This song was written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington and originally recorded by Johnny Mathis for the 1957 film Wild Is The Wind. The tune proved to be very popular peaking at #22 on the US singles chart and receiving a nomination for an Academy Award.
Nina Simone recorded the song in a very low key as the title track for an album she released in 1966. Bowie was an admirer of Simone's style, and after meeting her in Los Angeles he was inspired to record the pop/jazz tune as the concluding number for Station to Station. Five years later he released it as the lead single from his compilation album Changestwobowie taking it to #24 on the UK singles chart.
Other artists who have covered this song include George Michael on his 1999 album Songs From the Last Century , Cat Power on her 2000 LP The Covers Record and Barbra Streisand on her 2003 The Movie Album.
Cat Power recorded her take on the song after hearing Nina Simone's version. She recalled to Uncut in 2018: "People talk about heroin, like, 'oh, it's euphoria....' No, you have so much pain, you do heroin and you might be deluding yourself that you're in euphoria , but you are in pain... Listening to that Nina Simone song was like that. She was giving me euphoria for the pain her voice was reminding me that I shared."