David Bowie’s unreleased Earthling-era semi-instrumental “Nuts” is the latest installment in the Is It Any Wonder? series, a six-week unearthing of rare tracks that the late icon recorded in 1996 and 1997.
“Nuts” was recorded at the same November 1996 studio sessions that yielded Earthling’s “The Last Thing You Should Do,” with the intention that both would be bonus tracks for the album; however, the latter was swapped onto the album at the last minute in place of “I Can’t Read ’97,” which similarly is part of the Is It Any Wonder? EP. “Nuts,” however, remained unreleased.
Largely instrumental — featuring Bowie doing distorted spoken word (“What would you rather be doing?” he asks at one point) — “Nuts” boasts guitarist Reeves Gabrels and keyboardist Mark Plati, who provides the track with its jittery, restless drum programming.
“Nuts” premiered Thursday on Mary Anne Hobbs’ BBC show ahead of its arrival on streaming services Friday.
Is It Any Wonder? also features Earthling-via-Tin Machine castoffs “I Can’t Read ’97” and “Baby Universal” as well as Earthling-era re-recordings of “Stay” and “The Man Who Sold the World.” The final installment in the series will premiere February 14th, with Bowie’s site also promising “a final extra surprise” alongside its release.