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"Wild Is the Wind" is a song written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington. The track was originally recorded by Johnny Mathis for the 1957 film Wild Is the Wind. The song was very popular and was one of five songs nominated for an Academy Award; it was sung by Johnny Mathis at the March 1958 Oscar presentations. Mathis' version of the song was also released as a single by Columbia Records (4-41060) in November 1957, and reached No. 22 on the Billboard chart.

The song has been recorded many times, including twice by Nina Simone, first on the live album Nina Simone at Town Hall (1959) and then in a studio recording included on Wild Is the Wind (1966). David Bowie recorded a version of it for his 1976 album Station to Station. Bowie was an admirer of Simone’s style, and after meeting her in Los Angeles in 1975, was inspired to record the song for his album.[1]

Shirley Horn recorded a version for her 1960 album, Embers And Ashes, and another (with full orchestra) in 1992 on her signature album Here's to Life. In 1963, Nancy Wilson included the song on her album Hollywood – My Way. The Dutch band Clan of Xymox released a version of the song in 1994 on their album Headclouds. Australian/English band Fatal Shore recorded "Wild Is the Wind" in 1997 for their self-titled debut album. British band Rialto recorded it for their 1998 single Dream Another Dream. George Michael recorded it on his 1999 album Songs from the Last Century, and Cat Power (Chan Marshall) recorded a version on her 2000 album The Covers Record, as well as a live version for iTunes in 2006. In 2015 her version of the song was used in the movie Into the Forest. Randy Crawford covered the song on her 2001 album Permanent (a.k.a. Play Mode). Scottish singers Storm Gordon (as featured on her 2001 album-debut Radio Wonderlust Vol. 1) and Billy Mackenzie, have also recorded the song. Billy MacKenzie's version appeared posthumously on the 2001 EP Wild Is the Wind and on the 2005 album Transmission Impossible. TV on the Radio sampled Nina Simone's version on the song "Say You Do" on their self-released 2002 debut OK Calculator. In 2003, Barbra Streisand recorded the song for her album The Movie Album (2003), and filmed a music video. Amel Larrieux recorded the song for her 2007 album Lovely Standards. Nina Simone's version appeared on the trailer for the 2008 movie Revolutionary Road. In 2010, Bat for Lashes released a limited 7" vinyl on Record Store Day in the UK that included live version of the song on the B-side. Esperanza Spalding recorded a version of the song for her 2010 album Chamber Music Society. Xiu Xiu covered the song on their 2013 album "Nina," a collection of free-jazz renditions of songs written or performed by Nina Simone. In 2014, Dame Shirley Bassey recorded this song for her album titled Hello Like Before. Kate Ceberano covered the song on her album, The Monash Sessions (2016). Joanne Shaw Taylor also covered the song on her 2016 album Wild.


David Bowie recordingEdit

"Wild Is the Wind"
Single by David Bowie
from the album Station to Station and Changestwobowie
B-side"Golden Years"
Released23 January 1976 (album)
November 1981 (single)
Format7" single
RecordedCherokee Studios, Hollywood
September–November 1975
GenreBlue-eyed soul
Length3:34 (Music video)
5:58 (Full-length album version)
LabelRCA Records
BOW 10
David Bowie singles chronology
"Under Pressure"
"Wild Is the Wind"
"'Baal (EP)'"
Music video
"Wild Is the Wind" on YouTube

Track listingEdit

Production creditsEdit

Promotional videoEdit

In 1981 a black and white promotional video was made, directed by David Mallet. It featured Bowie and four musicians miming to the studio recording, including Tony Visconti (double bass), Coco Schwab (guitar), Mel Gaynor (drums), and Andy Hamilton (saxophone).[2]

Live versionsEdit

Bowie performed the song during his June 2000 Mini Tour, and recordings have emerged. A live recording from the BBC Radio Theatre, London, on 27 June 2000, was released on a bonus disc accompanying the first release of Bowie at the Beeb in 2000. A performance on 23 June 2000 was recorded for Channel 4's TFI Friday. Bowie's performance of the song, as his opening number, at the Glastonbury Festival on 25 June 2000, was released in 2018 on Glastonbury 2000.

Bowie also performed the song with Mike Garson on piano for the Black Ball charity concert in New York in November 2006; the concert was Bowie's final stage performance.[3]


  1. ^ Pegg 2011, p. 278.
  2. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2 November 2016). "The Complete David Bowie: New Edition: Expanded and Updated". Titan Books. Retrieved 7 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Pegg 2011, p. 279.


External linksEdit