Golden Years

Album: Station To Station (1975)
Charted: 8 10
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Bowie's ex-wife Angela claims this was written for her. Bowie does appear to be addressing someone specific in this song, encouraging them to revel in their "golden years": "Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel, come get up my baby, look at that sky, life's begun, nights are warm and the days are young."
  • Bowie wrote this with the intention of giving it to Elvis Presley, but he reportedly refused the song. Elvis died two years later.
  • Bowie performed this when he appeared on the TV show, Soul Train, in 1975. He was one of the first white singers to appear on the show. Bowie reportedly got drunk beforehand to try and calm his nerves and the footage does appear to show him stumbling over his lyrics.
  • Producer, Harry Maslin, said he achieved the "round" quality of the backing voices by using an old RCA microphone.
  • Station to Station saw Bowie adopt The Thin White Duke persona. Dressed in a white shirt, black trousers and waistcoat, The Thin White Duke was described by Bowie as "a nasty character indeed." Throughout this period, Bowie was consuming a large amount of cocaine, which added to the alienated feel of the character.
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Comments: 23

  • Peter from GermanyAccording to co-producer Harry Maslin Bowie wrote the lyrics to Golden Years in the bathroom of the studio. "He was famous for going into the corner or going into the men's room and writing some lyrics, which is what he did on 'Golden Years'. He literally went to the bathroom and came back with the lyric, went to the mike, and did the song in on take. I was blown away." (Dylan Jones, David Bowie – a life, p.230)
  • Andy from HereI Always thought this song was connected to Bowie's fascination @ the time for Nazi Germany I.E referencing Golden years & run for the shadows etc
  • Kelly from New ZealandExquisite song beginning to end. Sung with class. Brilliant!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 18th 1976, the movie 'The Man Who Fell to Earth', starring David Bowie, had its world premiere in London, England...
    Two days later on May 28th, 1976 it had its U.S.A. premiere in New York City...
    At the time his record "Golden Years" was at #13 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; nine days later on March 27th, 1976 it peaked at #10 {for 2 weeks} and spent 21 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1972 and 1997 he had twenty-six Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Fame" for 1 week in 1975 and "Let's Dance" for 1 week in 1983.
  • AnonymousTony - Manitowoc, Wi,
    what? the movie was not named after the song. He used the song because it's good and has the samne title!

    and Guy - Woodinville, Wa
    you do not know anything about music- the song rocks!!!
  • Maggie from St Paul, MnI loved that scene in A Knights Tale, with this song! Earlier in the day, he claimed he didn't know how to dance-- at the banquet tht night, this song comes on, and suddenly he's channeling John Travolta! Too funny!
  • Ben from Minas Tirith, MoThis song was used in the movie A Knights Tale.
  • Chris from Cleveland, OhHow come Elvis didn't record it? It's too bad, I'd like to hear how he would have done the song. Great song either way.
  • Kenny from Clydebank, Scotlandclassy song, and station to station is a fine atmospheric album. Next to Aladdin Sane, my fav.
    You know a song's good when your mother likes it... your mother should know, sing it again, David.
  • Kayla from Bloomington, InI love that "whop whop whop"! :-D
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaAnother weak, forgettable David Bowie song. Honestly, I don't know why he sold so well. I think he was just a master of publicity.
  • Paul from Redditch, EnglandExcellent song. Can't see anyone else being able to do this song justice
  • Tony from Manitowoc, Withe song became a name of a movie called golden years by stephen king. this song was used in the beginning and end credits
  • Ashley Jade from Cleveland, GaMaybe not in Velvet Goldmine... but Manson did do a version of this song (which isn't bad)
  • Ann from Fairway, KsOops! Meant to post that under Young Americans!
  • Ann from Fairway, KsI believe that Luther Vandross sang back-up on this song--might have even been his "big break" so to speak. And I could totally picture Elvis singing this song with the gospel choir singing in the background.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScSong was written for elvis? Odd. Can't imagine him singing it. Song rocks though!
  • Junie from Cranston, RiVelvet Goldmine did not suck at all. It is one of the best films I ever saw.
  • Anita from Nyc, NyI've seen Velvet Goldmine more times than I can even count, and I don't recall any Marilyn Manson?
    I think only the biggest Bowie fans can truly appreciate "Velvet Goldmine": a visually stunning, conceptually ingenious love song/video!
  • Paul from TeddingtonShame Elvis never got around to covering this.

    I think the Young Americans/StationtoStation period was very under-rated & DB's voice was at its most powerful then (despite the big Coke intake!)
  • Vince from Florence, Kythe Manson version is also featured in the film "Dead Man on Campus" over the beginning credits...
  • Trent from Carlinville, IlPlayed this song in A Knight's Tale and was later on the soundtrack. Good Song.
  • Dave from Caledonia, CanadaMarilyn Manson covered this song for the soundtrack to the film "Velvet Goldmine". It is an amazing version of this already great song.
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