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David Bowie – I’m Afraid of Americans (1997)

April 4, 2010

I’m afraid of Americans / I’m afraid of the world

A single taken from 1997’s Earthling, Bowie’s foray into electronic and industrial music, “I’m Afraid of Americans” was the only thing the album produced which resembled a hit. So, in a nice ‘fuck you’ to anyone daring to call late-90s David Bowie a pop artist, he enlisted Nine Inch Nails and Photek to rip the song up and remix it six times. Aside from “I’m Afraid of Americans (V1)”, which actually eclipsed the album version in terms of popularity (the album version not even being included in this single), all of these remixes are decidedly noncommercial and far-removed from ‘hit’ territory, which was entirely the point. These remixes range from understated, ambient interpretations to violent, abrasive, sometimes unnerving industrial rock behemoths, turning a song which was unsettling to begin with into a 40 minute disc which could soundtrack a haunted house. It’s a brilliant example of some of the less-celebrated work Trent Reznor was doing between The Downward Spiral and The Fragile, as well as proof that David Bowie’s sonic experimentation has continued into more recent years; did I mention “(V3)” features Ice Cube? Don’t forget to check out the classic music video, either, featuring both Bowie and Reznor.

  1. I’m Afraid of Americans (V1)*
  2. I’m Afraid of Americans (V2)
  3. I’m Afraid of Americans (V3)*
  4. I’m Afraid of Americans (V4)
  5. I’m Afraid of Americans (V5)*
  6. I’m Afraid of Americans (V6)

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From → Albums

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