Glam rock, proto-punk
| 7" single|
| 28 April 1972 (as B-side of "Starman")
9 July 1976 (A-side single)|
Trident Studios, London
4 February 1972
"Suffragette City" is a song by David Bowie. Originally from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album in 1972, it was later issued as a single in 1976 to promote the Changesonebowie compilation in the UK, with the US single edit of "Stay" on the B-side. The single failed to chart.
Recorded on 4 February 1972, towards the end of the Ziggy Stardust sessions, "Suffragette City" features a piano riff heavily influenced by Little Richard, a lyrical reference to the book and film A Clockwork Orange (the word "droogie," meaning "friend") and the sing-along hook "Wham bam thank you ma'am!". One analysis of the song states that it is about how David Bowie does not entirely identify with bisexuality: preferring women more.
Before recording it himself, Bowie offered it to the band Mott the Hoople if they would forgo their plan to break up. The group refused, but recorded Bowie's "All the Young Dudes" instead.
Suffragette City Wikipedia
Ken Scott on "Suffragette City"
Harry Maslin on "Stay"
David Bowie: Vocals, Guitar on "Suffragette City"
Mick Ronson: Guitar, piano and ARP synthesizer on "Suffragette City"
Trevor Bolder: Bass on "Suffragette City"
Mick Woodmansey: Drums on "Suffragette City"
Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick: Guitar on "Stay"
George Murray: Bass on "Stay"
Dennis Davis: Drums on "Stay"
Roy Bittan: Piano on "Stay"
It was released as the B-side of the singles "Starman" in April 1972 and "Young Americans" in February 1975.
A picture disc release appeared in the RCA Life Time picture disc set.
It also appeared on the following compilations:
The Best of David Bowie (Japan 1974)
Bowie: The Singles 1969-1993 (1993)
The Singles Collection (1993)
RarestOneBowie (Japan 1995)
The Best of David Bowie 1969/1974 (1997)
Best of Bowie (2002)
It was also released in the music rhythm game Rock Band.
Bowie recorded the song for the BBC radio programme "Sounds of the 70s: John Peel" on 16 May 1972, and this performance was broadcast on 23 May 1972. In 2000, this recording was released on the Bowie at the Beeb album.
A live version recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on 20 October 1972 has been released on Santa Monica '72 and Live Santa Monica '72.
The version played at the famous concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, London on 3 July 1973 was released on Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture.
A recording from the 1974 tour was released on David Live. This version was also released in the Sound + Vision box set. Another live recording from the 1974 tour was released on the semi-legal A Portrait in Flesh.
A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was released on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, part of the 2010 reissue of Station to Station.
- "Suffragette City" (Bowie) – 3:25
- "Stay" (Bowie) – 3:21