Saturday, May 6, 2017

Visions of Swastikas




On May 6, 1977 Iggy Pop released "China Girl", the second single from his first David Bowie produced album of 1977, The Idiot. Idiotic may have been exactly how Iggy felt after confessing his feelings for Kuelan Nguyen, partner of French actor-singer Jacques Higelin, who was also recording at Château d'Hérouville at the time. As he spilled his heart, she reportedly stopped him with a "Shhhh".




Most people still believe the song is about heroin. 

Nile Rodgers, who produced Bowie's single said "I figured China Girl was about doing drugs ... because China is China White which is heroin, girl is cocaine. I thought it was a song about speedballing. I thought, in the drug community in New York, coke is girl, and heroin is boy. So then I proceeded to do this arrangement which was ultra pop. Because I thought that, being David Bowie, he would appreciate the irony of doing something so pop about something so taboo. And what was really cool was that he said 'I love that!'.

Iggy's version is so much darker that it's kind of a shame you can still hear Bowie's version even when this is playing in your earbuds.  By the way, this was the second single from 1977 that Bowie covered on Let's Dance. The other is Metro's "Criminal World".



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