The story of how David Bowie and Elvis Presley came *so* close to collaborating

8 January 2020, 10:54

By Tom Eames

"It has to be one of the greatest tragedies in pop music history that it didn’t happen..."

It would have been incredible to have witnessed, but sadly a collaboration between Elvis Presley and David Bowie never happened.

But it almost did.

A few years ago, it was revealed by country star Dwight Yoakam that Elvis asked Bowie to be his producer on his next album.

Read more: The story behind Elvis Presley's final ever gig

Speaking to US newspaper the Orange County Register, Yoakam said that he once spoke to Bowie back in 1997, and they shared their love of Elvis together.

Elvis Presley wanted David Bowie to produce his album
Elvis Presley wanted David Bowie to produce his album. Picture: Getty

Yoakam said Bowie told him that six months before Elvis’s death in August 1977, the King had phoned up and asked him to produce his next album.

“That was based on Elvis having heard Bowie’s 'Golden Years', and I thought 'Oh my God, it’s a tragedy that he was never able to make that',” said Yoakam.

“I couldn’t even imagine 1977 David Bowie producing Elvis. It would have been fantastic. It has to be one of the greatest tragedies in pop music history that it didn’t happen, one of the biggest missed opportunities.”

QUIZ: How well do you know the lyrics to David Bowie's 'Life on Mars'?

In fact, Bowie was a massive Elvis fan, and was said to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the rock and roll icon's career. Plus, the pair shared a birthday on January 8.

Bowie also said that he had originally wanted his song 'Golden Years' to be performed by Elvis. It has been claimed that he asked his then wife Angie to send the request over, but she was too shy to do so.

Meanwhile, a rare Elvis song titled 'Black Star', which was unreleased for decades after being recorded in 1960 – has been named as a possible inspiration for Bowie's farewell album of the same name.

The song’s lyrics read: “Every man has a black star / A black star over his shoulder / And when a man sees his black star / He knows his time, his time has come.”