The iconic moment David Bowie and Cher sang the ‘Young Americans’ Medley’
Dipping into the Far Out vault, there’s perhaps no better combination of pop talent and rock n roll stardom than the moment Bowie met Cher. In 1975, David Bowie made a television appearance that would not only live in the memory of his fans but within the holy grail of ‘TV history’. It would see the suaver than suave Bowie team up with pop icon Cher to deliver a medley of songs in one of the must-see moments of the seventies.
David Bowie was appearing on the newly launched solo-Cher hosted show who, at the time, had decided to go separate ways with Sonny Bono. Bowie simply wanted to promote his new album Young Americans but, what transpired would live in the hearts and minds of many for years to come far beyond the record. It was a performance that most can look back on now and enjoy as much today as they did then.
Often referred to as the ‘Young Americans medley’ it seems an ill-fitting title. When looking back really the songs that the David Bowie and Cher performed were so varied that the six-and-a-half minutes of musical meandering that occurred deserved its own title, if not its own show and network. It’s a blur of orange shimmies and pop prowess.
The amalgamation of tunes performed rested heavily on the duo’s pop sensibilities, dipping their musical toes across a range of instantly recognisable hits. It makes for wonderful viewing as two of the pop world’s most treasured artists took on some of that same world’s most legendary songs. It includes doffs of the cap to The Beatles with ‘Day Tripper’, The Crystals’ classic ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ and even Bill Withers’ beauty ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’.
A somewhat eclectic set of tunes, the duo still applied themselves with their unbelievable showmanship and style to somehow pull off every single one of them, despite the differences in genre and pace. It really shouldn’t have come together as perfectly as it did.
The reason it does all come together, however, is Cher and Bowie’s unstoppable star power. There’s a good chance they could sing the phonebook and still make it a watchable performance of glamour, guile and glorious singing. It’s a factor in both of the stars’ glittering careers and why they’re still so loved to this day.
The two stars are so determined for your gaze that one would imagine putting them into the same promo would be difficult, let alone the stage. But the two egos were quickly put aside as respect for one another’s craft reigned. Bowie’s own website noted: “On paper, it looks a little cheesy, but if you’ve not seen it we think you’ll agree that both singers’ performances are sincere and heartfelt. It shouldn’t have worked, what with Cher’s house band performing the backing and the choice of snippets performed, but it did.”
Take a look for yourself and enjoy the splendour of two of the world’s greatest pop icons doing what they do best. Watch David Bowie and Cher sing the ‘Young Americans Medley’ in 1975.