David Bowie to Reissue "Space Oddity" For 40th Anniversary

August 10, 2009 12:16 PM ET

Forty years ago, David Bowie released his eponymous first album, or Man of Words/Man of Music as it was known in the States. Soon after, the LP adopted the name of its biggest hit, Space Oddity. Now, four decades later, the Thin White Duke will reissue his debut album as a double-disc collection due out this October. The first disc features the album as it was originally presented in 1969, plus a second disc full of demos, B sides and other unreleased recordings, Bowie's official site announced this weekend.

Unlike previous reissues, the upcoming Space Oddity 40th Anniversary Edition features the interlude "Don't Sit Down" fused together with "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed," as opposed to being separated into two tracks. Great lengths were made to ensure that the album's original tapes were used in the reissue, to mirror the sound of the album when it was first released on vinyl. The original fade-outs and gaps between tracks have also been preserved.

As for the bonus disc, eight of the 15 tracks are previously unreleased, highlighted by demo versions of "Space Oddity" and "A Occasional Dream" plus the full-length studio version of "Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola," an Italian version of "Space Oddity" that Bowie recorded. Multiple versions of the album's epic closing track "Memory of a Free Festival" are also on the disc, including an unreleased alternate mix. The album will also feature liner notes with rare photos as well as other ephemera from the era.

As Rock Daily reported last month, Bowie also released the Space Oddity EP to iTunes, featuring four versions of the track plus the song stems to allow for fan remixing.

Related Stories:
Ground Control To David Bowie: It's Time To Fall Back To Earth
British Press Blame David Bowie for Recession; We Clear Ziggy Stardust's Good Name
David Bowie Selects His Favorite Songs For Pay Version of Free Comp

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »