On This Day, 1977 – David Bowie Released Sound and Vision

On the 11th of February 1977, David Bowie released ‘Sound and Vision’ as a single, which was taken from his 11th studio album “Low”. The song was a commercial success, reaching number three on the UK Singles Chart. ‘Sound and Vision’ was used by the BBC in the UK on trailers at the time, providing considerable exposure, much needed as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself. It reached at No. 69 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Sound and Vision” was released by RCA Records, which later chose it as the first single from the album. Co-produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, the song was recorded at the Château d’Hérouville in Hérouville, France, in September 1976, and completed at Hansa Studios in West Berlin in October and November. The song began with a simple G major chord progression that Bowie assigned to the supporting musicians before writing and recording his vocals. It includes background vocals by Brian Eno and Mary Hopkin.

Berlin days:

David Bowie and Iggy Pop ended up in Berlin, and the song’s conception started there.

They had in their mind to support each other’s creativity by taking advantage of the city of striking contrasts, well-known for its vibrant cultural scene.

According to Far Out Magazine, the story began when the two artists bumped into each other in the streets of LA, and Bowie ultimately asked Iggy if he wanted to come with him to Berlin. 

Bowie said of the German capital: “Berlin appealed to me because of German expressionism… It was the artistic and cultural gateway of Europe in the twenties and virtually anything important that happened in the arts happened there. And I wanted to plug into that instead of LA and their seedy magic shops.”

Iggy Pop albums, The Idiot and Lost for Life, are mostly composed and produced by David Bowie.

Sound and Vision was originally supposed to be an instrumental, so Bowie’s vocals don’t appear until halfway through the song.