"This Is Not America" is a song by jazz fusion band Pat Metheny Group and rock singer David Bowie, taken from the soundtrack for the film The Falcon and the Snowman.[1] The instrumental, written by Metheny and Lyle Mays, is itself a song called "Chris" and was also included on the soundtrack for the film. "This Is Not America" adds additional drums courtesy of a Linn drum machine as well as Bowie's vocal performance. Metheny later noted that Bowie's words were "profound and meaningful – and absolutely perfect for the film."[2]

The song, a midtempo ballad, was released as a single which reached No. 14 in the UK, and No. 32 in the US. The instrumental found on the single is not the song "Chris", but a true instrumental of "This Is Not America". The song later appeared on Bowie's greatest hits compilation Best of Bowie, appearing on all but the Australian and Japanese pressings of that album.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

7": EMI America / EA 190 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "This Is Not America" (Bowie, MethenyMays) – 3:51
  2. "This Is Not America (Instrumental)" (Bowie, MethenyMays) – 3:51

12": EMI America / 12EA190 (UK)[edit]Edit

  1. "This Is Not America" (Bowie, MethenyMays) – 3:51
  2. "This Is Not America (Instrumental)" (Bowie, MethenyMays) – 3:51


  • David Bowie: vocals and lyrics

Pat Metheny Group:

Live versions[edit]Edit

  • Bowie recorded a performance of the song at BBC Radio Theatre, London, 27 June 2000, and it was released on the bonus disc accompanying the first release of Bowie at the Beeb.
  • Pat Metheny Group recorded it live in the DVD We Live Here, with band members substituting for Bowie on vocals.
  • Another version featuring Anna Maria Jopek and Pat Metheny was recorded live in Warsaw, 2002, included in an album called Anna Maria Jopek and Pat Metheny Live in Warsaw 2002.

Other releases[edit]Edit

  • It was released on the single "I Can't Read" in December 1997.
  • It also appeared on the compilation The Singles Collection in 1993.
  • The Virgin Records release of the Tonight album in 1995 featured this song as a bonus track.
  • The song also appears on the compilation Best of Bowie.
  • Bowie performs a variation of "This Is Not America" on the P. Diddy song "American Dream" for the soundtrack to the 2001 film Training Day.

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart Peak position
The Netherlands 1[3]
Canada Singles Chart 19
Germany Singles Chart 6[4]
Italy Singles Chart 5[5]
Norway 3
Sweden 2
UK Singles Chart 14
US Billboard Hot 100 32
US Mainstream Rock Tracks 7
Brazil Top 100 4
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