Rock 'n' Roll with Me

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"Rock 'n' Roll With Me"
Rock 'n' Roll with Me single cover.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album Diamond Dogs
B-side"Panic in Detroit"
ReleasedSeptember 1974 (US)
Format7" single
RecordedPhiladelphia, July 1974
LabelRCA Records
PB 10105 (US)
Producer(s)David Bowie
David Bowie singles chronology
"Knock on Wood"
"Rock 'n' Roll With Me"
"Young Americans"

"Rock 'n' Roll With Me" is a power ballad[1][2] written by David Bowie and Warren Peace and recorded in January 1974 that first appeared on Bowie's Diamond Dogs album, supposedly to address the artist's complex relation with his fans.[3] A version recorded during the Diamond Dogs tour in July 1974 was released on the album David Live.

While the song "Knock on Wood" from David Live was issued as a single in the UK, "Rock 'n' Roll With Me" was chosen for release as the US single (RCA PB 10105) in September 1974, in response to Donovan's recent cover version.[4] The B-side in each case was another live recording from the Diamond Dogs tour, "Panic in Detroit", originally from Aladdin Sane (1973). An edited version was issued on a US promotional single (RCA JB 10105) that same month.

Like "Rebel Rebel", the lead single from Diamond Dogs, "Rock 'n' Roll With Me" was conceived as part of a never-produced Ziggy Stardust musical in 1973.[5] It has been described as "one of Bowie's least self-conscious love songs" and a foretaste of the R&B balladry on Young Americans (1975).[6]

On 27 July 2016, a remastered version of the 1974 live promo single edit was posted online to promote the upcoming compilation Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976). Subsequently, this version was included on Re:Call 2, part of the compilation.


The song was composed at Bowie's house located on Oakley Street, London, after Warren Peace (Geoff MacCormack) started playing chords on his piano. Bowie and Peace were inspired by Fats Domino and Little Richard, two rhythm and blues musicians they listened to during their childhood.[7]

Musically, the song is a power ballad[1][2] with a nod to soul music, specifically recalling Bill Withers' "Lean on Me" from 1972 in the piano intro.[8]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Rock 'n' Roll With Me" (lyrics by David Bowie; music by Bowie, Warren Peace) – 4:15
  2. "Panic in Detroit" (Bowie) – 5:41

Production credits[edit]

Live versions[edit]

  • The July 1974 live recording, released as a single and on David Live, also appeared on the Dutch release Rock Concert. A live version recorded in September 1974 (previously available on the unofficial album A Portrait in Flesh) was released in 2017 on Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74).

Cover versions[edit]

  • Donovan – Released only as a single A-side (b/w "Divine Daze of Deathless Delight", September 1974, Epic EPC 2661). This was also issued on the compilation album Oh! You Pretty Things, which is composed of early cover versions of Bowie's work.


  1. ^ a b Chapman, Ian (1 September 2015). Experiencing David Bowie: A Listener's Companion. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 97. ISBN 9781442237520.
  2. ^ a b Perone, James E. (2007). The Words and Music of David Bowie. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 44. ISBN 9780275992453.
  3. ^ Robert Hilburn (1971). "Bowie Finds His Voice" Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Melody Maker.
  4. ^ Nicholas Pegg (2000). The Complete David Bowie: pp.175-175
  5. ^ David Buckley (1999) Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story: p.140
  6. ^ Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). Bowie: An Illustrated Record: p.62
  7. ^ John Robinson (2014). "The Story of Diamond Dogs: Ziggy's last stand and the Dame's crazy year of 1974", Uncut.
  8. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (27 September 2011). The Complete David Bowie. Titan Books. p. 649. ISBN 9780857687197.

External links[edit]