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"TVC 15" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie in 1975 and released in 1976.
The track was inspired by an episode in which Iggy Pop, during a drug-fuelled period at Bowie’s LA home, hallucinated and believed the television set was swallowing his girlfriend. Bowie developed a story of a holographic television, TVC 15. In the song, the narrator's girlfriend crawls into the television and afterwards, the narrator desires to crawl in himself to find her.
The song is considerably more upbeat than the rest of the album on which it was released, Station to Station. It was chosen as the second single from the album in the UK, where it reached No. 33. With Bowie unable to perform on the show, Top of the Pops promoted the single with a bizarre interpretation from resident dance troupe Ruby Flipper. The B-side, "We Are the Dead", originally formed part of Bowie’s attempt to adapt Nineteen Eighty-Four, and had previously been released on the Diamond Dogs album.
In America, "Stay" was preferred as the second single from the album.
- "TVC 15" (Bowie) – 3:43
- "We Are the Dead" (Bowie) – 4:58
- David Bowie: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Saxophone
- Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick: Guitar on "TVC 15"
- George Murray: Bass on "TVC 15"
- Dennis Davis: Drums on "TVC 15"
- Roy Bittan: Piano on "TVC 15"
- Herbie Flowers: Bass on "We Are the Dead"
- Mike Garson: Piano on "We Are the Dead"
- Aynsley Dunbar: Drums on "We Are the Dead"
- A live performance recorded on 23 March 1976 was released on Live Nassau Coliseum '76, part of the 2010 reissues of Station to Station.
- A spring 1978 performance from the "Heroes" tour can be heard on Stage.
- On 14 December 1979 Bowie performed the song as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, accompanied by Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias.
- Bowie performed the song during the Live Aid concerts on July 13, 1985. It was considerably sped up and more upbeat.
- It appeared on several compilations:
- The 7" single version also appeared on The Best of 1974/1979.
- A version shorter than the single version appeared on the Christiane F. soundtrack.
- It was released as a picture disc in the RCA Life Time disc set.