David Bowie Box Set Collects Early Home Demos, 'Space Oddity' 2019 Mix - Rolling Stone
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David Bowie Box Set Collects Early Home Demos, ‘Space Oddity’ 2019 Mix

Conversation Piece focuses on singer’s recordings from 1968 and 1969

David BowieDAVID BOWIE AT HOME, FOXGROVE ROAD, BECKENHAM, BRITAIN - 1969

The early years of David Bowie's career will be the focus of the 'Conversation Piece' set, which collects the singer's 1968 and 1969 works.

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The early years of David Bowie’s career will be the focus of the upcoming five-disc Conversation Piece. The box set collects the singer’s 1968 and 1969 works, from home recordings to his work with guitarist John “Hutch” Hutchinson and the mime group Feathers to Space Oddity.

In addition to recently released Mercury Demos, Conversation Piece, due out November 15th, features 12 previously unreleased Bowie recordings, ranging from a handful of unheard home demos (“Animal Farm,” “April’s Tooth of Gold”) to early mixes of Space Oddity songs. The set also promises higher quality versions of tracks from Bowie’s pre-Space Oddity Deram Records career.

The set’s fifth disc boasts producer Tony Visconti’s new 2019 mix of Space Oddity that restores the box set’s title track, “Conversation Piece,” on the track list; the song was initially removed from Space Oddity due to time constraints. The 2019 version of Space Oddity will also be sold separately both digitally and on vinyl.

“It was so much fun to find hidden gems of musicianship with more time to mix the second time around, a guitar twiddle here, a trombone blast there, Marc Bolan’s voice in a group choir and more detail in general that we overlooked all those years ago when the label gave us a week at the most to mix this album,” Visconti said of the 2019 mix. “And in the details, you will find 22-year-old David Bowie, who would soon take the world by storm.”

The box set also features a 120-page hardback book with exclusive memorabilia from the personal collection of Bowie’s former manager Ken Pitt, as well as from the David Bowie Archive, plus sleeve notes from Visconti, Hutchinson and more.

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Conversation Piece Track List

CD 1 – Home Demos

April’s Tooth Of Gold (2.29) *
The Reverend Raymond Brown (Attends the Garden Fête on Thatchwick Green) (2.15) *
When I’m Five (3.18) *
Mother Grey (3.00)
In The Heat Of The Morning (2.59)
Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe (3.19)
Love All Around (2.49)
London Bye, Ta-Ta (3.31)
Angel Angel Grubby Face (version 1) (2.31)
Angel Angel Grubby Face (version 2) (2.37)
Animal Farm (2.21) *
Space Oddity (solo demo fragment) (2.39)
Space Oddity (version 1) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (4.02)
Space Oddity (version 2) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (5.00) *
Space Oddity (version 3) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (5.10)
Lover To The Dawn with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (3.50)
Ching-a-Ling with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.58)
An Occasional Dream with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.49)
Let Me Sleep Beside You with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.54)
Life Is A Circus with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (4.50)
Conversation Piece (3.47) *
Jerusalem (4.19) *
Hole In The Ground with George Underwood (3.29) *

CD2 – The ‘Mercury’ Demos with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson

Space Oddity (5.28)
Janine (3.53)
An Occasional Dream (3.18)
Conversation Piece (3.31)
Ching-a-Ling (3.35)
I’m Not Quite (aka Letter To Hermione) (4.00)
Lover To The Dawn (5.01)
Love Song (4.08)
When I’m Five (3.13)
Life Is A Circus (5.33)

CD3 – Conversation Pieces (Mono)

In The Heat Of The Morning (Decca mono version) (2.51)
London Bye, Ta-Ta (Decca alternative version) (2.36)
BBC Top Gear radio session with the Tony Visconti Orchestra, recorded 13th May, 1968
In The Heat Of The Morning (3.01)
London Bye, Ta-Ta (2.39)
Karma Man (3.07)
When I’m Five (3.14)
Silly Boy Blue (4.32)
Ching-a-Ling (2.51)
Space Oddity (Morgan Studios version – alternative take) (4.22)* with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson
Space Oddity (U.K. single edit) (4.42)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single B-side – mono mix) (4.54)
Janine (mono mix) (3.23)
Conversation Piece (3.06)
BBC Dave Lee Travis Show radio session, recorded 20th October, 1969
Let Me Sleep Beside You (3.20)
Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed (4.03)
Janine (3.03)

CD 4 – 1969 stereo mixes

The original David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album
Space Oddity (5.14)
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (inc. Don’t Sit Down) (6.51)
Letter To Hermione (2.32)
Cygnet Committee (9.31)
Janine (3.21)
An Occasional Dream (2.54)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (4.46)
God Knows I’m Good (3.17)
Memory Of A Free Festival (7.09)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single B-side stereo mix) (4.56)
Letter To Hermione (early mix) (2.32) *
Janine (early mix) (3.23) *
An Occasional Dream (early mix) (2.54) *
Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (full length version) (5.14)

CD 5 – 2019 mixes (all previously unreleased)

The Space Oddity album
Space Oddity (5.20)
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (6.18)
Letter To Hermione (2.32)
Cygnet Committee (9.28)
Janine (3.21)
An Occasional Dream (2.57)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (4.50)
Conversation Piece (3.11)
God Knows I’m Good (3.16)
Memory Of A Free Festival (7.14)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single version) (4.59)
Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (5.20)

* previously unreleased

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