Forty-four years to the day after David Bowie first performed at Glastonbury (then known as the Glastonbury Fair rather than today's Festival), Parlophone Records has announced the first in a new series of box sets which will eventually span his entire career. Five Years: 1969-1973, named of course after the opening track of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, will be available on September 25 in 12-CD or 13-LP configurations, containing all of the core material (ten albums' worth!) officially released by Bowie during the first five years of his "proper" solo career. (His Deram recordings are not included in this set.) Both the CD and LP boxes include new remasters; the CD version contains material never before available in the format.
At the heart of the box set are the six original albums released during this period. David Bowie (a.k.a. Space Oddity), The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory and Pin Ups will all be presented in new 2015 remasters. Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane will be heard in previously-available remasters. Live: Santa Monica 1972 and the Ziggy Stardust motion picture soundtrack are also included. All of the discs are housed in faithfully-recreated mini-LP sleeves, and the actual discs will be gold rather than silver.
Exclusive to both the CD and 180-gram LP box sets will be a new 2-CD, 24-track compilation entitled Re:Call 1, boasting non-album singles, single versions and B-sides. Re:Call 1 features a previously unreleased single edit of "All The Madmen," which was originally set for a U.S. release but remained unissued. Also included is the original version of "Holy Holy," which was only ever released on the original 1971 Mercury Records single and hasn't been officially available since. Also exclusive to all editions of Five Years 1969 - 1973 is the 2003 stereo remix of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by the album's original co-producer, Ken Scott, previously only available on DVD as part of the album's 40th anniversary DVD/LP package. Re:Call 1 and the 2003 mix of Ziggy Stardust feature newly created original artwork.
A 128-page book will accompany the CD version of Five Years, while the LP edition will have an 84-page book. Both books will feature rarely seen photos as well as technical notes about each album from producers Tony Visconti and Ken Scott, an original press review for each album, and a short foreword by The Kinks' Ray Davies.
Five Years 1969-1973 is due on September 25 from Parlophone Records on CD, LP and DD. Pre-order links are not yet active, but watch this space!
David Bowie, Five Years 1969-1973 (Parlophone DBX1/DBXL1, 2015)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Vinyl: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
- David Bowiek.a. Space Oddity (New 2015 Remaster)
- The Man Who Sold the World (New 2015 Remaster)
- Hunky Dory (New 2015 Remaster)
- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
- Aladdin Sane
- Pin Ups (New 2015 Remaster)
- Live Santa Monica '72
- Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture Soundtrack (2 CDs)
- The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (2003 Ken Scott Mix)
- Re:Call 1 (2 CDs)
- Space Oddity (original UK mono single edit)*
- Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud (original UK mono single version)*
- Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola
- The Prettiest Star (original mono single version)*
- Conversation Piece*
- Memory of a Free Festival (Part 1)
- Memory of a Free Festival (Part 2)
- All the Madmen (mono single edit)* previously unreleased
- Holy Holy (original mono single version)* only ever issued on original '71 Mercury single
- Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns single version)*
- Hang On To Yourself (Arnold Corns single version)*
- Changes (mono single version)*
- Andy Warhol (mono single version)*
- Starman (original single mix)
- John, I'm Only Dancing (original single version)
- The Jean Genie (original single mix)
- Drive-In Saturday (German single edit)
- Round And Round
- John, I'm Only Dancing (sax version)
- Time (U.S. single edit)
- Holy Holy (Spiders version)
- Velvet Goldmine
All tracks stereo except (*) mono.
Wow, the same old boring bonus tracks that have been around since Ryko - with the exception of the original version of Holy Holy, which is nice, but, how many existing fans are going to buy a 12-cd set to get one song?
I already have a vinyl rip of that one song (as do most fans who are collectors; it is commonly traded), and it is nice and all, a perfectly fine version of that song. Not worth getting excited about, but nice.
I am surprised that Bowie has again refused to open the vaults for some new material. I really thought this time he'd do it.
Also, "Sweet Head", "Bombers" and the alternate of "The Supermen" are MIA as well. It's a good thing I can't afford this anyway.
Any word on whether the LPs will have download codes?
Gaz Watson says
i don't think so, i've bought the box and can't find a download code anywhere, which is a bit annoying to be honest.
As usual with these reissues what really matters is the quality of the remaster.
From info currently available it seems these are going to be all new 2015 remasters, except for Aladdin and Ziggy (which have recently been re-re-remastered, so they'll probably use the latest digital master for those).
Also, it seems the label has confirmed that the vinyl version is remastered from analogue.
Neil Wilkes says
And both those 40th anniversary remasters were terrible.
Narrow image, poor phantom centre imaging, nasal sound to the vocals - too much midrange & boxy as all hell. I have much, much better versions already.
Do we yet know who did the remasters? And do we know how much control Bowie has over this?
I remember an interview at the time the "rarestonebowie" album came out & he said that the label should have come to him & he could have given them something really interesting but he suspects they will continue to issue material he has no control over or understanding of.
Never has anyone's back catalogue been so badly handled
John Ryan Horse says
Well, Bowie does own his own catalog (from 1969 on) no? This reminds me of the Stones' remasters from 2009 that do their legacy no good at all, except for the new albums from the 'Some Girls" era. Louder, more compressed. The Rykos may still be the best Bowies.