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George Harrison wrote the song “Try Some, Buy Some,” which became a minor hit for Ronnie Spector, a former member of The Ronettes. George later released his version of the song. During an interview, David Bowie revealed why “Try Some, Buy Some” mattered so much to him.

David Bowie with his finger on his lip
David Bowie | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

David Bowie’s connection to George Harrison’s ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ changed over time

In 2003, Bowie released an album called Reality. Reality includes a few cover songs, including a cover of “Try Some, Buy Some.” During a 2003 interview published in Vice, Bowie discussed his reaction to the song. 

“George’s song, ‘Try Some, Buy Some,’ means a lot to me now,” Bowie revealed. “When I first heard that song it had a very different narrative to it. Now my connection to the song is about leaving a way of life behind me and finding something new.” 

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Bowie discussed his relationship with drugs. “It’s overstated about most rock artists leaving drugs; it’s such a bore to read about it,” he said. “But when I first heard [‘Try Some, Buy Some’] in ’74 I was yet to go through my heavy drug period. And now it’s about the consolation of having kicked all that and turning your life around.”

Bowie was asked if he felt better because of his experiences. “That’s the scary part, I really don’t have too many regrets,” Bowie revealed. “I have personal regrets about myself and my own behavior and people I let down considerably during those years. But that’s how life was for me, that’s how my life has been, and I can’t see it in terms of regret.”


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The way the world reacted to Ronnie Spector ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ and later versions by George Harrison and David Bowie

Spector’s “Try Some, Buy Some” became a minor hit. The song peaked at No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for four weeks. It was Spector’s only solo hit to reach the chart. Spector’s “Try Some, Buy Some” appeared on the album Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records, a greatest hits album of singers signed to The Beatles‘ label Apple Records.

Meanwhile, George did not release his version of “Try Some, Buy Some” as a single. It didn’t hit the Billboard Hot 100. His recording of the song appeared on the album Living in the Material World. Living in the Material World hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 26 weeks.

Bowie’s cover of “Try Some, Buy Some” from Reality wasn’t a single either. Reality peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for four weeks. “Try Some, Buy Some’ was never a massive hit; however, it clearly meant something to Bowie.