It became more widely known when it was rerecorded and released by Bowie on his album Let's Dance (1983). Paul Trynka, the author of David Bowie's biography, Starman, claims the song was inspired by Iggy Pop's infatuation with Kuelan Nguyen, a beautiful Vietnamese woman.
- 2 Music video (Bowie remake)
- 3 Live performances
- 4 Chart performance (Bowie remake)
- 5 Production credits (Pop original)
- 6 Production credits (Bowie remake)
- 7 Other releases
- 8 Cover versions
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- "China Girl [Edit]" (Bowie, Pop) – 4:14
- "Shake It" (Bowie) – 3:49
- "China Girl" (Bowie, Pop) – 5:32
- "Shake It [Re-Mix]" (Bowie) – 5:21
- On the US 12", "Shake It" is called the "Long Version," although it's identical to the UK's "Re-Mix"
- The UK 12" single's cover was slightly different from the US cover (they're mirrors of each other), and the flip side of the UK 12" includes dates for the 1983 Serious Moonlight Tour in the UK (specifically the London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Milton Keynes shows).
The music video, featuring New Zealand model Geeling Ng, was directed by David Mallet and shot mainly in the Chinatown district of Sydney, Australia. Along with his previous single's video for "Let's Dance", Bowie described the video as a "very simple, very direct" statement against racism Although the video consciously parodies Asian female stereotypes, it was nevertheless criticised by Ellie Hisama for failing to give the female character a personality and voice. The original video release includes the two lying naked in the surf (a visual reference to the filmFrom Here to Eternity), though versions of the video included on subsequent video and DVD compilations are slightly censored to remove the nudity. The original video went on to win an MTVvideo award for Best Male Video.
The song was a regular for Bowie's live shows for the rest of the 1980s (appearing on concert videos in 1983 and 1988 as Serious Moonlight and Glass Spider, respectively). It was rehearsed for his appearance at the 1985 London Live Aid concert but along with the songs "Fascination" and "Five Years" was eventually dropped due to time constraints. Additional live versions of the song appear on 2009's release of a 1999 performance for VH1 Storytellers and a 2010 release of Bowie's 2003 concert, entitled A Reality Tour.
|Australian Singles Chart||15|
|Austrian Singles Chart||2|
|Canadian Singles Chart||2|
|Dutch Singles Chart||5|
|Irish Singles Chart||2|
|German Singles Chart||6|
|Norwegian Singles Chart||7|
|Swedish Singles Chart||5|
|Swiss Singles Chart||1|
|U.K. Singles Chart||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||10|
|U.S. BillboardHot Dance Club Play
(charted together with "Shake It")
|U.S. BillboardMainstream Rock Tracks||3|
- Iggy Pop – backing vocals
- David Bowie – keyboards, guitar, vocals
- Carlos Alomar - guitar
- Phil Palmer – guitar
- George Murray – bass
- Michel Santangeli – drums
- Dennis Davis – drums
- Laurent Thibault – bass
- David Bowie: Vocals
- Stevie Ray Vaughan: Guitar
- Nile Rodgers: Guitar
- Carmine Rojas: Bass
- Omar Hakim: Drums
- Rob Sabino: Keyboards
- Mac Gollehon: Trumpet
- Robert Aaron, Stan Harrison, Steve Elson: Saxophone
- Sam Figueroa: Percussion
- It appeared on the following compilations:
- The soundtrack for the film The Wedding Singer featured "China Girl".
- The original Iggy Pop version is included in Pop's compilation A Million in Prizes: The Anthology.
- Nick Cave - Live recording in Melbourne, 1978.
- James - Single (1998)
- James Cook - Ashes to Ashes: A Tribute to David Bowie (1998)
- Trance to the Sun -Goth Oddity: A Tribute to David Bowie (1999)
- Anna Ternheim - Shoreline EP (2005)
- Voltaire - Zombie Prostitute... (2006), and on .2 Contamination: A Tribute to David Bowie (2006)
- Pete Yorn - Musicforthemorningafter (Bonus CD) (2001)
- The Tragically Hip - During "New Orleans is Sinking" on Live Between Us a verse of "China Girl" is sung.
- Scars on Broadway - Live with altered lyrics
- System of a Down - Live with altered lyrics
- The White Stripes - Live
- Alejandro Sokol - Live