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David Bowie - Blue Jean (1984)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 2.31
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

"Blue Jean" is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter David Bowie for his sixteenth studio album Tonight ...

"Blue Jean" is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter David Bowie for his sixteenth studio album Tonight (1984). One of only two tracks on the album to be written entirely by Bowie, it was released as a single ahead of the album and charted within the Top 10 in the UK and the United States, peaking at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively. The song is loosely inspired by Eddie Cochran.

Following the commercial success of Bowie's previous album, Let's Dance, its singles and the Serious Moonlight Tour, "Blue Jean" was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin' for Blue Jean, directed by Julien Temple. The song performance segment from this was also used as a more conventional music video. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for "Best Video, Short Form", later renamed "Best Music Video", which proved to be the only competitive Grammy Award Bowie won during his lifetime for over three decades, although Bowie posthumously won four Grammies for his album Blackstar (2016).

"Blue Jean" would remain in Bowie's live repertoire for the rest of his career, being performed on his Glass Spider Tour (1987), Sound+Vision Tour (1990) and A Reality Tour (2004).

Composition and reception

Interviewed in 1987 and asked to compare a track like "Time Will Crawl" to "Blue Jean," Bowie said "'Blue Jean' is a piece of sexist rock 'n roll. [laughs] It's about picking up birds. It's not very cerebral, that piece." BBC reviewer Chris Jones criticised the song in his appraisal of Best of Bowie in 2002, arguing "'Blue Jean' barely exists, so formulaic is it." More positively, rock commentator Chris O'Leary, while locating "Blue Jean" firmly "in the pastiche lane," has described the song as "clever" and "catchy" and one of Bowie's "best second-rate hits."

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