RCA Records were unsure if America was ready for the sexual androgyny of ‘Boys Keep Swinging’, the lead-off single from Lodger in most territories, so they released ‘Look Back in Anger’ instead. The B-side was ‘Repetition’, another ‘Lodger’ track, a story of domestic violence. The single failed to chart.
David Mallet directed the music video for the song, featuring Bowie in an artist’s studio. The scenario was based on the conclusion of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, as a self-portrait of the protagonist grows more handsome while he himself physically decays.