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"Sound and Vision" is a song and single by David Bowie which appeared on the album Low in 1977.

The song is notable for juxtaposing an uplifting guitar and synthesizer-led instrumental track with Bowie’s withdrawn lyrics.

In keeping with the minimalist approach of Low, co-producer Visconti and Bowie originally recorded the track as an instrumental, bar the backing vocal (performed by Visconti’s wife, Mary Hopkin). Bowie then recorded his vocal after the rest of the band had left the studio, before trimming verses off the lyric, and leaving a relatively lengthy instrumental intro on the finished song. Selected as a first single from the album, "Sound and Vision" was used by the BBC on trailers at the time. This provided considerable exposure, much needed as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself, and helped the song to No. 3. The song was also a top ten hit in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. However, it stalled at No. 87 in Canada [1] and only managed No. 69 in the United States where it signalled the end of Bowie's short commercial honeymoon until "Let's Dance" in 1983.

The first live performance of the song was at Earl’s Court on 1 July 1978. In 1990, it was a regular number for Bowie’s greatest hits Sound+Vision Tour. The name had also been used for Rykodisc boxed set anthology in 1989.

Remixes Edit

In 1991, 808 State released an EP of remixes of "Sound and Vision" in the United States, credited to "David Bowie vs. 808 State."

In March 2010, it was announced on Bowie official site that a digital Sound And Vision Remix EP would be made available in June 2010.

In 2013, a remix was commissioned for Sony Xperia Z smartphone advertising campaign. The new mix by Sonjay Prabhakar utilized the original lead vocals and Mary Hopkin’s backing vocal with a new piano part by Rob Gentry. A Parlophone Records digital download was released on 7 October 2013.

Track listing Edit

Original 7" single
  1. "Sound and Vision" (Bowie)  – 3:00
  2. "A New Career in a New Town" (Bowie) – 2:50
David Bowie vs 808 State (1991)
  1. "Sound + Vision (808 Gift mix)" - 3:58
  2. "Sound + Vision (808 'lectric Blue remix instrumental)" - 4:08
  3. "Sound + Vision (David Richards remix 1991)" - 4:40
  4. "Sound + Vision (Original version)" - 3:03
David Bowie vs 808 State — Sound And Vision Remix EP (2010)
  1. "Sound + Vision (808 Gift mix)" - 3:58
  2. "Sound + Vision (808 'lectric Blue remix instrumental)" - 4:08
  3. "Sound + Vision (David Richards remix 1991)" - 4:40
  4. "Sound + Vision (Original version)" - 3:03
  • This 2010 release is a digital download only
David Bowie — Sound And Vision (2013)
  1. "Sound + Vision 2013" - 1:50
  2. "Sound + Vision (Remastered)" - 3:04
  • Digital download and in 2017 available as a vinyl single


Live versions Edit

Other releases Edit

Cover versionsEdit


The song was featured in a 2013 commercial for the Sony Xperia Z.[2]



External linksEdit

Template:David Bowie singles

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