“Suffragette City”.


“Suffragette City”
   Lyrics                           Video
from the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
B-side “Stay”
Released 28 April 1972 (as B-side of “Starman”)
9 July 1976 (A-side single)
Format 7″ single
Recorded Trident Studios, London
4 February 1972
Length 3:25
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) David Bowie
  • David Bowie
  • Ken Scott
David Bowie Singles
“Suffragette City”
“Sound and Vision”

Suffragette City is a song by David Bowie. Originally from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album in 1972, it was later issued as a single in 1976 to promote the Changesonebowie compilation in the UK, with the US single edit of “Stay” on the B-side. The single failed to chart.

Recorded on 4 February 1972,towards the end of the Ziggy Stardust sessions, “Suffragette City” features a piano riff heavily influenced by Little Richard, a lyrical reference to the book and film A Clockwork Orange (the word “droogie,” meaning “friend”) and the sing-along hook “Wham bam thank you ma’am!”. One analysis of the song states that it is about how David Bowie does not entirely identify with bisexuality: preferring women more.

Before recording it himself, Bowie offered it to the band Mott the Hoople if they would forgo their plan to break up. The group refused, but recorded Bowie’s “All the Young Dudes” instead.

  • Bowie recorded the song for the BBC radio programme “Sounds of the 70s: John Peel” on 16 May 1972, and this performance was broadcast on 23 May 1972. In 2000, this recording was released on the Bowie at the Beeb album.
  • A live version recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on 20 October 1972 has been released on Santa Monica ’72 and Live Santa Monica ’72.