The song criticised the urban decay and deprivation in American cities at the time, concerned largely with the depths a young mother has to sink to in order to feed her child, including attempting to shoplift and become a prostitute.
Julien Temple's video made the message explicit, showing the young couple's struggle against an uncaring society, watched by a pair of angels through fake video cameras. This was banned by some TV stations (though contrary to popular belief not the BBC who showed the first part of the video on their Top of the Pops music show), even after edits removed the female protagonist's heavily implied rape, and an alternate version of a scene where the couple's child spells out "Mom", "Food" and "Fuck" in building blocks (representing the child's cycle of dependency; the alternate version had the child spell out the meaningless words "Mom", "Look" and "Luck") – as a result, EMI issued it on a video EP.
Many critics, both at the time and since, have accused the song of burying its message in over-produced, glossy surroundings. Others claim that this doesn't overpower the message.
Despite its sales being boosted by a limited-edition version of the 7" single, and two different 12" singles, "Day-In Day-Out" was considered a flop, reaching #17 in the UK charts, and #21 in the Billboard Hot 100.
All songs written by Bowie.
|Canada Singles Chart||3|
|US Mainstream Rock Tracks||3|
|US Hot Dance Music/Club Play||10|
|UK Singles Chart||17|
|US Billboard Hot 100||21|