Tuesday, 12 April 2016

J - Jump They Say

They say he has no brain
They say he has no mood
They say he was born again
They say look at him climb

"Jump They Say" was released in March 1993 as a promotional single for David Bowie's eighteenth studio album Black Tie White Noise.  It was recorded in the summer of 1992 at Mountain Studios, Montreux and at Hit Factory, New York with "Pallas Athena" as the B-side.  A solo from avant-jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie is prominently featured.

The song was Bowie's way of expressing his feelings about his schizophrenic half-brother Terry Burns who committed suicide in 1985 by jumping in front of a train.  The lyrics describe a man driven to desperate acts by the pressure that the world puts upon him.  As well, the powerful video depicts Bowie as a paranoid businessman forced to jump from the roof of his office building by his colleagues.  Bowie's own fear of the unknown is also clear; an interesting admission from a man who had changed his image repeatedly.


The song was marketed as a comeback single, and indeed, the album Black Tie White Noise was commonly viewed as the start of an artistic renaissance for Bowie.  "Jump They Say" peaked at Number 9 in the UK charts and Number 26 in the Canadian Singles Chart for 1993.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very timely piece for me, as an acquaintance of several of my mutual friends committed suicide two days ago. Thank you for sharing this.

    #AtoZChallenge J is for Jewel