'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore

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"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"
David Bowie - 'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore cover art.jpg
Single by David Bowie
from the album
A-side "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"
Released 10 November 2014
Format
Recorded
  • 2014 (single version)
  • 2015 (Blackstar version)
Genre Art rock
Length
  • 5:26 (single version)
  • 4:52 (Blackstar version)
Label
Songwriter(s) David Bowie
Producer(s)
David Bowie singles chronology
"Love Is Lost"
(2013)
"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"
(2014)
"Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"
(2014)
"Love Is Lost"
(2013)
"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"
(2014)
"Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"
(2014)
track listing
""
(1)
"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"
(2)
"Lazarus"
(3)

"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" is a song by English musician David Bowie. It was originally released as a digital non-album single on 10 November 2014 and was later featured as the B-side for Bowie's next single, "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)", which was released exactly one week later. A re-recorded version of the song appears as the second track on Bowie's 25th and final studio album, (2016). "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" charted in multiple countries, including Bowie's home country of the UK, where it peaked at number 107.

Background and recording[edit]

"'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" was released as a single on 10 November 2014 and was later featured as one of the B-sides to "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)", Bowie's following single.[1] The name of the song derives from the play 'Tis Pity She's a Whore by John Ford, an English dramatist of the 17th century.[2] Both songs were re-recorded for Bowie's 25th and final studio album, , released on 8 January 2016. American jazz musician Donny McCaslin provided new saxophone parts for the re-recording of "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore". Bowie had done saxophone parts himself for the original version of the song.[3]

On the sound of the song, Bowie wrote: "If Vorticists wrote Rock Music it might have sounded like this."[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Mojo critic Andrew Male described the track as "a raucous five-minute mesh of melody and discord, an art-rock anti-war romance, gasping under the pack-ice of no-wave sax-squawk."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[edit]

Digital release[5]
No. Title Length
1. "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" 5:26

10" vinyl[edit]

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" 7:24
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore" 5:27
2. "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" (Radio edit) 4:01

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014–16) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 78
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 68
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 63
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 107
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[10] 34

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Catalogue no.
Worldwide 10 November 2014 Digital download ISO none[5]
Europe 14 November 2014 10" (B-side) Parlophone 10RDB2014[1]
United States 28 November 2014 Columbia 88875028701[11]

References[edit]