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David Bowie/Pat Metheny Group – This Is Not America (Official Video)

January 29th, 2021 | by Nick

This Is Not America was part of the soundtrack to the John Schlesinger movie The Falcon and the Snowman, starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. The Movie / the song were released 36 years ago, in late January / early February 1985.

I love This Is Not America, it’s probably my favourite post-Scary ‘80’s Bowie vocal.

DB doesn’t appear in the official video. But I always liked it anyway, because it’s so evocative of those times, and the scenes illustrate some of DB’s lyrics really well. Pat Metheny said of Bowie’s lyrics for This Is Not America: “profound and meaningful—and absolutely perfect for the film”.

There has never been a decent quality version of the promo online, as far as I know. What we have previously seen are fuzzy, low grade versions with the beginning missing and / or spoiled with TV channel insignia and text. Also, like most old videos, the sound has been poor, in part because every version is running at the wrong speed, typical about 5% too slow, and therefore the song sounds very flat.

Starting with the best copy of the video I had in my collection, I edited back in all the spoiled parts with the same scenes from the actual Falcon and the Snowman movie. So now we have a fairly pristine version.

Restoration by Nacho.


David Bowie | vocals, production, songwriting
Pat Metheny | production, songwriting
Lyle Mays | songwriting
Steve Rodby | bass
Paul Wertico | drums, percussion
Bob Clearmountain | mixing
Bob Ludwig | mastering engineering

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