A new David Bowie box set is in the works. The follow-up to last year’s Five Years (1969-1973) box set, the forthcoming Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) will include Bowie’s complete unreleased album The Gouster. The album morphed and eventually became Young Americans.
The set is due out on Parlophone, but a release date and full track list has not yet been revealed. As Pitchfork points out, longtime Bowie collaborator and friend Tony Visconti wrote the liner notes for the upcoming set. An excerpt was unveiled via Bowie’s official Facebook page. “Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me, but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African-American teens in the Sixties in Chicago,” Visconti explains in the excerpt. “But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut, we were enamored of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude.”
Visconti goes on to discuss his and Bowie’s love of soul and says that with The Gouster they “sure as hell wanted to make a killer soul album.” This led to a fresh take for “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” which was recorded in 1974 and was supposed to be the lead song on the album’s original track list. It was later released in 1979. Visconti describes the song as an “outrageous brand new, funkafied version of David’s classic.”
In addition to housing The Gouster and Visconti’s liner notes, Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) will also feature on the sleeve a previously unpublished picture from the original The Gouster album photo session.
See the original track list for The Gouster and read more from the liner notes excerpt below.