass guitar on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage", backing vocals on "Fantastic Voyage"
    • Carlos Alomar: drums on "Boys Keep Swinging"
    • Brian Eno: piano on "Boys Keep Swinging", ambient drone on "Fantastic Voyage"
    • Simon House: violin on "Boys Keep Swinging", mandolin on "Fantastic Voyage"
    • Sean Mayes: piano on "Fantastic Voyage"

Other releasesEdit

Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ Graham, Ben (11 January 2016). "30-Years On: David Bowie's Lodger Comes In From The Cold". The Quietus. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  2. ^ Abdulmajid, Iman (2000), "Watch That Man", Bust magazine: 32–33


  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5

External linksEdit