Official Press Release by Virgin/EMI USA
15th September 2009
New 2CD & Digital Editions Add 15 Tracks to Digitally Remastered 1969 Album, Including 8 Previously Unreleased Demos, Alternate Mixes and a BBC Radio Performance; Original Album to be Reissued on Limited Edition 180-gram Vinyl
Hollywood, California – August 14, 2009 (updated 9/15: release date change) – Following the July release of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity (40th Anniversary)’ digital EP and iPhone application, Virgin/EMI will release an expanded 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Bowie’s classic 1969 Space Oddity album on November 17. To be available in a deluxe 2CD package and for digital download from all major digital service providers, the commemorative edition adds 15 tracks to the digitally remastered original album, including 8 previously unreleased demos, alternate mixes and a BBC Radio performance. On the same date, the original album will also be reissued on limited edition 180-gram vinyl.
First released on November 14, 1969, Space Oddity was originally titled Man Of Words/Man Of Music in the U.S. The album was re-titled Space Oddity when it was reissued in 1972, peaking at #16 on Billboard’s Albums chart.
Produced by Tony Visconti (except for the title track, which was produced by the late Gus Dudgeon), the album was a giant leap forward in songwriting for Bowie and is considered by many to be the first truly essential David Bowie album. Also notable for its collaborators, including session players Herbie Flowers, Tim Renwick, Terry Cox and Rick Wakeman, the album delves into psychedelic folk-rock, as well as prog, with its genre-defying template creating a blueprint of the musician who would become, over the next decade and more, one of the world’s most innovative and inimitable artists.
The 2CD 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Space Oddity is packaged in a digipak with an extensive booklet featuring rare photographs, memorabilia, sleeve notes and a chronology by Kevin Cann.
Disc 1 features the original album, remastered from the original analog master tapes, and Disc 2 adds 15 bonus tracks, of which eight are previously unreleased, including two ultra-rare demos.
David Bowie: Space Oddity (40th Anniversary Special Edition) (2CD, digital)
Disc 1 (original album tracklist)
1. Space Oddity
2. Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed
3. Letter To Hermione
4. Cygnet Committee
6. An Occasional Dream
7. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud
8. God Knows I’m Good
9. Memory Of A Free Festival
CD 2 (bonus tracks)
1. Space Oddity (demo) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
One of the earliest known demos of “Space Oddity,” recorded with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson around January 1969, although exact details of its recording date are unknown. Previously unreleased and never bootlegged.
2. An Occasional Dream (demo) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Another demo recorded with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson in March/April 1969 (exact details of its recording date are unknown). Previously unreleased and never bootlegged.
3. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single B-side)
Produced by Tony Visconti. Rare alternate version featuring the Paul Buckmaster introduction recorded at Trident Studio in June 1969. Released as B-side to “Space Oddity” in July 1969.
4. Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC Radio session, D.L.T. Show)
5. Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed (BBC Radio session, D.L.T. Show) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
6. Janine (BBC Radio session, D.L.T. Show)
Tracks 4-6 produced by Paul Williams. Engineered by Pete Ritzema. Recorded at Studio 2, Aeolian Hall, New Bond Street, London. Recorded for the D.L.T. (Dave Lee Travis) Show on October 20, 1969 and broadcast on October 26, 1969. “Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed” was the only recording from this session broadcast at the time, however it has remained unreleased commercially until now. While not broadcast at the time, both “Let Me Sleep Beside You” and “Janine” were previously released in 2000 on Virgin/EMI’s Bowie At The Beeb collection.
7. London Bye Ta-Ta (stereo version)
Produced by Tony Visconti. Recorded at the same Trident Studio Session as “The Prettiest Star” in January 1970. Originally scheduled as the follow-up single to “Space Oddity,” this stereo version was previously only available on Bowie’s Sound & Vision 4CD box set. An earlier version was recorded on March 12, 1968 at Decca Studios as a possible single B-side.
8. The Prettiest Star (stereo version)
Produced by Tony Visconti. The original mono single version was recorded at Trident Studio in January and released in March 1970 on Mercury Records as the follow-up single to “Space Oddity.” This stereo version was previously only available on David Bowie: The Best Of 1969/1974. The song itself was later re-recorded in 1973 for the Aladdin Sane album.
9. Conversation Piece (stereo version) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Produced by Tony Visconti. A previously unreleased stereo mix of a track previously featured in mono on the B-side of “The Prettiest Star,” released in March 1970. Bowie re-recorded the song during 2000’s Toy sessions, with that version seeing the light of day in 2002 on the bonus CD that came with initial copies of Heathen.
10. Memory Of A Free Festival (Part 1) (single A-side)
11. Memory Of A Free Festival (Part 2) (single B-side)
Produced by Tony Visconti. Parts 1 and 2 of this electric version were re-recorded from the album at Advision Studios in April 1970 and released as a single on Mercury Records in June 1970. Both parts of the single were previously available on the EMI/Ryko reissue of Space Oddity in 1990.
12. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (alternate album mix) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Produced by Tony Visconti, engineered by Ken Scott, Malcolm Toft, & Barry Sheffield. A previously unreleased mix of the full band album version.
13. Memory Of A Free Festival (alternate album mix) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Produced by Tony Visconti. Engineered by Ken Scott, Malcolm Toft and Barry Sheffield.
This previously unreleased mix of the album version clocks in more than two minutes longer than the original mix.
14. London Bye Ta-Ta (alternate stereo mix) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Produced by Tony Visconti. Recording details same as track 7. Previously unreleased version.
15. Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (full-length stereo version) [PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED]
Produced by Gus Dudgeon and Claudio Fabi. With an eye on the European market, this Italian version of “Space Oddity,” translated as “Lonely Boy, Lonely Girl,” was recorded at Morgan Studios on December 20, 1969 and released in Italy in 1970. The single version previously appeared on Rare LP in 1983, but this version is previously unreleased.