If you're saving up for any of the exclusive vinyl titles available at the final David Bowie Is exhibition in Brooklyn announced earlier this week, make a little more space in the budget for the trio of Bowie titles announced for this year's Record Store Day (April 21, 2018). A host of rare and unreleased material will be made available on these discs, including an unreleased live show and a different version of the first rarity we heard from the Bowie camp this year.
First up is Welcome to the Blackout, a triple live album taken from Bowie's Isolar II World Tour in 1978, to promote Low and "Heroes". The singer ended the second, European leg of the tour with a trio of sold-out gigs at Earls Court in London from June into July, and while RCA's mobile truck was on hand to record the dates, it was ultimately the live compilation Stage that became the first representation of the tour for mass audiences. Bowie and David Richards did, however, mix the tapes into a potential project in Montreux, Switzerland in the winter of 1979; that arrangement from the June 30 and July 1 shows is Welcome to the Blackout.
The performance features Bowie's expanded band, with core members Carlos Alomar (rhythm guitar, George Murray (bass) and Dennis Davis (drums) joined by heavy-hitters including Adrian Belew on guitar, Hawkwind's Simon House on electric violin, Utopia's Roger Powell on keyboards and Sean Mayes on piano and string ensemble. (This band would follow Bowie to Montreux for the recording of Lodger in 1979.) None of this material has ever appeared on a Bowie-sanctioned release, although "Sound and Vision" (making its live debut) ended up on the unofficial 1995 collection RarestOneBowie. Photography by Sukita and Chris Walter is featured in the trifold inner sleeve.
The Bowie camp celebrated David's birthday in 2018 with the digital unveiling of his original demo to the smash hit "Let's Dance." A longer version of that demo, as newly mixed by original producer Nile Rodgers, will make its physical debut for RSD on a new 12" single. It'll be paired with a rare live version of the same song, mixed by Bob Clearmountain and featured on the Serious Moonlight concert film.
Finally, for rarity seekers and fans of Bowie's Berlin trilogy, the 1978 promo album Bowie Now gets its first commercial reissue. This disc, pressed on white vinyl, features album tracks from Low and "Heroes," all sourced from Tony Visconti's remasters of the albums as featured in last year's box set A New Career In a New Town. The package is expanded to feature a new inner sleeve with a rarely seen image of the singer in Berlin in 1977.
You can review the contents of all three sets below, and make sure to look for these at your favorite indie store on April 21!
Welcome to the Blackout (Live London '78) (Parlophone, 2018)
- What In the World
- Be My Wife
- The Jean Genie
- Sense of Doubt
- Speed of Life
- Sound and Vision
- Breaking Glass
- Beauty and the Beast
- Five Years
- Soul Love
- Hang On to Yourself
- Ziggy Stardust
- Suffragette City
- Art Decade
- Alabama Song
- Station to Station
- TVC 15
- Rebel Rebel
Produced by David Bowie. Recorded live at Earls Court, London - 6/30-7/1/1978 by Tony Visconti. Mixed by David Bowie and David Richards at Mountain Studios, Montreux, 1/17-22/1979
David Bowie - vocals, chamberlain
Carlos Alomar - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Adrian Belew - lead guitar, backing vocals
Dennis Davis - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Simon House - electric violin
Sean Mayes - piano, string ensemble, backing vocals
George Murray - bass guitar, backing vocals
Roger Powell - keyboards, synthesizer, backing vocals
Let's Dance (Full-Length Demo) (7:34) b/w Let's Dance (Live) (4:34) (Parlophone, 2018)
Track 1 produced and arranged by David Bowie and Nile Rodgers. Mixed by Nile Rodgers and Russell Graham at Le Crib Studios, November 2017. Recorded on 12/19/1982 at Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland by David Richards. Edit released as Parlophone digital single, 2018
Track 2 recorded live at Pacific National Exhibition Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada - 9/12/1983. Mixed by Bob Clearmountain. Released on Serious Moonlight (Pioneer Artists VHS PA-84-097, 1984) and Parlophone single IC30419 (AUS), 2015
Bowie Now (originally released as RCA DJL1-2697 (U.S.), 1978 - reissued Parlophone, 2018)
- V-2 Schneider
- Always Crashing In the Same Car
- Sons of the Silent Age
- Breaking Glass
- Speed of Life
- Joe the Lion
- What In the World
- Weeping Wall
- The Secret Life of Arabia
Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 from "Heroes" (RCA Victor PL 12522 (U.K.)/AFL1-2522 (U.S.), 1977)
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 from Low (RCA Victor PL 12030 (U.K.)/CPL1-2030 (U.S.), 1977)
Niclas engquist says
This looks very interesting Where can i buy this?
Joe Marchese says
These are exclusive releases available on Record Store Day (Saturday, April 21) at independent music retailers. Visit recordstoreday.com for more information!
Brian from Canada says
Hopefully, the Blackout album will be released later on CD — much like last year's Los Angeles 74 show. My local RSD shop puts all the releases from decent artists/well known ones aside for auction/repricing before the day even begins. 🙁