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David Bowie / Clareville Grove Demos / seven-inch vinyl box set

3 x 7″ vinyl box • plus Pinups picture disc announced for RSD

Following the recent Spying Through A Keyhole announcement, Parlophone are to release another seven-inch vinyl box set of David Bowie demos, called Clareville Grove Demos.

The set will contain home demos across three seven-inch singles. These were recorded in 1969 in David’s flat in Clareville Grove, London (hence the name) and this live to tape demo session features David performing as a duo with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson following the end of the Feathers trio, which featured David’s then girlfriend Hermione Farthingale.

Amongst the tracks are another demo of ‘Space Oddity’ (which was previously on the 2CD deluxe of the Space Oddity/David Bowie album), ‘Lover to the Dawn’ (an early version of the same album’s ‘Cygnet Committee’) and a demo of ‘An Occasional Dream’.

Box set photography is by Bowie’s then manager, Ken Pitt and as with the Spying Through A Keyhole, the design of each single label is presented to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles are all mono and play at 45 rpm.

A released date hasn’t been confirmed yet for the Clareville Grove Demos box set, but in other Bowie news there will be a Pinups vinyl picture disc issued for this year’s Record Store Day, which is on 13 April.

Single 1

Side A

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 now making its debut on vinyl. It predates the 2nd February Morgan Studios recording that featured in the Love You Till Tuesday television film.

Side B

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.

 

Single 2

Side A

Ching-a-Ling

Previously recorded in October 1968 by the trio Turquoise featuring David, Hermione and Tony Hill (who became Feathers when Hutch replaced Hill). David and Hutch continued to perform the song as a duo following Hermione’s departure.

Side B

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.

 

Single 3

Side A

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 a song David 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.

Side B

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 David and Hutch.

50 responses to David Bowie / Clareville Grove Demos / seven-inch vinyl box set

  1. Ross Baker says:

    I don’t think there’d be much issue with these 7″ box releases if they were released in this format along with a ‘standard’ release, ie an LP or a CD edition. There will always be someone interested in a collectors’ edition, but there will be people buying this set because they don’t know that anything is coming afterwards (and we’ve not had a confirmation yet). It’s very hard not to be cynical towards the label in this scenario, and it’s sad that this is becoming an industry standard.

  2. Sean says:

    Lets look on the bright side – with all the releases still emerging from the Bowie back catalogue, there remains a glimmer of hope that the missing Man Who Fell To Earth soundtrack might appear one day. A nice companion to Low.

  3. Ian McJannet says:

    I grew up with Bowie during the 70’s and LOVED Ziggy (In my opinion ‘Hunky Dory’ was his pinnacle) especially the very underrated ‘Bewlay Brothers….
    but I seriously believe the record company that keeps churning these things out are besmirching his legacy .. Shame on them !!!!!

  4. Cosmo Castanza says:

    I haven’t opened and played any of the huge cd box sets yet so decided to go cold turkey and bought no music in 2019……..the only resolution I have kept to.

    I enjoyed the documentary but have no desire to buy this.

    If it is worth allowing the fans to hear and purchase , odd it takes exactly 50 years for this decision says the cynic in me.

  5. DutchDean says:

    Re: BOWIE releases… I am more excited by this CD.
    “Just A Gigolo” Soundtrack – finally getting a CD release on March 15th 2019.
    The soundtrack also features rarer late recordings by Marlene Dietrich, The Manhattan Transfer and the Village People.
    The soundtrack features an exclusive contribution from Bowie, who composed and recorded the ‘The Revolutionary Song’ between scenes, playing most of the instruments. Three different versions of the song were produced for the film, two featuring Bowie on vocals (parts 1 & 3)..Amazingly, despite Bowie’s involvement, the accompanying soundtrack album has never been reissued on CD
    Tracklisting:
    1. JUST A GIGOLO – Marlene Dietrich
    2. SALOME – The Pasadena Roof Orchestra
    3. THE REVOLUTIONARY SONG (Part 1) – The Rebels
    4. JOHNNY – The Manhattan Transfer
    5. THE STREETS OF BERLIN – The Gunther Fischer Orchestra
    6. CHARMAINE – The Pasadena Roof Orchestra
    7. JUST A GIGOLO (Instrumental ⓠPiano) – Marlene Dietrich
    8. DONâ™T LET IT BE TOO LONG – Sydne Rome
    9. THE RAGTIME DANCE – The Ragtimers
    10. JEALOUS EYES – The Manhattan Transfer
    11. THE REVOLUTIONARY SONG (Part 2) – The Rebels
    12. I KISS YOUR HAND, MADAME – The Manhattan Transfer
    13. JUST A GIGOLO (Outtake) – Marlene Dietrich
    14. KISSING TIME – The Gunther Fischer Quintet
    15. BLACK BOTTOM – The Pasadena Roof Orchestra
    16. THE REVOLUTIONARY SONG (Part 3) – The Rebels
    17. AUF WIEDERSEHEN GIGOLO – Marlene Dietrich & Choir
    18. JEALOUS EYES – The Barnabus Orchestra
    19. EASY WINNERS – The Ragtimers
    20. THE REVOLUTIONARY SONG (Part 4 – Instrumental) – The Rebels
    21. JUST A GIGOLO – I AINâ™T GOT NOBODY – Village People
    22. JUST A GIGOLO (Club Mix) – Marlene Dietrich

  6. Brett says:

    As a fan who (rightly or wrongly) already made the decision some years ago to leave vinyl behind and go digital/CD, these niche releases are getting more than a little frustrating. They’re expensive and impractical, and I don’t know why the manufacturers can’t just throw in a CD with the equivalent contents on it for convenience sake if nothing else. Hell, I might even buy these things if they did that.

  7. Kim Sang Min says:

    It seems another copyright extension release like previous 7″ box set. But 15 demos on two separate box set? Man… Dylan’s 50th Anniversary things are much better than this, despite it’s too expensive.

  8. Michael John says:

    This whole debate is so obviously subjective, including format and content. Personally, I’m in. I like that the 7” box looks to be a continuing series. It’s a unique format, at least for Bowie, and distinguishes itself from ordinary CD/LP offerings. Glad to see they’re also not picture discs and appreciate the aesthetics of the replicated ‘hand written’ jackets. These, again, to me, are pretty cool. No issues with those who feel differently.

    Not sure the “if Bowie were alive” speculation is valid. Bowie had time to care for how he wanted to his legacy to be handled. I’d be very surprised he didn’t put a plan together for releases after he passed. Don’t forget that the singles pic discs, album boxes and David Is geo specific (and limited) releases all started when he was still with us.

  9. Wayne Olsen says:

    Pass. I’m not going to live long enough to listen to everything the estate is shoveling out

  10. B K says:

    The Bowie Estate is getting a bit ridiculous. How many posthumous releases has there been to date since David’s passing? It seems like every week there’s a new announcement for more Bowie. Enough already!

    • Daniel from Adelaide says:

      Then don’t buy them. Simple really.

      Personally I can’t wait for this one. It looks great – I’ll be grabbing it.

  11. Gareth Moses says:

    I’m very happy about these Bowie 7″ box-sets; rare music I don’t have in a nicely designed set. Much rather have these than picture discs of albums most people already have.

  12. Gorecki says:

    Does anybody get the feeling the Toy album might be getting closer to an official release in the not too distant future (as in within the few years). Something about the acknowledgment of its existence and being there, now sat on a computer system, in the recent Finding Fame doc just made me think….

  13. Marky P says:

    My view is that I’m all for choice.
    If you want it then buy it and if you don’t then save your cash.
    I’ll be buying the 7” set and not Pin-Ups pic disc as that’s not for me.

  14. AlexKx says:

    Lol. You people are funny.

  15. Gisabun says:

    I wonder how more of the 7″ vinyl box sets are on the way. This could be never ending. I’m hoping Palophone will learn that not everyone can afford to dish out money for so many box sets in a year.
    As others mentioned in previous posts elsewhere, there is still plenty they can pilfer the fans’ money. Box set for the 1990s, 2000s, video box set or two. Throw in maybe CD versions of all these 7″ vinyl box sets [I can see them dumping them into one huge/expensive box sets and throw in a few tracks that weren’t in the vinyl release].

  16. Julian Stockton says:

    The ones Nicholas Pegg is referring to are known as ‘The Mercury Demos’, these are not those.

  17. Matteo Leoni says:

    Looks like those songs were not actually recorded at Clareville Grove, according to Nicholas Pegg:
    https://twitter.com/NicholasPegg/status/1095631373283610625

    • Julian Stockton says:

      Am afraid he’s not correct (again), these demos pre-date ‘The Mercury Demos’ by a few months. These were recorded in January and the one he’s referring to were recorded in April of that year.

    • christian says:

      Since updated (below).
      I was initially a little annoyed that this appeared to be the incomplete bedroom tape, but it transpires it’s a separate tape altogether.
      I’m still not 100% convinced though that these were not recorded at Foxgrove Road, despite Nicholas Pegg’s conversion and subsequent twitter update.

      “Ah. Oops. I‘m now reliably informed that the 1969 tracks to be released under the title ‘Clareville Grove Demos’ are not the same recordings as the ones I was on about. So while everything I said before about the provenance of that tape is still true – this is a different tape!”

  18. Gavin says:

    Due next month,”Bowie trips on the pavement walking to the Spar”.
    Side A “Bugger me”. “Side B “The council should do something about that”.
    Hoping for boxset version.

  19. David R says:

    They’ll probably end up on a boot album at Some point vinyl and CD..tho I know it’s not a RSD release but about that subject of RSD..the unannounced Pink Floyd 1965 recordings on 7″ which now sells for £350 quid upwards..has seen the light on a 12″ clear Vinyl boot..which I have sounds amazing.. paid £21 quid for it..the only way I could afford it..plus I couldn’t stretch to £350 quid..as for these Bowie sets are expensive and they should have been released on a LP.. even on CD too..I have 7″ box sets their hardly ever played..I prefer LP and CD…I’m a Bowie fan but will avoid these sets..but completest will go for them

  20. Nuno Bento says:

    Yet one more release that I’ll boycott. I hope more people will follow and Parlophone learn their lesson, once and for all.

  21. Johnny L says:

    I’m never going to complain about unreleased Bowie material seeing the light of day (even if I’m unimpressed by this particular format). As we’re never going to get new Bowie, I’m more than happy to be able to hear ‘new old’ Bowie.
    That said, if you’re going to release this material, at least make it complete. Four other songs were recorded in this session – Janine, Conversation Piece, cover version Love Song, and I’m Not Quite (which is an early version of Letter to Hermione – a not insignificant song in Bowie’s canon). Perhaps they’re being saved for CD or digital release, or a deluxe anniversary release in 10 years time…
    Lover to the Dawn is wonderful, by the way, outshining Cygnet Committee for me. And Let Me Sleep Beside You is, of course, an early gem.

  22. thewildeyedboyfromfreecloud says:

    onthetrail says:
    Nobody wants demos on 7″.

    Speak for yourself. In my opinion, this is the best way to present these demos – in a boxset featuring replicas of acetate singles. Again, unsure why so much negativity, probably because this site has become so very anti-vinyl. Unreleased Bowie music is far more appealing than a crap sounding picture disc to hang on the wall.

    • Bowie spinning in his grave says:

      not all of us have turntables anymore, and dont see the point of getting one in anytime soon. Seems like a massive cash-in on what could be lo-fi recordings. Thank god it’s getting a CD release with the other demos I hope, that’ll give the pro-vinyl lovers something to moan about then.

    • Dogfacedboy says:

      Yes I get the authentic repros of historical artefacts that are these 7″ box sets but as a delivery system of interesting material they fall down. I know that in 6 months a “Bowie:The Early Demos” CD will be on the shelves – probably including the missing songs from the Bowie & Hutch tape (which would make a nicer RSD LP on its own) making these “nice to look at\never play” items.

      Needledrop and off to Ebay you pop

    • onthetrail says:

      No anti-vinyl from me but I think I speak for most people (my apologies for speaking for us all) in saying that we don’t want what should be an archival release pressed on 7″, especially across two very hefty priced boxes (I assume this latest one will be around the £35 mark). Northward of £70 for 15 demos? You can’t surely suggest that makes sense? Not with a straight face anyway.

      I agree about the music itself being of far greater appeal than a PD but presented as 7″ is barmy and most fans are saying so on many different forums. The idea is being roundly ridiculed and rightly so. It is a cash grab choice and has nothing to do with the best presentation. If it were then all of the artists out there would be doing and they are not.

    • Catweazle says:

      Agreed, but I’ll buy the pic disc as well!

  23. darrenbriscoe says:

    Albums yes! 7″ demos….a resounding NO!!!! One cash in too far for this fan….

  24. Caroline says:

    So, that’s 15 demo songs from 1969 across 2 box sets. It’s an awfully fan-unfriendly way to beat the 50 year copyright rule…

  25. poptones says:

    Cash machine. Two separate box sets instead of releasing one with all 7” singles!

    Frankly this would be more interesting if Parlophone released all Bowie’s 7” singles by era (like The Who did). IMO they should have waited for the end of the albums box sets campaign (with Loving the Alien we’re in the middle of Bowie’s career) and then start a new 7” box set campaign with these early demos and then Bowie’s entire 7” discography.

  26. Steve W says:

    Following the excellent Finding Fame documentary on Monday I’m more interested in these than I would usually be but I still think I’ll wait until the are collected later. It’s a nice package though.

  27. onthetrail says:

    And it continues. Nobody wants demos on 7″. For pities sake Parlo£hone know the fan base.

    • Tippy says:

      Completely agree with you onthetrail. The tracks comprising these two box sets should have been a 12″ ‘mini-album’.

    • Stuart Ansell says:

      If no one buys them, they’ll probably not make any more. I suspect people will buy them, as the company aren’t stupid. Personally they’re not really for me, and that’s fine. As they’re going to be released on CD at some point anyway, I don’t see much point in getting all frothy at the mouthy about it.

  28. Steven Roberts says:

    And here come’s another (!) release that would never have seen the light of day had David still been alive.

    FFS.

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