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Side One: Five Years / Soul Love / Moonage Daydream / Starman / It Ain't Easy
Side Two: Lady Stardust / Star / Hang On To Yourself / Ziggy Stardust / Suffragette City / Rock n Roll Suicide

Albums:  The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars (1972), Stage (1978), Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (1983), Santa Monica '72 (1994), The Man Who Sold The World (1971) (as a Rykodisc bonus track), BBC Sessions 1969-1972 Sampler (1996)

Singles: Hang On To Yourself

Time: 2:38

Background

Third song on the second side of THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972) and performed at all Ziggy Stardust concerts in 1972 and 1973.  Typically used as the opening concert number (there were exceptions however, i.e. Bowie opened the Rainbow Theatre concert on the 19th and 20th August, 1972 with "Lady Stardust" and "Watch That Man" sometimes opened the concerts on the 3rd UK Tour).  Later it was performed in the 1978 Stage Tour, and for the initial concerts in both the 1984 Serious Moonlight and 1990 Sound + Vision Tours.

"Strap the guitar on, and thrash it to death, basically". - Mick Ronson jokes after playing the "Hang On To Yourself" riff for BBC TV at Hammersmith Odeon in 1991

"We got a lot of stuff from the Spiders - that riff in "God Save The Queen" didn't come from Eddie Cochran, it came from Ronno". - Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols discussing their borrowing of the "Hang On To Yourself" riff for the God Save the Queen single.

"Hang On To Yourself" was originally recorded in 1971 with the Arnold Corns project (the early release has different lyrics and arrangement - see Hang Onto Yourself - Arnold Corns version) and then re-recorded in November 1971 at London's Trident Studios for THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (1972). A rumour has it that it was originally written for Gene Vincent to use and an early 1971 version which is claimed to be both Bowie & Vincent performing together circulates on bootlegs, but really there is no indication that Vincent is on the track and Bowie himself has dismissed this claim.

"I never recorded with Gene Vincent, although I would have loved to". - David Bowie (2000).

Special recordings of this song were broadcast on the Sounds of the Seventies (Broadcast: 28 January 1972) and Sounds of the Seventies (Broadcast: 7 February 1972) and on Top Gear (Broadcast: 23 May 1972).

Glen Matlock from the Sex Pistols has stated that their #1 single "God Save The Queen" was partly inspired by "Hang On To Yourself"

Recording notes

* @ 0:53 seconds in the right channel there is what's left of a 'Pre Echo' voice saying "...come on". This is possibly a discarded B.vox idea that engineer/producer Ken Scott didn't like?

Hang On To Yourself (Bowie)

Well she's a tongue twisting storm, she will come to the show tonight
Praying to the light machine
She wants my honey not my money, she's a funky-thigh collector
Laying on electric dreams

Well come on, come on, we've really got a good thing going
Well come on, well come on, if you think we're gonna make it
You better hang on to yourself

We can't dance, we don't talk much, we just ball and play
But then we move like tigers on vaseline
Well the bitter comes out better on a stolen guitar
You're the blessed, we're The Spiders From Mars

Well come on, come on, we've really got a good thing going
Well come on, well come on, if you think we're gonna make it
You better hang on to yourself

Come on,
oh,
lay it on

Come on, come on, we've really got a good thing going
Well come on, well come on, if you think we're gonna make it
You better hang on to yourself

Well come on, come on, we've really got a good thing going
Well come on, well come on, if you think we're gonna make it
You better hang on to yourself

Come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah
Come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah
Come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah
Come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on, ah....

 

---This page last modified: 05 Feb 2007---

Ziggy Stardust Scarf (1973)