‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ is a deep cut on David Bowie’s ninth studio album, 1975’s Young Americans. This song, which took its title from the 1956 Paul Newman movie, takes aim at a villainous television celebrity.
Young Americans found Bowie in his “plastic soul” period, moving away from glam rock and toward R&B and soul. This detour would last about an album and a half.
1975’s Young Americans is the eighth David Bowie album I’m featuring in this retrospective, with all eight (plus a few I’ve left out) released over just nine years. And all of this happened 40 years before his death. What a remarkable run.
Young Americans kicked off Bowie’s brief soul period. Bowie got an assist from a young Luther Vandross, who performed on the album and co-wrote one track. Bowie described the album this way: “The squashed remains of ethnic music as it survives in the age of Muzak rock, written and sung by a white limey.”