Five Years (4:18)

Cover of A Reality Tour

From A Reality Tour and 16 other releases

“Five Years” is a song written by David Bowie and released in . It was the opening track on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

The song tells of an Earth doomed to destruction in five years and the aftermath of this knowledge. Bowie is rumoured to have chosen the length of time, five years, as a result of a dream in which his deceased father told him he must never fly again and would die in five years.

Various live versions of the song have been recorded:

Bowie played the song at the BBC show In Concert: John Peel on June 3, 1971. This was broadcast on June 20, 1971 and released in 2000 on the album Bowie at the Beeb: The Best of the BBC Radio Sessions.

A version recorded at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 20 October 1972 was released on Santa Monica ‘72.

Another version recorded on the “Heroes” tour at the Philadelphia Spectrum on April 28 or April 29, 1978, was released on Stage.

Bowie performed the song live on Old Grey Whistle Test. It is included on the DVD version of Best of Bowie.

The track was performed by Bowie with The Arcade Fire at the 2005 Fashion Rocks concert in New York as well as Life on Mars? and the The Arcade Fire’s own song Wake Up. These recordings were made available on the iTunes Music Store in a virtual live EP.


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