Laughter is the Best Medicine

39 thoughts on “45RPM David Bowie – The Laughing Gnome

  1. A little Anthony Newly, a little David Seville and probably a lot of THC. I remember hearing this on the radio only a few times. The DJ said "Can you believe that this is the new Bowie single in England?" (no one said UK back then) He never explained that it wasn't "new" at all, or that Bowie probably hid under the table when it came on.

  2. This is exactly how it sounded on my first ever Dansette, a big cream and navy suitcase sized box, which smelled wonderful and could go from room to room. I loved it and the pleasure it brought

  3. @skinnyblinddude Yes, 'The Laughing Gnome' was also re-released in the UK in 1973. There had been an exponential rise in Bowie's popularity, and the Decca & RCA record companies were cashing in on that rise. That is why the classic 1971 track 'Life on Mars' also found its way onto a 1973 RCA single. And, as a consequence, the 1973 retro character of DCI Gene Hunt (AKA 'Jean Genie') (of Manchester & Salford CID) would later be forged.

  4. @xwsftassell

    It was the only 45 I ever bought! Didn't know about the inverted matrix number. Gonna check that out now!


  5. I first heard this in New Zealand where it was a hit in 1973. Music was fun and exciting back then, and novelty records were still quite popular on the pop charts. It was fun as a teen to laugh and be silly, and this record remains a fave. As an aside, when I hear pop radio nowadays, the music sounds dark, often very salacious, and totally lacking in fun appeal.

  6. Hee, hee. hee … I'd forgotten how adorable this song is (DB's laugh at the end still cracks me up). Must go dig up my records, I have this on vinyl; a double album called Images 1966-1967. I also loved this ditty's evil twin – Please Mr Gravedigger (I have this thing for thunderstorms). Thanks for uploading.

  7. Nice single!
    Nice retro rig. I had a Rotel reciever (circa late 1970's). It died recently and I found a nice Marantz to replace it. Nothing sounds like vinyl played on "golden age" stereo equipment.

  8. I have the single, good condition, with the blue Decca label. Is it worth anything? I bought it in the early 1980's.

  9. hey that was pretty good, really cute,, damn i love his voice!!!! mmmmmmmmm ut dosent matter what he sings he sounds bloody awesome xxxxx

  10. This was the first Bowie song I heard and thought it was catchy but rather silly and still like to listen to it now and again as it cheers me up. Just loved the way David pronounced his words.I was still at the high school when Space Oddity came out.

  11. Great posting. Decca reissued this in late 1973 as well. I heard somewhere that David broke up laughing at the fade ending, after hearing his own double-speed voice for the first time through studio headphones. (I own a copy of the 5-quid disc too.)

  12. Yes it is very silly, but I like it. The greatest of artists IMO are great because they go "out on a limb". I love when people can just relax and be their dorky selves. He had a crazy idea and expressed it. Also, he was apparently having a blast while recording it.

  13. he wrote this when he was trying to get away from the record company in the description, but it back fired due to its popularity and he's done every thing he can to distance himself from it ever since

  14. like katedaragh said, I too thought it was great as a kid! Still makes me giggle, especially around 3.02.

  15. I'm actually a huge Bowie fan, but I have to say that even he is embarressed by this song. Don't blame him really…

  16. It is true that David Bowie was a Syd Barrett admirer. And Syd wrote songs that sometimes made reference to fairy tales and yes the occasional gnome. But with the silly sped up voice and all, he would never have done something as gay as this. I like Bowie. But I don't think he is the absolute genius people make him out to be. A genius would not do the Labyrinth soundtrack. Or Let's Dance. Or the Dancing In The Street video. Have you had enough or do you want me to taunt you some more?

  17. I was thinking that!
    I was thinking of an alleged conversation that Bowie and Eno had , when Eno first heard some of the Disco productions from Studio 54. "Listen to that Teutonic beat" Eno reportedly exclaimed 🙂

  18. It's kickass that you have the RECORD of this! Amazing. I wish David wouldn't be so embarassed by this song. I love it <3

  19. Laughing Gnome is a good record -seriously. OK, perhaps an element of novelty but it's one that brings back warm memories and Bowie is daft to disown his 'Newley' period stuff as it is great.

  20. This song's stupid.

    I am fully aware of Daves's extensive ouvre and I can fully understand why he'd chose not to play it now:

    Cuz iss' stupid.

  21. About 15 years ago Bowie was doing a greatest hits tour on which he was going to play songs voted for by his fans. The NME ran a campaign promoting The Laughing Gnome which ended up getting a large percentage of the vote. Bowie, alas, still didn't play it.

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