David Bowie’s Fame was written by Bowie, Carlos Alomar and John Lennon, and it was a hit in North America, becoming Bowie’s first number 1 single in the Canadian Singles Chart as well as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song was one of the most successful singles of the year, ranking at number 7 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100. The song is one of four of Bowie’s songs to be included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
Bowie would later describe the song as “nasty, angry”, and fully admitted that it was written “with a degree of malice” aimed at the Mainman management group with whom he had been working at the time. In 1990, Bowie reflected: “I’d had very upsetting management problems and a lot of that was built into the song. I’ve left all that behind me, now… I think fame itself is not a rewarding thing. The most you can say is that it gets you a seat in restaurants.”