"Jump They Say" is a song by David Bowie from his album Black Tie White Noise. It was released as a first single from the album in March 1993.

The song dealt with Bowie’s feelings for his schizophrenic half-brother Terry, who had committed suicide on 16 January 1985. The lyrics tell of a man pushed to utter desperation by the pressure put on him. Bowie has also cited his own feelings about jumping into the unknown metaphysically. Musically, the influence of Nile Rodgers led to a funk-based sound, though the track was also influenced by contemporary jazz, with a solo from avant-jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie.

As the lead-off single, "Jump They Say" received a considerable promotional push from Bowie’s new label, Savage Records (though Arista Records distributed the package in Europe). A striking video was shot by Mark Romanek, depicting Bowie as a businessman paranoid of his colleagues, who seemingly conduct experiments on him and find him a disturbing influence, forcing him to jump from the roof of the corporate building to his death. The video is heavily influenced by Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 film Alphaville, as well as Chris Marker's film La jetée and Orson WellesThe Trial - both from 1962. The influence from Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange from 1971 is also obvious. The song, while not Bowie’s first release since Tin Machine, was pushed as a comeback single, and reached No. 9 in the UK charts – Bowie’s first top 10 single since “Absolute Beginners” in 1986, and his last until 2013's "Where Are We Now?"

While Bowie opted not to tour for the Black Tie White Noise album, the song would feature on his 1995 Outside Tour.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

7" version[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Radio edit)" – 3:53
  2. "Pallas Athena (Don't Stop Praying Mix)" – 5:36

12": Arista / 74321 139421 (EU)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Hardhands Mix)" – 5:40
  2. "Jump They Say (Full album version)" – 4:22
  3. "Jump They Say (Leftfield 12" vocal)" – 7:42
  4. "Jump They Say (Dub Oddity Mix)" 4:44

12": Arista / 74 321 13 69 61 (EU)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Club Hart remix)" – 5:05
  2. "Jump They Say (JAE-E Mix)" – 5:32
  3. "Jump They Say (JAE-E Dub)" – 4:48
  4. "Jump They Say (Leftfield remix)" – 7:41
  5. "Jump They Say (Dub Oddity, another Leftfield remix)" – 5:36
  6. "Pallas Athena (Don’t Stop Praying Mix)" – 5:36

CD: Arista / 74321 13696 2 (EU)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Radio edit)" – 3:53
  2. "Jump They Say (JAE-E edit)" - 3:58
  3. "Jump They Say (Club Hart remix)" – 5:05
  4. "Jump They Say (Leftfield 12" vocal)" – 7:42
  5. "Pallas Athena (Album version)" – 4:40
  6. "Pallas Athena (Don’t Stop Praying Mix)" – 5:36

CD: Arista/ 74321 139422 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (7" version)" – 3:53
  2. "Jump They Say (Hard Hands Mix)" – 5:40
  3. "Jump They Say (JAE-E Mix)" – 5:32
  4. "Pallas Athena (Don’t Stop Praying Mix)" – 5:36
  • includes "exclusive 8-page discography"
  • released in 2CD case to house CD2 as well

CD: Arista / 74321 139432 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Brothers in Rhythm Mix)" – 8:28
  2. "Jump They Say (Brothers in Rhythm Instrumental)" – 6:25
  3. "Jump They Say (Leftfield 12" vocal)" – 7:42
  4. "Jump They Say (Full album version)" – 4:22

CD: Savage Records / 74785-50034-2 (USA)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Album Version)" – 4:23
  2. "Jump They Say (Radio Edit 1)" – 4.02
  3. "Jump They Say (Club Hart remix)" – 5:02
  4. "Jump They Say (Leftfield Remix)" – 7:41
  5. "Pallas Athena (Album version)" – 4:40
  6. "Pallas Athena (Don’t Stop Praying Mix)" – 5:36
  • Jump They Say (Radio Edit 1) is remixed by JAE-E and is the same as Jump They Say (JAE-E edit)

12": Arista / BIR 1 (US) (Promotional)[edit]Edit

  1. "Jump They Say (Brothers in Rhythm Mix)" – 8:28
  2. "Jump They Say (Brothers in Rhythm Instrumental)" – 6:25

Production credits[edit]Edit


Chart Peak


UK Singles Chart 9
Canadian Singles Chart 26[1]
Dutch Singles Chart 17
Norwegian Singles Chart 7

Other releases[edit]Edit

  • The radio edit version appeared on some editions of the compilations Bowie: The Singles 1969-1993 and The Best of Bowie
  • The Leftfield 12" vocal mix was released on a UK limited release of the single "Little Wonder" in January 1997.
  • The "JAE-E edit" (called "alternate mix") was released as a bonus track on the CD-version of Black Tie White Noise.
  • On the bonus disc following the 10th anniversary edition of Black Tie White Noise, three remixes of "Jump They Say" appeared: "Rock Mix", "Brothers in Rhythm 12" Remix" and "Dub Oddity".

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