Five Years (David Bowie song)
"Five Years" is a song written by David Bowie, recorded on 15 November 1971, and released as the opening track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in 1972.
|Song by David Bowie|
|from the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars|
|Released||16 June 1972|
|Recorded||15 November 1971|
|The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars track listing|
The song tells of an Earth doomed to destruction in five years and the aftermath of this knowledge. Bowie is rumoured to have chosen the length of time, five years, as a result of a dream in which his deceased father told him he must never fly again and would die in five years.
The "market square", referred to in the opening line, is Aylesbury market square, in Buckinghamshire, England. Bowie debuted both Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars albums at Friars Club, in the town, and is reputed to have formed the Spiders there, following the "Hunky Dory" gig.
Extinction Rebellion have started using the track during their demonstrations in 2019 because of the striking connection between the lyrics of the song (amount of time left/we must never fly again) and one of their demands, "to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025".
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- Bowie played the song on the BBC radio show Sounds of the 70s: Bob Harris on 18 January 1972. This was broadcast on 7 February 1972 and released in 2000 on the album Bowie at the Beeb.
- Bowie performed the song on Old Grey Whistle Test on 8 February 1972. This performance, broadcast on television later the same day, is included on the DVD version of Best of Bowie.
- A version recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on 20 October 1972 has been released on Santa Monica '72 and Live Santa Monica '72.
- Bowie performed the song on the Dinah Shore show in 1976.
- A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976, in a medley with "Life on Mars?", was included on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, which was released as part of the 2010 reissues of the Station to Station album, on the 2016 collection Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976), and as a stand–alone album in 2017.
- Performances from the 1978 "Heroes" tour have been released on Stage (1978) and Welcome to the Blackout (2018).
- The track was to be the closing number of Bowie's 1985 Live Aid set at London's Wembley Stadium but was dropped the day before the concert to allow time for the broadcast of the famous appeal video featuring "Drive" by The Cars as its soundtrack.
- Bowie performed the song live during his 2003 Reality Tour, and a performance from November of that year was released on the A Reality Tour DVD in 2004, and included on the A Reality Tour album, released in 2010.
- The track was performed by Bowie with Arcade Fire at the 2005 Fashion Rocks concert in New York as well as "Life On Mars?" and Arcade Fire's own song "Wake Up". These recordings were made available on the iTunes Music Store in a virtual live EP.
- The song was taken as title of the BBC2 documentary David Bowie – Five Years – The Making of an Icon in 2013.
- The compilations The Best of David Bowie (Japan 1974) and Starman (Russia 1989).
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- Santah – I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson (2014) (in Spanish)
- Aslan – CD Single (1998)
- Guided By Voices - live recording - 3/9/2001, Music Zone, Asheville NC.
- Born Ruffians – "Paper Bag Records vs. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" (2012)
- Cyclefly – "Blockbuster: A Glitter Glam Rock Experience" (2000).
- The Enemy – Live Recording 12 March 2007
- Max Lorentz – Kiss You In The Rain - Max Lorentz Sings David Bowie (2011)
- Endless – "The Dark Side Of David Bowie: A Tribute To David Bowie" (1997)
- Fish – "Songs from the Mirror" (1993) (an album of covers of his favourite songs)
- Marian Gold – (United) (1999)
- The Outcasts – 5-track mini-LP, "Seven Deadly Sins", "Blood and Thunder" & "Seven Deadly Sins" CD (1997)
- The Polyphonic Spree – the track was made available on the band's website. They occasionally played it while supporting Bowie on his Reality Tour.
- The Postmarks – By The Numbers (2009)
- Uncredited live performance included as a "bonus track" on the tribute album ".2 Contamination: A Tribute to David Bowie" (2006)
- Phish – performed this song live, 10/31/16 in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Angel Olsen – also performed this song live, first in Charlottesville on 28 November 2017, and than later in Brooklyn on the 1 of December.
- Old 97's – "Mimeograph" EP (July 6, 2010) (New West Records)
- "Happy 43rd Birthday to Ziggy Stardust". Retrieved 16 June 2015.
- The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars (2012 Remastered Version), 1972-06-06, retrieved 2018-07-16
- Kevin Cann (2010). Any Day Now – David Bowie: The London Years: 1947–1974: p.231
- Buckley, David (2004). David Bowie: the complete guide to his music. London: Omnibus. p. 16. ISBN 1-84449-423-3. Retrieved April 16, 2010.
- "Five Years – David Bowie – Song Info – AllMusic". AllMusic.
- "Extinciton Rebellion protest in Weston Super Mare, UK". BristolLive.
- Mawer, Sharon. "Songs from the Mirror". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 December 2015.