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Released: April 6, 1993

Rating: 2.988 (average of 15 ratings)

Genre: rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. The Wedding [5:04]
  2. You’ve Been Around (Bowie/Gabrels) [4:45]
  3. I Feel Free (Bruce/Brown) [4:52]
  4. Black Tie White Noise [4:52]
  5. Jump They Say [4:22]
  6. Nite Flights (Engel) [4:30]
  7. Pallas Athena [4:40]
  8. Miracle Goodnight [4:14]
  9. Don’t Let Me Down & Down (Tarha/Valmont) [4:14]
  10. Looking for Lester [5:36]
  11. I Know It’s Going to Happen Someday (Morrissey/Neven) [4:14]
  12. The Wedding Song [4:29]
  13. Jump They Say (alternative mix) [3:58]
  14. Lucy Can’t Dance [5:45]
Songs written by David Bowie unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 65:35


sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 39
peak on U.K. album chart 1 1


  • Jump They Say (3/27/93) #9 UK, #4 MR
  • Black Tie White Noise (6/12/93) #36 UK
  • Miracle Goodnight (10/23/93) #40 UK

Notes: Virgin Records reissued the album in 2004 with a bonus CD and DVD. The song “Real Cool World” is added to the original album; the bonus CD is remixes of tracks from the album and the DVD has all three music videos (“Miracle Goodnight,” “Jump They Say,” and “Black Tie White Noise”) from the album.

Black Tie White Noise
David Bowie
Black Tie White Noise was the beginning of David Bowie's return from the wilderness of post-Let's Dance, the first indication that he was regaining his creative spark. To say as much suggests that it's a bit of a lost classic, when it's rather a sporadically intriguing transitional album, finding Bowie balancing the commercial dance-rock of Let's Dance with artier inclinations from his Berlin period, all the while trying to draw on the past by working with former Spider From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson, collaborating with Let's Dance producer Nile Rodgers, and even covering inspiration Scott Walker's Nite Flights. On top of that, the record was inspired by his recent marriage to supermodel Iman — the record is bookended with The Wedding and The Wedding Song — and then tied up and presented as a sophisticated modern urban soul record, one that draws from uptown soul (including, rather bafflingly, a duet with Al B. Sure!) and state-of-the-art dance-club techno, while adding splashy touches like solos from avant jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and a nod to modern alt-rock via a nifty cover of Morrissey's I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday. That's a lot of stuff for one record to handle, so it shouldn't come as a great surprise that the album doesn't always work, but its stylish restlessness comes as a great relief, particularly when compared to the hermetically sealed previous solo Bowie record, 1987's Never Let Me Down. Black Tie White Noise displays greater musical ambition than any record he'd made since Scary Monsters, and while much of the record feels like unrealized ideas, there are songs where it all gels, like on the paranoid jumble of Jump They Say, the aforementioned covers, the impassioned You've Been Around, and the self-consciously smooth title track. Moments like these are the first in a long time to feel classically Bowie, and they point ahead toward the more interesting records he made in the second half of the '90s, but they are encased in a production that not only sounds dated years later, but sounded dated upon its release in the spring of 1993, two years into the thick of alternative rock. At that point, the club-centric, mainstream-courting Black Tie White Noise seemed as an anachronism during the guitar-heavy grunge-n-industrial glory days — something Bowie tacitly acknowledged with its 1995 successor, Outside, which was every bit as gloomy as a Nine Inch Nails record — but separated from the vagaries of fashion, it's an interesting first step in Bowie's creative revival” (Erlewine).

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Last updated March 31, 2008.