We Lost David Bowie To Cancer Today In 2016. This Year, His Second Self-Titled Album Is Half A Century Old
2019 marks fifty years since David Bowie released his second self-titled album, which was later reissued bearing the name of its legendary title track, Space Oddity. To mark the occasion, a new box set of seven inch singles is on the way. Spying Through A Keyhole includes nine previously unreleased demos, which were recorded in the Space Oddity era, and were available (briefly) on streaming services late last year; this will be the first time they’re available in meatspace.
There are also some early iterations of nuggets like In The Heat Of The Morning, London Bye, Ta-Ta, Love All Around and Mother Grey. Love All Around, by the way, is where the title of this set comes from: “I see a pop tune spying through a keyhole from the other room”.
If you’re a fan of authenticity, this note on Bowie’s website, warning that the audio quality of some of the early demos might not be as super-duper as you’re used to, may be music to your ears: “This is partly due to David’s enthusiastic strumming hitting the red on a couple of the tracks, along with the limitations of the original recording equipment and tape degradation. However, the historical importance of these songs and the fact that the selections are from an archive of tracks cleared for release by Bowie, overrides this shortcoming.”
This will be the latest in a series of posthumous releases. In 2018, BBC Studios, Parlophone, and Glastonbury Festivals hooked up to release Bowie’s smoking headline set at Glastonbury 19 years ago; the label also put out the Loving The Alien (1983-1988) box set, following three other releases which concentrated on specific eras: Five Years (1969-1973), Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976), and A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982).
Spying Through a Keyhole Tracklist
01. Mother Grey (demo)
02. In The Heat Of The Morning (demo)
03. Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe (demo)
04. Love All Around (demo)
05. London Bye, Ta-Ta (demo)
06. Angel, Angel, Grubby Face (demo version 1)
07. Angel, Angel, Grubby Face (demo version 2)
08. Space Oddity (demo excerpt)
09. Space Oddity (demo – alternative lyrics, with John Hutchinson)