Liza Jane

Album: Nothing Has Changed (1964)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • David Bowie's first ever release, he recorded it at the age of 17 under the name of Davie Jones with The King-Bees. Recorded for Vocalion Pop, the song was promoted strongly but failed to chart and the band were subsequently dropped from the label.
  • The song was an arrangement of the old standard "Li'l Liza Jane," first recorded by Earl Fuller as an instrumental in 1917. A year later, Harry C. Brown did a separate version with added vocals. The King Bees came up with a 6-bar blues interpretation and their manager Leslie Conn, made a few changes and credited it to himself.
  • The B-side was a cover of "Louie, Louie Go Home," a 1963 single by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
  • David Jones changed his name to David Bowie in 1966 to avoid confusion with Monkee Davy Jones.
  • The single was re-released by Vocalion's parent company, Decca, in the UK in November 1978 in an attempt to capitalize on Bowie's fame, but again it failed to chart.
  • Bowie recorded the song again, in 2000, for the album Toy, which was never officially released. Warner Music eventually made it available eleven years later.
  • "Liza Jane" was included on Bowie's 2014 compilation album Nothing Has Changed.
  • The songwriting on this track is credited to Leslie Conn, who ran Doris Day's music publishing company and was The King Bees' manager and promoter for some months in 1964. "That was David and I, in my mum and dad's house, in the kitchen, sitting there with a guitar just fooling around," Bowie's King Bee's bandmate George Underwood recalled to Uncut magazine. "Leslie Conn put his name to that. He said, 'Oh, try this line. He'd written some words. I don't think we ever used them. He thought he wrote it."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New Words

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.

Maria Muldaur

Maria MuldaurSongwriter Interviews

The "Midnight At The Oasis" singer is an Old Time gal. She talks about her jug band beginnings and shares a Dylan story.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Grunge Bands Quiz

Grunge Bands QuizMusic Quiz

If the name Citizen Dick means anything to you, there's a chance you'll get some of these right.

Taylor Dayne

Taylor DayneSongwriter Interviews

Taylor talks about "The Machine" - the hits, the videos and Clive Davis.