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The song became more widely known when it was re-recorded by Bowie, who released it as the second single from his most commercially successful album, Let's Dance The UK single release of Bowie's version reached No.
Paul Trynka , the author of David Bowie's biography, Starman , explains the song was inspired by Iggy Pop's infatuation with Kuelan Nguyen, a Vietnamese woman, as a metaphor for his Stooges career. Nile Rodgers , the producer of David Bowie's version of the song, imagined his own meaning: "I figured China Girl was about doing drugs I thought it was a song about speedballing. I thought, in the drug community in New York, coke is girl, and heroin is boy. So then I proceeded to do this arrangement which was ultra pop.
Because I thought that, being David Bowie, he would appreciate the irony of doing something so pop about something so taboo. And what was really cool was that he said 'I love that! It depicted as a hypermasculine protagonist in an interracial romance.
The original video release includes the two lying naked in the surf a visual reference to the film From Here to Eternity. BBC Online reviewer David Quantick acknowledged the effect of Nile Rodgers ' production on the song, arguing that "nobody but Rodgers could have taken a song like 'China Girl', with its paranoid references to 'visions of swastikas ', and turned it into a sweet, romantic hit single". The song was regularly included in Bowie's live shows for the rest of the s and appeared on concert videos in and — Serious Moonlight and Glass Spider , respectively.
It was rehearsed for Bowie's appearance at the London Live Aid concert but was dropped due to time constraints, along with the songs " Fascination " and " Five Years ". Additional live versions of the song appear on 's release of a performance for VH1 Storytellers , on a release, entitled A Reality Tour , recorded at Bowie's November concerts in Dublin , Ireland, and on 's Glastonbury , recorded at the Glastonbury Festival in June From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.