DAVID BOWIE – Look Back In Anger

“Look Back in Anger” is a song written by David Bowie and Brian Eno for the album Lodger (1979). It concerns “a tatty ‘Angel of Death'”, and features a guitar solo by Carlos Alomar.

RCA Records was unsure if America was ready for the sexual androgyny of “Boys Keep Swinging”, the lead-off single from Lodger in most territories, and “Look Back in Anger” was issued instead. The B-side was another track from Lodger called “Repetition”, a story of domestic violence. The single failed to chart.

“Look Back in Anger” has a mixed reputation among Bowie commentators. NME critics Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray described it as “probably the low point” of the album, while Nicholas Pegg considers it “one of Lodger’s dramatic highlights” and Chris O’Leary has called it “one of Bowie’s strongest songs of the late Seventies”.

Beyond the shared title, the song has nothing to do with the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger.

Bowie performed the song on his 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour (it is the opening number on the Serious Moonlight film) and reworked it in the mid-1990s as a heavy rock song for the Outside and Earthling tours.

You know who I am, he said
The speaker was an angel
He coughed and shook his crumpled wings
Closed his eyes and moved his lips
It’s time we should be going

Look back in anger, driven by the night
Till you come
(Waiting so long, I’ve been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, see it in my eyes
Till you come

No one seemed to hear him
So he leafed through a magazine
And, yawning, rubbed the sleep away
Very sane he seemed to me

Look back in anger, driven by the night
Till you come
(Waiting so long, I’ve been waiting so, waiting so)
Look back in anger, feel it in my voice
Till you come


Producers:
Tony Visconti
David Bowie
Musicians:
David Bowie: vocals, guitar
Dennis Davis: drums
George Murray: bass
Carlos Alomar: guitar
Sean Mayes: piano
Brian Eno: synthesizer, horse trumpet, Eroica horn
Tony Visconti: backing vocals

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