Rare David Bowie Music to Premiere on BBC Doc - Rolling Stone
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Rare David Bowie Music to Premiere on BBC Doc

“Space Oddity” demo, singer’s version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to get official debut on ‘The People’s History of Pop’

David Bowie; BBC Show; Music; HistoryDavid Bowie; BBC Show; Music; History

A collection of unreleased David Bowie music is set to feature in the second episode of the BBC4 docuseries 'The People’s History Of Pop.'

Terry O'Neill/Getty

A collection of unreleased David Bowie music is set to feature in the second episode of the BBC4 docuseries The People’s History Of Pop.

Among the rarities unearthed for the program include Bowie’s demo for “Space Oddity” featuring a different set of lyrics, a warped version of the singer’s early single “The Laughing Gnome” and his version of the Frank Sinatra staple “My Way” featuring lyrics co-written by Bowie.

A BBC spokesperson confirmed to NME, “The program is still being made, but we can confirm that there will be some rare and special Bowie material in it.” The Bowie episode of The People’s History Of Pop, which also features a look at Pink Floyd, T. Rex and Bob Marley, airs in July. The four-part series’ first episode focused on the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Bowie’s version of “My Way” actually precedes the rendition popularized by Sinatra: In 1968, Bowie’s music publisher had the then-unknown singer pen English lyrics for Claude François and Jacques Revaux’s “Comme d’habitude,” the basis of the song “My Way.”

As Bowie explained on his episode of VH1 Storytellers, his lyrics were immediately rejected – Paul Anka eventually wrote the lyrics for Sinatra’s classic take later that year – but Bowie’s stab at the track has been oft-bootlegged, albeit officially unreleased:

Bowie also admitted that his Hunky Dory favorite “Life on Mars?” was heavily influenced by “Comme d’habitude” and Sinatra’s rendition.

In addition to unearthing lost Bowie cuts, The People’s History of Pop is crowdsourcing forgotten ephemera of the era to show on the program.

Editor’s Note: The original post featured audio that was not David Bowie’s version of “My Way.” The audio has been removed and Rolling Stone apologizes for the error. 

Lady Gaga transformed into many David Bowies for a celebratory homage to the late star’s career at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Watch here.

In This Article: David Bowie


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