As Bowie fans, we are spoilt for choice with new records, books and gadgets. Much more than our bank accounts can handle, but if you don't buy it right away, you will never find it for the regular price.
At the end of 2021 the 5th box set, with 11 discs of the 90's. Early January the Hunky Dory 50th anniversary album and the album Toy, rejected by the record companies in 2001. Shortly before David’s glorious return to Glastonbury in 2000 Bowie had expressed his intentions to record an album with his tour band. He wanted to make updates of his songs from the 60s. There were 13 tracks but also a new song (Hole in the ground). Halfway the process Bowie’s daughter was born which caused a break of two months. Bowie wanted to do the artwork himself and promised that was going to be very odd. Unfortunately record company Virgin didn’t want to release the album. Finally Bowie started working on Heathen and the recordings were shelved. In 2011 14 tracks leaked onto the internet.
Also a part of these songs were reworked for Heathen and released as B-sides and bonus tracks.
There are plenty releases with the original versions of the old songs. You can also find LPs and CDs with many of the reworked songs. The contents are different each time and not all of them are complete. Songs are: I dig everything, You’ve got a habit of leaving, The London boys, Karma man, Conversation piece, Shadow man, Let me sleep beside you, Hole in the ground, Baby loves that way, Can’t help thinking about me, Silly boy blue, Liza Jane, Uncle Floyd, In the heat of the morning, Toy (later: Your turn to drive) = 15 songs. Uncle Floyd is not on the official box for some reason.
Now that the record has finally been released, we can judge what we would have got 21 years ago. First of all there is this very odd cover, a mixture of a photo of Bowie in 2000 and a photo of him in 1947, as a cute baby. In my opinion, the worst cover ever. He seems to have created it himself.
Disc1: The songs lack the freshness of the 18-year-old enthusiast that David was. As if everything had been slowed down a bit. Of course David had slowed down too and his voice has matured and sounds better. Karma Man, Silly Boy Blue, The London Boys and Shadowman are standing out. Also on the sleeve information. Because the titles are shorter than the others. Larger letters have been used. Rightly so.
Disc2; Liza Jane is a nice opener. You can hear the stylophone at the end. The first few numbers look too much like the ones on CD1 but there are two more tracks.
Disc3: This is the disc I prefer. The Acoustic versions.
Over all, a must have, but listen to the original stuff too. I treasure the 60’s versions. I can understand why none of the songs became a hit single, but all of them are little gems. It’s obvious that the young David had a lot of talent.