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Speed of Life (David Bowie song)

"Speed of Life"
Speed of Life y David Bowie UK vinyl pressing.png
B-side label of the UK vinyl pressing of the
"Be My Wife" single release
Instrumental by David Bowie
from the album Low
Released14 January 1977
RecordedSeptember–November 1976
Songwriter(s)David Bowie
Producer(s)David Bowie and Tony Visconti
Low track listing

"Speed of Life" is the first instrumental by David Bowie. It is the opening track for his album Low from 1977.

"Speed of Life" introduces the Low album, and, coupled with the instrumental "A New Career in a New Town", provides a front bookend for the A-side of the album. The track makes several immediate implications about the content of the album, with its heavy use of synthesizers as both effects and instruments, with the presence of Dennis Davis' drums and the overlaid harmonizer creating a distinctly different mix than any previous Bowie album.

Lyrics were originally planned for this song, but Bowie abandoned the idea after several attempts, deciding that the piece stood better on its own.

Live versions

Other releases

  • It was released as the B-side of the single "Be My Wife" in June 1977.
  • It also appeared in the Sound + Vision box set.
  • It was released as a picture disc in the RCA Life Time picture disc set.

Production credits

Cover versions

  • ST-37 - Only Bowie (1995)
  • Insect Surfers - Ziggy Played Surf Guitar (Various Artists Compilation) (2011)


  • Greatorex, Johnathan. "Just a Mortal With Potential." Teenage Wildlife. Nov. 1996. 6 Mar. 2006 <>.
  • Griffin, Roger. "Low." Bowie Golden Years. Jan. 2005. 6 Mar. 2006 <>.
  • Wilcken, Hugo, Low, Continuum International Publishing Group Inc, 2005, ISBN 0-8264-1684-5

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