Released in April 1979 and taken from Lodger, Boys Keep Swinging was what Bowie described as an “attempt at writing a really chauvinistic song. I find it very amusing”.
David Mallet’s cheeky video references the art of Berlin drag acts, who smeared their makeup after each performance, thus drawing attention to artificiality, the ephemeral nature of performance and prescribed gender roles and assumptions. It’s a wonderful undercutting of the song’s strutting machismo.
Hanging out with the self- appointed ‘nihilist’ Iggy Pop, Romy Haag and co could only have resulted in such glorious subversion.