2019 marks 50 years since David Bowie’s first hit, ‘Space Oddity’, and following the recent ‘Spying Through A Keyhole’ collection Parlophone is set to further commemorate this 50th anniversary with a 7" vinyl singles box set of six home demos, four of which are previously unreleased recordings. This set further documents the earliest stages of David’s journey and development as an artist and songwriter.
Recorded in January of 1969 in David’s flat in Clareville Grove, London, this live to tape demo session features David performing as a duo with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson following the end of the Feathers trio which featured David’s then girlfriend Hermione Farthingale.
The photography that adorns the box front and the print inside is by David’s then manager Ken Pitt and was taken in the Clareville Grove flat he had shared with Hermione. David’s short haired look was due to him filming his role in the movie The Virgin Soldiers and is reminiscent of the ‘Berlin era’ look 10 years later.
As with the Spying Through A Keyhole vinyl singles box set, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 r.p.m.
Now featuring the final lyrics, this version of the demo first appeared on the long deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary 2 CD release, is making it's debut on vinyl and predates the 2nd February Morgan Studios recording that featured in the unbroadcast Love You Till Tuesday television film.
Lover To The Dawn
This song aimed at a former lover would eventually morph into ‘Cygnet Committee’ recorded for the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album later in the year.
Previously recorded in October 1968 by the trio Turquoise featuring David, Hermione and Tony Hill (who became Feathers when Hutch replaced Hill). David and Hutch continued to perform the song as a duo following Hermione’s departure.
An Occasional Dream
Slightly different lyrically to the later album version, this version of the demo also first appeared on the deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary release.
Let Me Sleep Beside You
A studio version was first recorded in September 1967 but remained unreleased until The World Of David Bowie album in 1970. The song was later recorded in session for the BBC in October 1969 and was one David clearly believed in, recording it once more for the unreleased Toy album 30 years later. That version finally saw the light of day on the Nothing Has Changed 3 CD set in 2014.
Life Is A Circus
A cover of an obscure song written by Roger Bunn recorded by vocal/instrumental quartet Djinn. Vocals are shared Simon and Garfunkel style by David and Hutch.