This is a very old commentary.
This is one of my favorite Bowie albums. Nobody seems to care about it anymore. They dismiss it as disco junk, but it actually has some of his best music on it. I especially like the song Win. David Sanborn’s saxophone sounds like it’s coming from 60 feet behind Bowie, a nice effect.
I Got Turned On to David Sanborn
This was the record that turned me on to David Sanborn. After hearing this album, and reading that he was responsible for the amazing sax work found here, I went out and bought a bunch of his jazz albums. They were uniformly awful I’m sorry to say. It was years before he actually made a good one, Backstreet, which is still a personal favorite.
By the way, that’s John Lennon on guitar for Across the Universe and Fame.
This part we would no longer agree with in 2023
A Great Copy But No Demo Disc
This recording will never win any awards for sound. It’s good but it ain’t that good. Sonically I’d put it somewhere between Ziggy Stardust (amazing) and Station to Station (decent but problematic). If you want to hear Young Americans at its best, this copy will let you do that, but I doubt you’ll be demonstrating your stereo to others with this.
I have an original British pressing of this album which is quite a bit smoother. In fact, it’s a bit too smooth and loses some of the energy found on the best domestic copies like this one. There are always trade offs in audio and this appears to be one of them.