More demos from 1969: Space Oddity / Lover To The Dawn / Ching-A-Ling / Occasional Dream / Let Me Sleep Beside You / Life Is A Circus.
Celebrating the phenomenal career of the rock legend David Bowie - and the 50th year since his first hit “Space Oddity” - hot on the heels of the recent release of ‘Spying Through A Keyhole’ collection, Parlophone is set to further commemorate this 50th anniversary with a 7″ vinyl singles boxed set of six home demos, four of which are previously unreleased recordings called ‘Clareville Grove Demos’ on May 17th. This set further documents the earliest stages of Bowie’s journey and development as an artist and songwriter.
Recorded in January of 1969 in Bowie’s flat in Clareville Grove, London, this live to tape demo session features him performing as a duo with John “Hutch” Hutchinson following the end of the Feathers trio which featured Bowie’s then girlfriend Hermione Farthingale.
The photography that adorns the box’s cover and the print inside is by Bowie’s then manager Ken Pitt and was taken in the Clareville Grove flat he had shared with Farthingale. Bowie’s short haired look was due to him filming his role in the movie The Virgin Soldiers and is reminiscent of the “Berlin era” look ten years later.
As with the ‘Spying Through A Keyhole’ vinyl singles boxed set, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way Bowie sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles themselves are all mono and play at 45 RPM.
1A: “Space Oddity” – Now featuring the final lyrics, this version of the demo first appeared on the long deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary 2 CD release, and is making it’s debut on vinyl and predates the February 2nd Morgan Studios recording that featured in the unbroadcast Love You Till Tuesday television film.
1B: “Lover To The Dawn” – This song aimed at a former lover would eventually morph into “Cygnet Committee” recorded for the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album later in the year.
2A: “Ching-a-Ling” – Previously recorded in October 1968 by the trio Turquoise featuring Bowie, Farthingale, and Tony Hill (who became Feathers when Hutchinson replaced Hill). Bowie and Hutchinson continued to perform the song as a duo following Farthingale’s departure.
2B: “An Occasional Dream” – Slightly different lyrically to the later album version, this version of the demo also first appeared on the deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary release.
3A: “Let Me Sleep Beside You” – A studio version was first recorded in September 1967 but remained unreleased until The World Of David Bowie album in 1970. The song was later recorded in session for the BBC in October 1969 and was one Bowie clearly believed in, recording it once more for the unreleased Toy album 30 years later. That version finally saw the light of day on the Nothing Has Changed 3 CD set in 2014.
3B: “Life Is A Circus” – A cover of an obscure song written by Roger Bunn recorded by vocal/instrumental quartet Djinn. Vocals are shared Simon and Garfunkel style by Bowie and Hutchinson.