“Blue Jean” was released as a single ahead of the album “Tonight” and charted in the Top Ten in the UK and the United States, reaching No. 6 and No. 8, respectively. The song is loosely inspired by Eddie Cochran.
Following the commercial success of Bowie’s previous album, Let’s Dance, its singles and the Serious Moonlight Tour, “Blue Jean” was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean, directed by Julien Temple. The song performance segment from this was also used as a more conventional music video. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which proved to be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career.
The song would remain in Bowie’s live repertoire for the rest of his career, being performed on tours in 1987, 1990 and 2004.
Interviewed in 1987 and asked to compare a track like “Time Will Crawl” to “Blue Jean,” Bowie said “‘Blue Jean’ is a piece of sexist rock ‘n roll. [laughs] It’s about picking up birds. It’s not very cerebral, that piece.” BBC reviewer Chris Jones criticised the song in his appraisal of Best of Bowie in 2002, arguing “Blue Jean barely exists, so formulaic is it.”
side A. Blue Jean – 3:08
side B. Dancing with the Big Boys – 3:32
Label: Emi America – 06 2003227A/B
Format: Vinyl, 7″, 45 RPM, Single
Released: september 1984
Recorded at: Le Studio, Morin-Heights, Quebec, Canada May 1984
Media Condition: VERY GOOD (VG)
Sleeve Condition: GOOD (G)
ring wear: YES
All three seams looking perfect: YES
Picture sleeve looks near mint: No
creases or folds: NO
stamps or writing: NO
Some versions of the 7″ single were released on blue vinyl
12″: EMI America / 12EA 181 (UK)
“Blue Jean” (Extended Dance Mix) – 5:15
“Dancing with the Big Boys” (Extended Dance Mix) – 7:28
“Dancing with the Big Boys” (Extended Dub Mix) – 7:15
“Blue Jean” (Extended Dance Mix) remixed by John “Jellybean” Benitez at Sigma Sound – NYC – Engineer: Jay Mark.
“Dancing with the Big Boys” remixes produced by Arthur Baker.
David Bowie: Vocals
Carlos Alomar: Guitar
Carmine Rojas: Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Omar Hakim: Drums
Lenny Pickett: Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet
Stanley Harrison: Alto Sax
Steve Elson: Baritone Sax
Guy St. Onge: Marimba
Sammy Figueroa: Percussion
It appears on the following compilations:
Bowie: The Singles 1969-1993 (1993)
The Singles Collection (1993)
Best of Bowie (2002)
The Platinum Collection (2005)
The Best of David Bowie 1980/1987 (2007)
Nothing Has Changed (2014)
There are 3 versions of the video:
The full 21-minute version entitled Jazzin’ for Blue Jean
The 3-minute version of the performance of the title track, edited from the full Jazzin’ for Blue Jean video. The video is available to download for the Xbox 360 karaoke game Lips.
An alternate version recorded for MTV in England that has no relation to the other videos. This alternate version was not popularly available until the DVD release of Best of Bowie in 2002.