- Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, guitar, piano); John Lennon (vocals, guitar); Carlos Alomar, Earl Slick (guitar); David Sanborn (saxophone); Mike Garson (piano); Willie Weeks, Emir Kassan (bass); Andy Newmark, Dennis Davis (drums); Larry Washington (congas); Pablo Rosario, Ralph McDonald (percussion); Ava Cherry, Robin Clark, Jean Fineberg, Jean Millington, Luther Vandross (background vocals).
- Producers: Tony Visconti, David Bowie, Harry Maslin.
- Recorded at Electric Ladyland, New York, New York.
- David Bowie abandoned the glam/sci-fi personae of Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs with this radical departure. Recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, the home of Philadelphia International, it featured the label's crack house band and, as a result, confirmed the singer's growing love of soul and R&B. Pulsating dance grooves abound, in particular on the disco-influenced 'Fame', which topped the US singles chart. The song was co-written with John Lennon, a compliment Bowie repaid by reinventing the Beatles' 'Across The Universe' as a dancefloor classic. Such self-confidence abounds throughout this album which shows the singer firmly in command of yet another musical direction.
Rolling Stone (p.74) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The title song might be Bowie's best ever, with the rhythm inspiring his most passionate love letter to his fans."
Q (p.134) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "For one album only, he swooped, strutted and sang lyrics like, 'sho'nuff', all of it convincing. He even sneaked in some big ideas..."
Q (6/91) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "From '75, 'Young Americans' saw Bowie abandon the mock-apocalyptic rock of his previous three LPs to climb aboard the Philadelphia soul train sound, 'Young Americans'' 'relentless plastic soul', as Bowie dubbed it, harnessed his writing to the feverish light funk which would, in a few years' time, mutate into world-conquering disco..."
Q (11/99, pp.140-1) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Bowie's first outright dabble with 'plastic soul' (his description) and provisionally entitled 'Dancin', was trademarked by floppy fringe and smart, tailored jacket, but the balmy guitar of Carlos Alomar is its true signature..."
CMJ (p.48) - "[With] waves of R&B vocal-backing, crests of crunchy sax work from David Sanborn and, of course, Bowie's affected-yet-restrained blues croonery."