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Music / Earthling

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"Johnny's in America, no tricks at the wheel..."

Earthling is the twenty-first studio album by David Bowie, released in 1997. It is also his first self-produced album since 1974's Diamond Dogs.

Essentially "David Bowie meets Drum and Bass", the album also has significant influence from industrial rock, in particular Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor himself would later remix one of its singles, "I'm Afraid of Americans", and star in its music video. Other singles include "Little Wonder", "Dead Man Walking" and "Seven Years In Tibet".



  1. "Little Wonder" (6:02)
  2. "Looking for Satellites" (5:21)
  3. "Battle for Britain (The Letter)" (4:48)
  4. "Seven Years in Tibet" (6:22)
  5. "Dead Man Walking" (6:50)
  6. "Telling Lies" (4:49)
  7. "The Last Thing You Should Do" (4:57)
  8. "I'm Afraid of Americans" (5:00)
  9. "Law (Earthlings on Fire)" (4:48)

"You little troper, little troper you"

  • Animal Eyes, Hellish Pupils, Supernatural Gold Eyes: All apply to Bowie in the latter half of the "Little Wonder" video.
  • Continuity Nod: The "Little Wonder" video incorporates a Ziggy Stardust lookalike into its action, while in a more subtle example the young fellow in the Union Jack coat looks suspiciously like Bowie did when he first started recording in the mid-1960s.
  • Costume Porn: The Alexander Mc Queen-designed frock coats hail from this era.
  • Eagleland: "I'm Afraid of Americans" is Type 2
  • Advertisement:
  • Epic Rocking: "Dead Man Walking", "Little Wonder", "Seven Years In Tibet".
  • Eyepatch of Power: Bowie at the start of the "Little Wonder" video
  • Face on the Cover: A notable subversion - Bowie is present on the cover, but is standing with his back to the camera.
  • Iconic Outfit: The Union Jack coat on the cover could be considered the costume most commonly associated with 90s-era Bowie.
  • Lighter and Softer: Is this compared to Outside - but not by much.
  • List Song: "Looking for Satellites" starts off like this.
  • Madness Mantra: "God is an American, God is an American, God is an American..."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Well in this case, Major Dying Underreaction. From "Law (Earthlings on Fire)"
    In a house a man drops dead
    As he hits the floor he sighs, "What a morning"
  • One-Word Title.
  • Shout-Out: To Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of all things! Bowie wanted to pen a song that incorporates the names of all seven dwarfs within the lyrics. This would become "Little Wonder".
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Law (Earthlings on Fire)"
    Sure I get a little bit afraid, sometimes
  • Surreal Music Video: All of the music videos from this album have shades of this.
  • Title Track: "Law (Earthlings on Fire)". Also a subversion of Title Drop - Earthling is mentioned, but in plural form.
  • Translated Cover Version: A Mandarin version of "Seven Years in Tibet" can be found in 2002's Best of Bowie DVD as an Easter Egg.
  • Wham Shot: Occurs 2 minutes 40 seconds into the video for "I'm Afraid of Americans". Bowie catches a taxi to leave New York to escape a stalker named Jonny (played by Trent Reznor), only to have the taxi operator licensee's name change to Jonny.

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