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"Tonight" is the title track from the album Tonight by David Bowie. It was originally co-written with Iggy Pop for the latter’s 1977 album Lust for Life.

Bowie re-recorded the song, with guest vocalist Tina Turner, in 1984 for his new album and released it as a single, the song was a duet but the single was in fact only credited to Bowie. The album also featured two new co-compositions with Pop (including "Tonight"’s B-side, "Tumble and Twirl") – causing some cynics to remark that the whole album was largely motivated by Bowie trying to earn some money for his friend. The original spoken word introduction of the 1977 version, establishing that the lyric is addressed to a lover dying of a heroin overdose, was excised for Bowie’s version, substantially changing the message of the song. Bowie claimed at the time that he didn’t want to inflict this reading on Turner, though it’s also likely that this was to soften the song and make it more commercial.

Chart Performance

Nevertheless, the reggae-flavoured song was a considerable flop, only reaching #53 in the UK singles charts (the first ‘current’ Bowie single to miss the top 40 since "Be My Wife" in 1976) at the same time its parent album was rapidly sliding down the album chart, however the single scored #1 in Poland.

UK Chart Run: 58-{53}-59-64-94R(3)->5weeks in the Top100.

Charts

Chart (1984) Peak

position
U.S Billboard Hot 100 53
Canadian Singles Chart 21
U.K. Singles Chart 53
Irish Singles Chart 24
Australian Kent Report Singles Chart 70
Swiss Singles Chart 23
Austiran Singles Chart 22
German Singles Chart 39


Track listing

7" version: -

  1. "Tonight" (Bowie, Pop) – 3:43
  2. "Tumble and Twirl" (Bowie, Pop) – 4:56


12" version: -

  1. "Tonight (Vocal Dance Mix)" (Bowie, Pop) - 4:29
  2. "Tumble and Twirl (Extended Dance Mix)" (Bowie, Pop) – 5:03
  3. "Tonight (Dub Mix)" (Bowie, Pop) – 4:18


Production credits



Tonight (Live)

Bowie would perform the song live with Turner at the latter's 23 March 1985 concert at the National Exhibition Centremarker in Birminghammarker. This version was included on Turner's live album Tina Live in Europe three years later, and also released as a single in 1988, then becoming a number one hit in the Netherlands.

Chart performance (Live version)

Chart (1988) Peak

position
Swiss Singles Chart 17
Dutch Top 40 1


Cover versions



References

  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5



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