Dwight Yoakam: Elvis Presley Heard ‘Golden Years’ by David Bowie and It Almost Led to a Collaboration

During an interview, country star Dwight Yoakam said Elvis Presley heard “Golden Years” by David Bowie. Afterward, Bowie had the opportunity to produce one of Elvis’ albums. Yoakam lamented that Elvis and Bowie never made the album.

Elvis Presley with a guitar
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Dwight Yoakam said other artists could learn something from David Bowie

During a 2016 interview with The Orange County Register, Yoakam discussed his feelings about Bowie as an artist. “He was an artist all the way until the end, purely and truly in every sense of the word,” Yoakam opined. “He should be an inspiration for all musical artists.”

Yoakam said other musicians could learn something from Bowie’s attitude toward fame. “He showed a lot of respect to the audience and was grateful for the gift that the artists are given in being able to make music and continue to have the opportunity to express themselves, of course in David’s case, to a massive and wide audience,” Yoakam said. “It’s a lesson in just remembering to be grateful.”

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What happened when Elvis Presley heard David Bowie’s ‘Golden Years’

Subsequently, Yoakam said Bowie had the opportunity to produce one of Elvis’ albums in 1977. “That was based on Elvis having heard Bowie’s ‘Golden Years,’ and I thought ‘Oh my God, it’s a tragedy that he was never able to make that,'” Yoakam said. “I couldn’t even imagine 1977 David Bowie producing Elvis.”

“It would have been fantastic,” Yoakam continued. “It has to be one of the greatest tragedies in pop music history that it didn’t happen, one of the biggest missed opportunities.” Elvis died in 1977. Yoakam did not explain if the album didn’t happen because of Elvis’ death or other reasons. Elvis’ final studio album was Moody Blue, which featured no input from Bowie.

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The way the world reacted to ‘Golden Years’

Even if “Golden Years” didn’t lead to a collaboration between Ziggy Stardust and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, it became a hit. The song reached No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for 21 weeks. Bowie released “Golden Years” on his album Station to Station. Station to Station hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 33 weeks.

“Golden Years” was popular in the United Kingdom as well. According to The Official Charts Company, the song peaked at No. 8 in the U.K. and lasted on the chart for 10 weeks. Meanwhile, Station to Station reached No. 5 in the U.K. and remained on the chart for 24 weeks. Marilyn Manson covered “Golden Years” for the Tom Hanks comedy Dead Man on Campus. Bowie and Elvis never collaborated — but “Golden Years” remains a classic hit.

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