"Modern Love" is a song written and recorded by David Bowie, and the first track on his album Let's Dance. It was issued as the third single from the album in 1983.

Bowie has claimed the song is inspired by Little Richard, and it maintains the album's theme of a struggle between God and man. Some commentators noted the similarities between the track and Elton John's near-simultaneous hit "I'm Still Standing"[citation needed], although both parties admitted the songs were recorded at roughly the same time with no knowledge of the other.[citation needed]

By the time "Modern Love" was issued and edited as a single, Bowie's Serious Moonlight Tour was underway. The track had become a popular encore on the tour, and Jim Yukich's video for the song used footage of Bowie and his band performing the song from concert in Philadelphia on 20 July 1983. A live version, recorded in Montreal on 13 July, was on the B-side.

The single reached No. 2 in the UK, and No. 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[3] As well as being a staple of the tour, it featured in Bowie's set at Live Aid in 1985, and in his subsequent Glass Spider and Sound+Vision tours of 1987 and 1990. A re-recording with Tina Turner was also featured on a Pepsicommercial in 1987.[4]


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

7": EMI America / EA 158 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Modern Love [Edit]" (Bowie) — 3:56
  2. "Modern Love [Live]" (Bowie) — 3:43

12": EMI America / 12EA 158 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "Modern Love" (Bowie) — 4:46
  2. "Modern Love [Live]" (Bowie) — 3:43


Chart (1983-1984) Peak


Australia (Kent Music Report)[5] 6
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 3
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[7] 3
Canada (RPM 50 Singles)[8] 2
France (SNEP)[9] 71
Germany (Media Control Charts)[10] 27
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 3
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 10
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 6
Poland (Polish Singles Chart)[15] 17
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 2
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 14
US BillboardHot Mainstream Rock Tracks[18] 6

Production credits[edit]Edit


Other album appearances[edit]Edit

In popular culture[edit]Edit



  • Featured on the soundtrack of the Season 1 episode titled "Wedding" in New Girl.
  • The Venture Bros.'s David Bowie character (Voiced by James Urbaniak) quoted the first line of this song "I know when to go out" in the episode "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)"
  • Used as the opening theme for WWF All-Star Wrestling from 1984 to 1986.

Rock Band music gaming platform[edit]Edit

It was made available to download on 25 January 2011 for use in the Rock Band 3 music gaming platform in both Basic rhythm, and PRO mode which utilizes real guitar / bass guitar, and MIDI compatible electronic drum kits / keyboards in addition to vocals.

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