In the UK, this was the second single released from the Lodger
album, following "Boys Keep Swinging
." It wasn't released as a single in America but got some attention in that country two years later when MTV launched.
Bowie was on the vanguard of the music video movement; for "DJ," director David Mallet shot a clip of Bowie coming unhinged in front of some turntables in a radio studio, along with footage of him walking the streets of London while he is mobbed by admirers. The song was dated when MTV went on the air in 1981, but Bowie was a big name and the video was of better quality than most of what they had to choose from, so it went in rotation. For many young Americans, it was their first exposure to Bowie.