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"This Is Not America"
Single by Pat Metheny Group and David Bowie
from the album The Falcon and the Snowman
B-side "This Is Not America (Instrumental)"
Released February 1985
Format 7" single
Recorded Late 1984
Genre Rock
Length 3:43
Label EMI
Producer David Bowie, Pat Metheny
David Bowie singles chronology
"This Is Not America"
"Loving the Alien"

"This Is Not America" is a song from the soundtrack for the film The Falcon and the Snowman.

The track is the result of a collaboration between the jazz fusion Pat Metheny Group and rock singer David Bowie who provided the lyrics and vocals.

It was released as a single which reached #14 in the UK, and #32 in the US.


Track listing


7": EMI America / EA 190 (UK)

  1. "This Is Not America" (Bowie, Metheny, Mays) – 3:43
  2. "This Is Not America (Instrumental)" (Bowie, Metheny, Mays) – 3:43


Pat Metheny Group:

  • Pat Metheny: electric guitar
  • Lyle Mays: keyboards
  • Steve Rodby: electric bass guitar
  • Paul Wertico: drums

David Bowie: vocals and lyrics

Live versions

  • A version recorded at BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000, was released on the bonus disc following the first release of Bowie at the Beeb.
  • Pat Metheny Group recorded it live in the DVD We Live Here, with band members substituting for Bowie on vocals.
  • Another version featuring Anna Maria Jopek and Pat Metheny was recorded live in Warsaw, 2002, included in an album called "Anna María Jopek and Pat Metheny Live In Warsaw 2002".

Other releases

  • It was released on the single "I Can't Read" in December 1997.
  • It also appeared on the compilation The Singles Collection in 1993.
  • The Virgin Records release of the Tonight album in 1995 featured this song as a bonus track.
  • Appears on the compilation Best of Bowie.
  • Bowie performs a variation of "This Is Not America" on the P. Diddy song "American Dream" for the soundtrack to the 2001 film Training Day.

Cover versions

  • Lana Lane with Rocket Scientists - Echoes from the Garden (1998)
  • Xavier Naidoo - Nicht von dieser Welt (1997)
  • Yellow Prophet - Ashes to Ashes: A Tribute to David Bowie (1998)
  • Italian singer-songwriter Alice - Personal Jukebox (2000)
  • An instrumental version of "This Is Not America" performed by the "Ahn Trio" (cello, piano and violin) featured on the 2001 album "Classical Chillout".
  • Silje Nergaard - Nightwatch (2003)
  • Protection - Protection EP (2005)
  • A German language version performed by Richard von der Schulenburg is featured on Quotenrocker (2005)
  • Microsillon featuring Eugenie Alquezar - BowieMania: Mania, une collection obsessionelle de Beatrice Ardisson (2007)
  • Liberation Music Orchestra - Not in Our Name (2005)
  • Bardo State - Mariposa (2008)
  • Juliette Lewis - Hollywood, mon amour (2008)
  • Laith Al-Deen - Laith Al-Deen: Session (2009)

Chart positions

Chart Position
The Netherlands 1[1]
Canada Singles Chart 19
Germany Singles Chart 6[2]
Italy Singles Chart 5[3]
Sweden 2
UK Singles Chart 14
US Billboard Hot 100 32
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 7


  • Pegg, Nicholas, The Complete David Bowie, Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5


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