The lyric introduces the listener to Bowie’s latest persona and his environment; Halloween Jack dwells on top of tenement buildings in a post-apocalypticManhattan. The guitar sound is heavily influenced by The Rolling Stones, and signalled Bowie moving away from glam rock and closer to a proto-punkStooges-influenced sound.
The track was considered by many commentators to be an unconventional single, and only reached UK No. 21. According to NME critics Roy Carr andCharles Shaar Murray, "As a potential hit single, the title track from Diamond Dogs was something of a non-event. Too long, too bleak in vision, too tough to dance to... you know the drill."
While it failed to make the US charts, the song became a central part of Bowie’s North American tour in 1974.
- 2 Production credits
- 3 Charts
- 4 Live versions
- 5 Other releases
- 6 Cover versions
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- "Diamond Dogs" (Bowie) – 5:56 (Only in Australia, a 2'58" edit was used (RCA 102462) instead of the full length album version)
- "Holy Holy" (Bowie) – 2:20
|UK Singles Chart||21|
|Irish Singles Chart||27|
- A live version from the 1974 tour was released on David Live. This version was also issued on the Dutch release Rock Concert. Another live recording from the 1974 tour was released on the semi-legal album A Portrait in Flesh.
- A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was released on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, part of the 2010 reissues of Station to Station.
- It appears on several compilations:
- It was released as a picture disc in the RCA Life Time picture disc set.
- The 4:37 edit heard on the 1980 Best of Bowie compilation LP was released on CD in 2004, on the bonus disc of the 30th Anniversary edition of Diamond Dogs.
- Beck recorded a cover version of "Diamond Dogs", produced by Timbaland, for the film Moulin Rouge! in 2001. The dancers in the film were also called the Diamond Dogs, as were the dancers on Bowie's 1974 tour.
- Blind Willie's Johnson - Only Bowie (1995)
- Dramarama - Live recording (1992)
- Duran Duran - Thank You (Japanese version 1995)
- Rancid Vat - "Bowiecide" single
- Graveyard School - Hero: The Main Man Records Tribute to David Bowie (2007)
- Gilby Clarke - Swag