On January 8 — what would have been David Bowie’s 73rd birthday — Parlophone announced the latest releases in their ongoing series celebrating the rare and unreleased performances from the vault, and fans who appreciate a dramatic unfolding are in for a treat.
David Bowie Is It Any Wonder? is the title of the six-track EP of rare and previously unreleased material that will be rolled out track-by-track over the next six weeks. The first selection on the EP is an intimate 1996 recording of “The Man Who Sold The World.” It hit streaming services today and also acts as a preview to another new collection, ChangesNowBowie, a nine-track session originally broadcast on the BBC on Bowie’s 50th birthday.
The fascinating, stripped-down take was recorded at New York’s Looking Glass Studios in November 1996 during rehearsals for Bowie’s star-studded 50th birthday concert and sees Bowie teaming up with Gail Ann Dorsey (bass, vocals), Reeves Gabrels (guitar), and Mark Plati (keyboards). The ChangesNowBowie session will see its own standalone release on CD and LP for Record Store Day on April 18. Be on the look out for the stunning black-and-white cover as you browse the stacks of your favorite brick-and-mortar shop.
Keep checking back with The Second Disc as more tracks are released and more news unfolds about David Bowie Is It Any Wonder?, the new digital collection of rarities that promises to be a wild ride! And keep scrolling for the CHANGESNOWBOWIE track list.
UPDATE 1/17/20: The second installment of Is It Any Wonder? was released on digital providers. “I Can’t Read ’97” is an revisited version of the song that originally appeared on Tin Machine’s 1989 debut. The track nearly ended up on Earthling but was pulled and later edited for inclusion in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. That version was released as a CD single, but this alternate version makes its debut on Is It Any Wonder? You can check out the music video for “I Can’t Read ’97” below.
UPDATE: 1/24/20: The third track on Is It Any Wonder? has been announced. “Stay ’97,” The previously unreleased 1997 re-recording of the Station to Station cut was begun during the pre-Earthling tour rehearsals. David Bowie’s desire for the tour was to update some of his classics to fit alongside his more recent material. Bowie, Mark Plati and Reeves Gabrels prepared the sequencers and backing tracks before completing the recording in New York for a potential B-side. The new recording features Gail Ann Dorsey on bass and vocals, Mike Garson and Plati on keyboards, Zachary Alford on drums, and Gabrels on guitar and synths. This updated “Stay” is available to stream on Spotify and YouTube. Scroll down and enjoy!
David Bowie, Is It Any Wonder? (Parlophone/Rhino, 2020)
- The Man Who Sold The World (ChangesNowBowie Version)
- I Can’t Read ’97
- Stay ’97
David Bowie, CHANGESNOWBOWIE (Record Store Day 2020 Exclusive) (Parlophone/Rhino, 2020)
- The Man Who Sold the World
- The Supermen
- Andy Warhol
- Lady Stardust
- White Light/White Heat
- Shopping for Girls
- Aladdin Sane