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Supermen

"The Supermen" is a song written by David Bowie in 1970 for the album The Man Who Sold the World.

The track has been cited as reflecting the influence of German Romanticism, its theme and lyrics referencing the apocalyptic visions of Friedrich Nietzsche and its prominent timpani part being likened to Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra. Bowie later said "I was still going through the thing when I was pretending that I understood Nietzsche... And I had tried to translate it into my own terms to understand it so 'Supermen' came out of that." Commentators have also seen the influence of H.P. Lovecraft's stories of "dormant elder gods".

According to Bowie himself the guitar riff was given to him by Jimmy Page when the latter, who was Shel Talmy's session guitarist in the mid-1960s, played on one of Bowie's early releases, "I Pity the Fool". The riff was later used on another Bowie song, "Dead Man Walking", from the Earthling album in 1997.

*Bowie played the song at the BBC show "Sounds of the 70s" with Bob Harris on 21 September 1971. This was broadcast at 4 October ...

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