21
Aug 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 55 DAVID BOWIE – “Suffragette City”

FT/2 comments • 1,240 views

Dame David in 40 years timeWham bam, thank you mam, well quite. Having just looked up the lyrics (having sung them phonetically all these years), is this like bowie trying to be bolan or summat? The other thing is I seem to spend most of the time thinking about other songs whilst trying to think about SC. If it’s not surfin’ usm it’s rock & roll suicide (now i no longer listen to alBUMs this very rarely happens with new tracks, but i have played ZS&TSFM once or twice over the years). maybe it’s the way the wham bam thank you mam bit (the most memorable bit of the song) drags you to the end before you’ve sung the beginning to yrself, thus leading you into the next track on the alBUM, or it being the sample makes you think of the other song (see also cloudbusting vs the u-u-utah saints).

Actually the WBTYM bit even sounds like a sample in the original track, I guess it’s a drop-in, but it doesn’t seem to completely work (or were they obscuring the last consonant on purpose (man rather than mam?))

Anyways, what is dame david going on about here? I’m thinking that much like macca’s use of it in JET, there is little beyond word sound in using suffragette to stand in for “lady” unless, of course, the song is actually about a pankhurst daughter or summat. I’m rather shocked to discover that this was never a UK single, given its ubiquity in terms of a certain type of rock/indie disco, but I suppose early 70s = only a couple of singles off an alBUM at most, rather than the standard 5 or 6 these days.

Importantly, I still think it’s a great track, almost as good as Jean Genie in terms of Bowie/Ronson Glam Stomp.

Comments

  1. 1
    LondonLee on 24 Aug 2007 #

    I always assumed he got the sign-off from the Small Faces’ song “Wham Bam Thank You Man”

    It’s about shagging groupies.

  2. 2
    henry s on 24 Aug 2007 #

    I used to always think it was “mellow black chick”, until I found out it was really “mellow-thighed chick”…or is it the other way around?

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page