Showing posts with label David Bowie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Bowie. Show all posts

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

DJ - David Bowie

Just days after buying the 'Space oddity' box set, I found this picture disc of DJ in Parlophone's series of '40th anniversary' discs. I bought the 'Boys keep swinging' picture disc a few weeks ago in Antwerpen, so it's nice to have found this one in Paris. Like the one before, it is quite an expensive acquisition, but online prices have not been any lower.

What's most interesting about this disc - to me at least - is not the A-side, but the B-side, because it contains a version of 'Boys keep swinging' that was performed in a television show in 1979. Why Parlophone decided to include this instead of the original B-side 'Repetition' is therefore obvious to me.

Note: now that picosong has ceased existing I will have to link to other online files to offer sound and sometimes vision with the tracks that are on my singles. In this case, it's extra interesting because you get to see the full TV performance along with the sound that's on the single. Obviously the single fades out until 2'33.  

My collection: 7" single no. 6147
Found: Fnac, Paris, July 28, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'DJ (2017 Tony Visconti mix - single edit)' / 'Boys keep swinging (Kenny Everett Video Show version)'

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Space oddity - David Bowie

It's hard to believe that it's already been 3½ years since David Bowie died. Since then, a shedload of new releases has seen the light of day. It's becoming more obvious every month that the record company and the rights holders are making the most of the neverending lust for new product that seems to exist.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing which made 'Space oddity' such a big hit, Parlophone has now released a boxed set of two singles with two versions of 'Space oddity' and its B-side, 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud': the original mono versions and new 2019 mixes by Tony Visconti. The box comes with a poster, an insert detailing all the credits for the tracks and some background information and a photo card - plus of course both the singles in different picture sleeves. I used an official packshot for this post, because the glossy box can not be scanned properly!

My collection: 7" single no. 6146
Found: Gilbert Joseph, Paris, July 24, 2019
Tracks: 'Space oddity (original mono single edit)' / 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud (original mono single version)' // 'Space oddity (2019 mix - single edit)' / 'Wild eyed boy from freecloud (2019 mix - single version)'

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Boys keep swinging - David Bowie

Parlophone continues with their series of '40th anniversary picture discs' of David Bowie singles. It is a lucrative series because the singles keep selling despite their decidedly inflative prices. It's hard to realise that you'd only pay a couple of pounds for a single like this 40 years ago, a price that has doubled a few days now in 2019. Shame on Parlophone.

This picture discs presents the 2017 mix by Tony Visconti of 'Boys keep swinging', along with a rare unreleased track 'I pray, Olé' - at least, it was unreleased in 1991 when it appeared as a bonus track on the Rykodisc reissue of the album 'Lodger'. Although the takes of the instruments and vocals were recorded during the sessions of the 'Lodger' album, the mix of the song was performed in 1990. It is unclear whether overdubs were recorded later.

My collection: 7" single no. 6101
Found: Fnac, Antwerpen, May 24, 2019
Cost: 14 euro (!)
Tracks: 'Boys keep swinging (2017 Tony Visconti mix)' / 'I pray, olé'

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Without you - David Bowie

In my mind, only three singles were ever taken from David Bowie's 1983 album 'Let's Dance': the title track, 'China Girl' and 'Modern Love'. And then I saw this single yesterday: 'Without you'. The sleeve looked vaguely familiar - because of the Keith Haring artwork I bet - but otherwise I have no recollection of this ever being released.

Sure enough, the single only charted in the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching a lowly number 73. Both the A- and B-side appear on the album. And unusually, the guitar riff on 'Criminal World' sounds a lot like the one in Dutch band Frank Boeijen Groep's 'Doe iets'. Or was it the other way around? Probably...

My collection: 7" single no. 5975
Found: Top 2000 café, Circus, Den Haag
Cost: 2 euro
Tracks: 'Without you' / 'Criminal world'

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Zeroes (2018) - David Bowie

I rarely buy new singles anymore, and that's not strange when you think that most vinyl singles these days are released by new indie bands, bands that I don't know and that I often am not interested in. My interests are, as you may have noticed, centered around Eighties artists (check out the impressive section of almost 3800 Eighties singles in this blog - more than half of the 6000+ articles on this entire blog).

David Bowie keeps releasing picture disc 7" singles at an alarming rate. The 40th anniversary picture discs are lost on me because of their staggering price (10 pounds each is a little bit much for me, considering it's all old music) but this release is interesting. 'Zeroes (2018)' is a reworked track from Bowie's 'Never let me down' album. So it's old, but still new. Just like I like it, I guess.

My collection: 7" single no. 5937
Found: Amazon UK, received September 11, 2018
Cost: 10 pounds
Tracks: 'Zeroes (2018) (radio edit)' / 'Beat of your drum (2018) (radio edit)'

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Helden - David Bowie

When it was announced that the German magazine Rolling Stone would have a cover 7" single of David Bowie's 'Helden' in October, I despaired a little. It sounded like a great item to have, but it would probably be impossible to get a hold of it for a reasonable price, because of the collectability of such an item.

As it turned out, it wasn't so hard to get this single after all. The magazine was offered for sale on Ebay and it was simple enough to order a copy. The single brings together an '89 remix of 'Helden' and a live version taken from the album 'Stages'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5869
Found: Ebay, received October 19, 2017
Cost: 6 euro
Tracks: 'Helden ('89 remix)' / 'Heroes (live version)'

Friday, 13 October 2017

Heroes - David Bowie

Parlophone started the '40 year anniversary' picture disc single releases a few years ago, when David Bowie was still alive. It's strange to think that this campaign will last well into the 2020s at least - and hopefully they will continue until 'No plan' is 40 years old (although I'm not holding my breath).

I skipped all the releases until now, but 'Heroes' was an attractive package. Not only did it come in a rather well designed A-side, but the B-side features a previously unreleased version of 'Heroes': as performed in the Marc Show on September 7, 1977. The recording is in mono, alas, but it's still worth a spin.

My collection: 7" single no. 5868
Found:, received October 7, 2017
Cost: 10 pounds (which is outrageous, I know!)
Tracks: 'Heroes  [edit]' / 'Heroes (Marc Show version)'

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Sue (Or In a season of crime) - David Bowie

I started this year with an entry about David Bowie, so I thought it would be appropriate to end the year with Bowie as well. He surprised everyone - again - with his latest offering, 'Sue (Or In a season of crime)'. The single was released on 10" vinyl only, so no cd-singles, 7" or 12" at all. The track also appeared on his latest compilation, 'Nothing has changed'. But does the world really need yet another Bowie compilation album? I guess record companies still like to cash in with old stuff.

'Sue' is a weird offering, as it sounds a lot like jazz and it can seem a bit tedious, being such a long track. But repeated listening is rewarding. Bowie keeps changing, even if nothing much has changed.

My collection: 10" single [unnumbered]
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 23, 2014
Cost: 8 euro
Tracks: 'Sue (Or In a season of crime)' / ''Tis a pity she was a whore', 'Sue (Or In a season of crime) (edit)'

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Valentine's day - David Bowie

Another single from David Bowie's most recent album 'The next day', 'Valentine's day' was released as a picture disc in a partly transparent sleeve with the lyric of the song printed on it. This single actually comes with a B-side, although 'Plan' is just a short instrumental piece.

What's on the picture disc? I was wondering about that for a while, but then I realised: the album sleeve of 'The next day' uses the artwork of Bowie's album 'Heroes', and the picture disc here shows the right and left hand from that album artwork. Another clever design.

My collection: 7" single no. 5357
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'Valentine's day' / 'Plan'

The next day - David Bowie

The surprise comeback of David Bowie at the beginning of 2013 was something that took hold of the 'serious' music press all through the year. Bowie didn't do many interviews, there were some music videos but that was about it. Oh, and of course: the Japanese edition of the album had four bonus tracks whereas the European one had only three. Having ordered the Japanese edition from Europe, the end of the year came with the announcement of a "special edition" with all the tracks included and more. Nice going...

Anyway, the title track was released as a single on a white square disc. The transparent sleeve featured the title and credits, so the disc was indeed completely white. Clever design. Just a shame that the disc features the same track on both sides.

My collection: 7" single no. 5356
Found: Head, Bristol, December 18, 2013
Tracks: 'The next day' / 'The next day'

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Magic dance - David Bowie

Now that everybody's in awe of the new album by David Bowie, I thought it would be fun to showcase on of his less critically acclaimed moments. So I dug out this 12" single of 'Magic dance', released in the USA in 1986. Bowie recorded this song, as well as a handful of others, for the soundtrack of the Jim Henson movie 'Labyrinth', in which he also played the role of the Goblin king, wearing a strange wig and performing magic tricks. Even on the sleeve of this record he appears to be doing a silly walk.

The remixes of the track are typical mid-Eighties fare: lots of drums and sampled sounds. Some people would argue that Bowie wasn't at his creative peak in the Eighties, personally I do prefer his work during this decade over his acclaimed early Sixties rock. But each to their own...

My collection: 12" single no. 643
Found: unknown
Cost: unknown
Tracks: 'Magic dance (dance mix)' / 'Magic dance (dub)', 'Within you'

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Scary monsters (and super creeps) - David Bowie

'Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)' is the title track from David Bowie's 1980 album. It was also issued as the third single from that album in January 1981. The single didn't do as well as the previous two singles, 'Ashes to ashes' and 'Fashion', and peaked outside the UK top 10 at number 20.

Musically the track was notable for its lead guitar work by Robert Fripp and distinctive synthesized percussion. The lyrics, sung by Bowie in a mock-cockney accent, charted a woman's withdrawal from the world and descent into madness ('When I looked in her eyes they were blue but nobody home ... Now she's stupid in the street and she can't socialise'). Personally I prefer the B-side, also taken from the album, 'Because you're young'.

My collection: 7" single no. 5298
Found: Record fair, Utrecht
Cost: 3 euro
Tracks: 'Scary monsters (and super creeps)' / 'Because you're young'

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Blue Jean - David Bowie

Having sworn off disguises and alternate identities for his 1983 album 'Let's dance', it was a bit odd to see the music video for David Bowie's 'Blue Jean' in 1984. Again using loads of make-up on his face, the video distracted a bit from the music. The album 'Tonight', released that year, is seen as an artistic failure, although there were a few nice songs on it.

The extended version of 'Blue Jean' is interesting enough, I'd say. However, the B-side, containing two remixes, is the kind of music I've played only once - but never more. Quite excruciating.

My collection: 12" single no. 372
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 2000
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Blue Jean (extended dance mix)' / 'Dancing with the big boys (extended dance mix)', 'Dancing with the big boys (extended dub mix)'

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Never let me down - David Bowie

'Never let me down' was released as the third single from David Bowie's album of the same name in the summer of 1987. The song is about Bowie's long-time personal assistant, Coco Schwab. Bowie described their relationship, saying 'It's platonic. But there is a romance in it, I guess, inasmuch as it's hard for two people to feel totally at ease in each other's company for that period of time and not expect too much from each other. Always being prepared to be there if the other one needs someone, you know? There's not many people you find in life that you can do that with, or feel that way with.'

This 12" single features an extended remix of the track, as well as a dub and acapella version.

My collection: 12" single no. 352
Found: Record fair, 1999
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Never let me down (extended dance remix)' / ''87 and cry', 'Never let me down (dub)', 'Never let me down (acapella)'

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Underground - David Bowie

Back in the Nineties, there was a record fair in Leiden every six months. During that record fair, they used to always play a remix of David Bowie's 'Underground'. It was quite an obscure remix, because as it turned out, that remix does not appear on the 12" single of 'Underground' that was released in 1986. I've never been able to track down that remix. (Any tips are welcome below.)

Meanwhile, I did buy this disc, a Spanish pressing of 'Underground' on 12". That was not a deliberate choice: I just happened to find this copy for a low price, so I bought it. Perhaps some David Bowie fans out there are hunting down this version, I wouldn't know... Anyway, it contains the same tracks as other pressings of this disc: remixes created by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero.

My collection: 12" single no. 269
Found: Record fair, 1996
Cost: 5 guilders
Tracks: 'Underground (Extended dance mix)' / 'Underground (dub)', 'Underground (instrumental)'

Thursday, 10 November 2011

When the wind blows - David Bowie

David Bowie recorded 'When the wind blows' for the animation movie of the same name. It was always one of my favourite Bowie tracks, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found this 12" single featuring an extended version of it.

Fortunately this extended version is well executed. The intro is intriguing and the many extra instrumental passages make sure that this extended version is indeed extended. It was a great find at the time, even if the vinyl quality left a bit to be desired.

My collection: 12" single no. 398
Found: Esprit Mailorder, 2000
Cost: 3 pounds
Tracks: 'When the wind blows (extended mix)' / 'When the wind blows (instrumental)'

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Loving the alien - David Bowie

When you read articles in the 'serious' music press, there's always a kind of disdain for David Bowie's work in the Eighties. Commercially successful, yes, but artistically doubtful. I happen to disagree: during the Eighties he made some of his most beautiful work, especially the songs created for movie soundtracks such as 'Absolute beginners' and 'When the wind blows', but also this track, 'Loving the alien' from his 1985 album 'Tonight'.

The 12" single was released in a gatefold sleeve that covered in images from the video. A limited edition also included a fold-out poster. The extended dance mix on this disc is actually identical to the album version, but with an added drum break.

My collection: 12" single no. 371
Found: Plaatboef, Rotterdam, 2000
Cost: 3 guilders
Tracks: 'Loving the alien (extended dance mix)' / 'Don't look down (extended dance mix)', 'Loving the alien (extended dub mix)'

Sunday, 10 April 2011

David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht's BAAL EP

In August 1981, Bowie had begun rehearsals to appear in the BBC version of Bertolt Brecht's play 'Baal'. The lyrics to the songs were all translated by Ralph Manheim and John Willett. Dominic Muldowney provided all new musical settings, except for 'The drowned girl', which was a setting by Kurt Weill done originally for Das Berliner Requiem. In September 1981, Bowie and Tony Visconti returned to the Hansa studios in Berlin to re-record the five songs Baal performed in the play.

'Baal’s Hymn' is a combination of the vignettes spread throughout the play, and establishes Baal’s amoral character. 'Remembering Marie A' concerns Baal’s reminiscences of a past conquest, where he can remember a cloud drifting overhead, but not the face of the girl he was with. 'Ballad of the Adventurers' is Baal’s aggressive lament to the death of his mother. 'The Drowned Girl' relates the suicide of one of Baal’s conquests. 'The Dirty Song' is a short number, with Baal humiliating his lover Sophie.

Bowie's performance as Baal was broadcast on February 2, 1982, and RCA issued the EP to coincide with this. Both the play and EP were well received, with the latter reaching number 29 in the UK chart, which was a high placing considering the unconventional tracks. The 7" single comes packaged in a double gatefold sleeve containing extensive notes pertaining to the musical content and a short biography of Bertolt Brecht. This EP was Bowie’s final new release for RCA Records. Bowie's next release was issued by EMI. The EP was re-released as a digital download in 2007.

My collection: 7" single no. 5054
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 9, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Baal's hymn', 'Remembering Marie A.' / 'Ballad of the adventurers', 'The drowned girl', 'The dirty song'

Thursday, 16 December 2010

John I'm only dancing (again) - David Bowie

'John, I’m only dancing (again)' was released in 1979 as a reworking of David Bowie's 1972 track 'John, I'm only dancing', made during the sessions for the album Young Americans. The re-recording featured a much more funk-influenced take on the track. Originally running at 6:57, the track was cut for a 7" single release, but the full version was issued on 12" vinyl – the first Bowie single to have a regular 12" release in the UK. For the B-side, the original version of 'John, I'm only dancing' was remixed.

The single reached number 12 in the UK singles chart, while peaking at number 29 in Ireland.

My collection: 7" single no. 4958
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 31, 2010
Cost: 1 pound
Tracks: 'John I'm only dancing (again)' / 'John I'm only dancing (1972)'

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Fashion - David Bowie

According to co-producer Tony Visconti, 'Fashion' was the last song completed in the sessions for David Bowie's 1979 album 'Scary monsters'. The song borrowed some elements from the past: the bassline and some of the melody were inspired by Bowie's 1975 hit 'Golden years'. A phrase in the lyric that Bowie borrowed from his past was 'People from bad homes', the title track of a 1973 album he recorded with his proteges The Astronettes, which went unreleased until 1995.

The song was released as the second single from 'Scary monsters'. The single version was an edit of the album version. The single reached number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 70 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 4750
Found: Record fair, Rijswijk, April 5, 2010
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Fashion' / 'Scream like a baby'

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