News

David Bowie 1990s-era box set confirmed for 2021

‘Era 5’ box set will cover 1993 to 2001

In a fairly unusual statement, the official David Bowie website yesterday confirmed that a 1990’s era Bowie box set would be released in 2021.

In general, labels and official channels like to keep release plans very close to their chest, but Bowie’s website points out that “every time we make a post on the official channels regarding new releases, a great number of you use the opportunity to comment on the lack of news regarding the Era 5 set. That’s to be expected and your frustration is understandable.”

They then lay out what has happened to date, which is as below:

Era 1 = Five Years (1969–1973) – Released 2015 = 42 years
Era 2 = Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) – Released 2016 = 40 years
Era 3 = A New Career in a New Town (1977–1982) – Released 2017 = 35 years
Era 4 = Loving the Alien (1983–1988) – Released 2018 = 30 years

DavidBowie.com then posted the following:

“So with the Era 5 box which was originally going to cover the years 1993 to 1999, the plan was to release last year. Though that meant it was only a 20 year gap between ‘hours…’ and the release of the Era 5 box, it was considered a set that many fans were clamouring for due to the titles that hadn’t been released on vinyl originally or were hard to find.

However, we then decided to increase the span of the box up to 2001, so to keep at least a 20 year gap between the last year covered and release date, it means the box won’t now be released till next year.”

This statement confirms that the two Tin Machine albums (issued in 1989 and 1991 respectively) will not form part of the next box set. The five studio albums covered for this era are Black Tie White Noise (1993), The Buddha of Suburbia (1993), 1. Outside (1995), Earthling (1997) and hours (1999). Increasing the span to take ‘Era 5’ from 1999 to 2001 is curious. It doesn’t give us any additional studio albums (the next album after hours was 2002’s Heathen) but it does afford the opportunity for the label to include something like the Live at BBC Radio Theatre performance from June 2000, which is officially unreleased on vinyl and was heavily edited when included as a bonus CD with the Bowie at the Beeb compilation (issued in 2000).

Confirmation that this 1990s box will definitely happen next year also means that any kind of follow-up to last year’s 1969-centric Conversation Piece that centres around The Man Who Sold The World and/or Hunky Dory seems unlikely. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the latter.

Having said all that, we know that Parlophone and the David Bowie Estate simply cannot stop putting out anniversary product – even if they appear to have quietly axed the 40th anniversary seven-inch picture discs, without any word to fans. The final comment on yesterdays’ official statement underlines this commitment to putting out product:

“Of course, that doesn’t mean you won’t be getting anything new until next year. You may have noticed that various other releases have peppered the months in-between the era boxes, including live albums and the Conversation Piece set last year, along with other releases.

Indeed, stay tuned for the announcement of another exciting project before the end of next week.”

Since this update was posted late last night, ‘next week’ means ‘this week’!

What are your thoughts on the prospect of this ‘Era 5’ box set next year? Are you disappointed that Tin Machine won’t feature? Would you rather continue with Conversation Piece type sets and work through the early 1970s? What has happened to the seven-inch picture discs? If you have been collecting them, how do you feel about them just stopping before we get to the Scary Monsters singles? Leave a comment.

Read the full Era 5 update post at DavidBowie.com

124 responses to David Bowie 1990s-era box set confirmed for 2021

  1. Tim Barton says:

    A bit unfortunate that at least the first TM album is not included. I can see why II is not a part of this, although one would expect Parlophone to reach out and get TM II to include in the latest set.

    Still, welcome news that all early 90s material will come together. Doubly excited about a Hunky Dory issue is forthcoming.

  2. WayneUK says:

    6 live 2cd/LPs by Bowie been announced. First released end of October. Live in Dallas from 1995. On his official site you could get a limited edition slip case for the 6 CDs and the same for the LPs but all appear to be sold out already.

  3. Steve says:

    So the Friday Bowie surprise was a Bowie live boxset to collect over the coming months and put in the ‘purchase separately’ and now sold out slipcase.

    • Tim Barton says:

      I am hoping Warner Japan does something about the live box. For the box to be sold barely before I even knew is was coming is irksome. Going back in time, the Toshiba-EMI box from the mid 2000’s is very good to have, and the slip case was issued as an aquire-with-stamps offer, as was the extremely good Sony set. Still among my most precious Bowie CD issues.

      Come on, Warner Japan. Give us the live releases in a slipcase!

  4. freddyk says:

    I just want the following on vinyl without paying extortionate ebay prices, Black Tie, White Noise, Earthling, Hours and the longer version of Outside. I hope we see some separate re-releases.

  5. Keiran82 says:

    Bowie’s 90s output was for me one of my favourite periods, with ‘Black Tie White Noise’ being my guilty pleasure. Would be really interested to see what they come up with for this box set. I do hope the lost ‘Toy’ album makes an appearance, although some of these tracks did find their way onto the ‘Nothing Has Changed’ compilation, it would be nice to hear the album as it was originally intended with the original mixes of ‘Uncle Floyd’ (‘Slip Away’) etc..

  6. Scott Mills says:

    Six live albums from 1995-1999 as limited edition CD & Vinyl sets were just announced!

  7. Iain says:

    include something like the Live at BBC Radio Theatre performance from June 2000, which is “officially unreleased” on vinyl??
    A slip of the pen perhaps….

  8. wahmbeck says:

    I suspect TOYS is not included in the box. TOYS and HEATHEN belong together like little brothers and sisters.
    I could roughly imagine the following compilation:
    1. BLACK TIE …
    2. BLACK TIE … remixes
    3 BUDDHA OF …
    4. OUTSIDE
    5. OUTSIDE unreleased songs (as far as I know “2nd Outside” was finished)
    6. EARTHLING
    7. EARTHLING remixes
    8. HOURS
    9. HOURS – Omikron and Remixes
    10. + 11.: unreleased live album
    12. RE: CALL

  9. DannyH says:

    They should include the Omikron game soundtrack

  10. Matt Kinder says:

    exclusive …the next release will be Shilling the Rubes ep(4 sigma sound era outtakes)

  11. Laura says:

    Wouldn’t get my hopes up concerning Toy because they could just throw in the single B-sides or Nothing Has Changed tracks and call it a day on 2001.

    What will be really interesting about this set, is how they’ll cherry pick the remixes for recall and of course, what album will be the duplicate.

  12. Beechlander says:

    What would be good in terms of the next announcement is an official set of his 50th birthday bash from January 1997. Excellent show with plenty of interesting guests/songs andBowie on full “alt-90s” form. The duet with Robert Smith on Quicksand a highlight. That would tie in with the recent releases from this period that have been mined already (the ChangesNowBowie tracks from the show’s rehearsal sessions and IIAW). Maybe it could be announced/released on the 5th anniversary of his death which is sadly looming next January.

  13. Chris Hanington says:

    Here’s my guess…Tin Machine will get released but in a Conversation Piece sort of way. The big announcement for this week, will be a 40th anniversary box of Scary Monsters with bonus tracks and out takes. The big surprise will be a 5.1 version of Scary Monsters! When I meet Tony I had asked him about 5.1 mixes and he told me he would love to do Scary Monsters!
    Just a guess, but I think it makes complete sense. It could also include the 7″ picture discs of all the singles from the LP.

  14. Richard K says:

    Presuming the final box will go up to Blackstar, does that mean it won’t come out until 2036?

  15. Brian says:

    Sadly I was never in a position to pick up the first set, and thus never picked up any of the boxes (my wife has said she wants to get them all for me, but the cost of the first set alone makes that a near impossibility). I was lucky enough to get my hands on the two live albums from the last box, Dance, even the remix of Station To Station individually ( and had chances to get the ReCall’s and others but had to pass at the time)….

    All that being said, I’m glad this news is out and that the next box is coming. Like most I still need Black Tie White Noise and Buddha to complete my collection. Hopefully I’ll be able to snag any exclusives when someone breaks a box open.

    I wonder if Parlaphone might release Tin Machine 1 by itself, or maybe a Sound + Vision show before Christmas this year like they did with Glastonbury last year.

  16. Shaun says:

    The inclusion of Buddha and Toy would make this box compelling for sure. Initially I though it would be strange to break Toy’s connection to Heathen. However, IF this is to be the last box, then I suppose it makes more sense.

    Also there is a ton of live material to choose from. It will be interesting to see which album(s) get supplemented with a live LP/CD from that era.

  17. Ryk says:

    Glad to hear box set 5 is on its way – the completest in me wants this and #6 to complete the set. The 20-year delay release argument is bollocks for box sets such as these – it would only apply to an anniversary reissue of an individual album.

    During Bowie’s lifetime I only ever purchased 2 of his albums, the compilation ChangesBowie, and Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) – the latter I loved (and personally thought rather un-Bowie-like), so these box sets are a perfect way for me to get his full studio discography (to be honest, I’m not a fan of live stuff, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere on Paul’s site). My only concern is the price; in the past I could choose where in the world I purchased the sets from, but now most places will not ship internationally (Amazon, I’m looking at you), so my choices for purchase might be local, and local means top-dollar prices unfortunately.

    Personally, I’m not at all interested in the picture discs or coloured vinyl (unless they just happen to be part of a box set anyway), and the only expanded album I would be interested in is Scary Monsters. A potential #4.5 set of Tin Machine would be tempting, if only to complete the set.

  18. James says:

    Yes! This is the one I’ve been waiting for, for ages. Really hope Toy is included, signs look good based on some tracks making that compilation few years back.

  19. Dan says:

    There are a lot of demos we know of (and most likely some that we don’t) whose copyright expires on 31st December 2020 under the new 50 year “use it or lose it” copyright rule. Tracks like How Lucky You Are (Miss Peculiar), Tired Of My Life, I’ve Got Lightning, etc. I would guess those tracks will either be streamed and/or released as a small boxed set of vinyl records initially (before the end of this year in order to renew the copyrights) and will then end up on a 50th Anniversary Deluxe ‘Hunky Dory’ at the end of 2021. It makes sense for the next ‘era’ box to cover the end of the Parlophone era, so that the final (?) box set after that covers the Iso/Columbia releases. But will ‘Toy’ get a proper mix and an official release? And which box does it belong in??

  20. martin farnworth says:

    somewhere there is someone weeping over the new there will be no remastered versions of Fame 90 or Real Cool World

  21. OMAR says:

    Would love to see this boxset come to life. Black Tie,Buddha and Outside are amongst my favorites.

  22. Jonathan says:

    Can’t say I’m that bothered about the era 5 box set release but I’ll pick it up at some point as I have the others, but it would be nice to get an official Toy release maybe with some unreleased tracks? Never particularly liked Tin Machine but I think a collected box would be nice for fans. Personally, wouldn’t be too bothered about remixes being reissued but I’d love to hear some of his classic albums in 5.1 or some proper Bowie SDE’s like the Station To Station box. I for one liked the picture discs and was really looking forward to seeing the Scary Monsters ones too, so if they have stopped I’ll be disappointed.

    • Dan says:

      “Never particularly liked Tin Machine but I think a collected box would be nice for fans.”

      Reeves and the Sales brothers have confirmed that the Tin Machine material will not be included in the Bowie boxes.

      • Jonathan says:

        Dan hi I was referring to a separate Tin Machine box (as the material is not included in the “Bowie Era” boxes), not something I’d be interested in but I’m sure there are enough people that’d buy one if released. Cheers.

  23. arndur says:

    I work for a record label and not always do “press releases” tell the full story behind a release. Reasons why certain albums, songs etc are not included in box sets/collections could be many: unavailability of rights to the use of the masters, lack of source material (mis-placed/lost master tapes) etc. In the case of box set Era 5, the whole “20 – 30- 42 year span” is all baloney (malarkey for the Brits ). They need to make up some kind of excuse to justify the logic behind the next box set (Bowie himself would be appalled of this deceitful tactic were he still alive).
    Bowie was a very smart business man and understood the advantage to owning his masters. He (and now his estate) licensed the use of his masters to various labels throughout the years (RCA, EMI, Virgin, Ryko, BMG, Sony etc.) to maximize their value. Licensing deals have variable terms that eventually expire and the rights revert back to Bowie (now his estate). The delay could have been due to the estate waiting for the ownership of certain rights to revert back to them so that those masters can be re-licensed to Parlophone who is now re-issuing all the box sets. Hence why the delay in the release of the box set Era 5.
    Why Tin Machine releases are not included in Era 5?
    – Originally Tin Machine I was released as the last “Bowie” contract album through EMI. That’s why it was included in the 1999 re-issues of the Bowie catalog on EMI/Virgin. Note that Tin Machine II & Oy Vey were not included in said re-issue campaign because originally released through Victory/Polygram, and at the time they still probably had rights to the exploitation of those masters.
    – By looking at iTunes, the copyright line for TM1 indicates that the masters are owned by Parlophone which means that technically they could be included in Box 5. However what would be the point of including one Tin Machine album and not the other two which they don’t have rights to? Add to the fact that Tin Machine were a “group” and many Bowie fans hated that period of his career so why include something that wouldn’t drive the purchase of the casual (not true) fans?
    – Finally, Tin Machine II was just re-released through MOV which further confirms the assignment of rights use (still Victor Ent) as well as the estate’s intention to bypass the Tin Machine era in the box set retrospective.

    So with all that said, the estate’s only viable option was to include 2001 in the box set year-span so they could justify adding the unreleased Toy album (YAY!) as a true value for the set (probably making it exclusive a-la “The Gouster”) as well as other exclusive live albums. All the output from Heathen through Blackstar are still licensed to Sony so not eligible for inclusion.

    My guess as to what the box set will include:

    Black Tie, White Noise 2LP
    Buddah of Surburbia LP
    Outside – 2LP
    Earthling – 1LP
    Hours – 1LP (possibly 2LP considering it’s 46’ long)
    Toy – 1LP
    Live & Well (Bowienet only live album) – 2LP
    Bowie & Beeb Live 2000 (bonus disc from 3CD set) – 2LP
    Re:Call 5 – 3LP

    Considering the plethora of outtakes, b-sides, remixes from the albums in the expanded editions of the below, I expect disappointment in the exclusion of many from the ReCall album.
    BTWN – 12 extra tracks
    Outside – 14 extra tracks
    Earthing – 13 extra tracks
    Hours – 17 extra tracks
    Alternatively, the b-sides & outtakes of these albums could get grouped as companion LPs to each album leaving the remixes for ReCall, which has been what it was intended for. But who knows?

    • Tim Abbott says:

      The B-sides will invariably end up on Re:Call 5, and if the compilers are smart, they’ll limit the remixes to the most interesting, much like Pet Shop Boys only included their own remixes on their reissues. Speaking of which, I can see that the PSB mix of Hallo Spaceboy is more interesting to the Bowie fan than five variations of I’m Afraid Of Americans.

    • Dan says:

      Reeves Gabrels has already confirmed that Tin Machine will be a standalone box set unconnected to the Bowie ‘era’ boxes. Royalty issues are messy – it seems that the Sales brothers are demanding 25% each of songs they didn’t even write.

    • Brad B. says:

      Arndur thanks for this insight and Paul thanks as always for this forum. This seems like a very good assumption of what could potentially be on this particular box set. It does seem like the ‘official announcement’ is not wanting to have to explain to the masses any details such as waiting for rights to expire, and perhaps they contractually aren’t allowed to. For once though it would be nice if maybe someone within the estate or controlling parties would quit operating like the music business used to and perhaps try something different….they don’t have to give day-by-day communication but regular updates good/bad/otherwise that don’t insult the intelligence of the very people willing to give continued support would be a start. I’ll step out of the complaints line for now.

  24. Michael59 says:

    Regarding the Tin Machine albums: I know many people would have liked to see them included in #5 box but personally, I always liked that these album stand a bit aside from the Bowie catalogue. I know it’s mainly licensing reasons (for TMII and the live album) as the first TM album even got a re-release under the Bowie arch, but I do think these albums are a bit different from the rest. Cause of the “democratic” principle, other people singing etc. So no complaint from me that they are not included.

  25. Cordwangler says:

    I suspect the reason the 7″ picture discs have been abandoned is cos they just haven’t been selling well enough or quick enough: Heroes, Zeroes, Beauty And The Beast and Be My Wife from 3 years ago are still available from Amazon Proper (not Marketplace sellers). Not what you’d expect for a ‘limited edition’ and probably not what the rcord company would have expected or wanted.

  26. Todd R. says:

    I’m all for the next box of Bowie, even sans Tin Machine. I’ve always thought DB was very specific about TIN MACHINE and TIN MACHINE II standing on their own merits, outside his solo work. If that is what he wanted, I’ll be understanding here (Maybe one day the two albums and bonus materials might be their own set? ). As for the picture-disc singles? For a while there is was old (with new) on top of new (at the end of his life)… I can barely keep up now! I like to celebrate Mr. Bowie – but sometimes picture disc singles are meant to be more seen than heard (surely they don’t sound as good!) Still, some of the unique b-sides or unreleased mixes etc are treasures to most. I have a few of them, but I can’t imagine trying to “collect them all”!

  27. Neil Jones says:

    All the era box sets have been produced beautifully so far. The design, reproductions, re:call extra content, the books. No reason to believe that the era 5 box should be any different. Looking forward to it. Toy released properly within the box would be great.

  28. Michael59 says:

    Great news! I am looking forward to this release.

    Additionally to the 5 albums (Black Tie, Buddha, Outside, Earthling, Hours) there is a ton of already released material (All Saints, Storyteller, Ouvre, ChangesNow, Wonder, Liveandwell, Air, Beep, Glastonbury) from the era 1993 to 2001.

    I hope they don’t give this already released material into the #5 box but some new and unreleased stuff, like “Toy” or the “Leon” material from 1994/95.

  29. Henrik Tronstad says:

    I will ofcourse buy the vinyl-box as I have all the previous ones.

    But it would seem like there will be no live album from the Sounds and Vision tour which is a huge dissapointment. I guess we may get it on a RSD or something like that…

  30. David Robinson says:

    Tin Machine – do all the rights sit with the Bowie estate yet? Or could that be the announcement ? Including Live it Tokyo, the Hamburg Oh Vey Baby footage …. brilliant stuff Albeit
    BBC Radio Appearance seems to be set up for an announcement this week – DVD + CD;
    Toy – could that be included in the next set? Is that 2001?

    One day could we see a complete BBC box set .

    Picture discs – shame they are stopping – not for me – no longer have the space to keep on buying more and more. If they sell ( and they do ) not sure why the Estate would stop it

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The Estate doesn’t own Tin Machine II or Oy Vey Baby so they’d have to license or buy rights to that completely, to use it.

  31. J Douglas says:

    The comment from Ken A.! on September 22 regarding the Layla 5oth blog post first got me thinking about whether that really was the first one album-only oriented box, then realized how far this market has evolved in 30 years.

    In 1990 it was how can I afford this four disc box and do I really want supplemental music to any album, however beloved. While reading these comments and those for SOTT last week, it seems we now expect/demand everything (including hi-res, but no tat ever – we even have mixed feelings about beautifully produced books) and there seems to be no limit to this appetite. By 2050 will we demand the studio chatter during the recording sessions? If so, the music companies will gladly oblige in the 80th anniversary edition of Layla (but that edition will not include the Fully Immersive 16-Channel Virtually in the Room Hyper Mix that was on the 65th anniversary edition).

    I get it, this is the Internet and if we can’t use it a platform to complain, then what benefit does it provide? But the artist (or estate) should always have the right to share their work as they choose and see fit. In the case of Prince specifically, we would not be granted access to any archival material at all if he was alive. But he is not, so glass half empty because we don’t have the opportunity to see him morph into possibly a Duke Ellington-type band leader and all the music he could have given us with another 20 years or more.

    By all means keep the Era 5 box suggestions coming. The announcement for 2021 may have been a means to elicit suggestions and input from this and other sites. But please remember to be grateful for the music that is shared when the contents are announced. In the end, our choice is to buy or not. And it is okay to not buy. We can still lead a full, happy life without that, or any other, box set.

    All that said, it does not account for music company business ethics re: customers. In that spirit I offer a (hopefully) light-hearted prediction of the announcement later this week, “The David Bowie Estate proudly announces the release of a 7″ picture disc box set that will include each and every one of David’s singles through to and including Scary Monsters, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Scary Monsters in 2020. Please note the Scary Monster picture disc singles from this album will be exclusive to this complete singles box set.”

    • Gruffalo says:

      Doesn’t The Beatles’s Anthology have studio chatter tracks (may be wrong, long time since I listened to them) and Queen’s Live On Air thingy box feels like it has more talk than music. Not in-studio chatter but still not something I’d want to listen over and over and over.

  32. Steve says:

    Literally no one considered the time from the last album in a set and the box’s release. lol. Something they’ve made up that means nothing, just say “It’ll be out next year” which is what we all expected anyway.
    If Toy is in this box then because it was recorded in 2000/2001 that’s fine with me, but as it’s unreleased and therefore has no official release date I reckon it’ll be in the following box with Heathen as an extra.

  33. Keith Brittain says:

    I welcome the Fifth Bowie box, but the big concern with the years elapsed since an album and a box set is super silly. They should include “Heathen” (2002) and “Reality” (2003) since there are only two studio albums beyond 2001 (excluding “Blackstar.”) To make me really happy, they should include a few of the 12 inches left of Box 4, such as “Magic Dance” (won’t hold my breath).

  34. Craig Hedges says:

    Why has there been no visual releases? I know you can watch them on YouTube but I’d really like a Blu-ray of all of Bowie’s videos. Also Blu-rays of the three BBC documentaries

    • Bobby says:

      Can’t remember the specifics, but at a Q&A with Francis Whately (the director of the 3 Bowie docs), he confirmed due to certain rights issues they could never be commercially released unfortunately.

  35. CJ says:

    The 90s was when I got into Bowie, so this set is really exciting for me. I’ve really enjoyed the boxed eras up until this point, but it’s going to be great to have it catch up to when I came on board. “Jump They Say” came out while I was in high school, and I fell in love with Bowie from then on.

  36. Kauwgompie says:

    A few observations:

    1. No one cares about the 20 year or 19 year gap. Complete nonsensical explanation that I used to give my boss when I was in my 20’s and screwed sth up.

    2. They don’t explain why they decided to change from 1993-1999 to 1993-2001, here is my explanation and this ties in with what I said under #1. No one realized till later that all the albums in the 1993-1999 period have already been re-issued with at least 1 bonus disc each (Black Tie had 2) so to release that again, the Era 5 box set has to contain some valuable box-only content to attract fans. Perhaps they are not that unprofessional that they wouldn’t know these albums had already been reissued with lavish bonus content but they underestimated it and realized only later that they needed additional content to attract fans. To do this, they expanded it to 2001.

    3. Am I excited about Era 5 box? Not particularly. I already have The David Bowie “Boxed” set which included Outside, Earthling, Hours, Heathen and Reality. All 5 with a bonus disc. I also did buy the Black Tie 3 disc deluxe reissue. This box will undoubtedly add tracks not on those bonus discs (I should hope) but do I really need that? Whatever bonus material they come up with, it will have to be good but what else is there other than a live disc?

    4. I always thought Tin Machine was stand alone. I’m sure this will be reissued in due time in a Tin Machine only box set: The 2 albums, maybe a disc with outtakes, the live disc and done. Another year covered with a Bowie box because after Era 6 they will be done. So I’m assuming after Era 6, they will continue with the Conversation Piece-like box sets which is fine by me.

    5. I wasn’t interested in the picture discs but it is weird of course to just stop that series without any explanation to fans. Will the next thing they come up with stopped as well without explanation? That’s not very nice to your fans.

  37. Trash says:

    This sounds great to me:

    – Can’t stand Tin Machine (I’ve tried, God how hard I have tried!)

    – Buddha of Suburbia is (to my mind) an underrated release from his catalogue and deserves to be heard more widely AND it will be great to get it on vinyl

    – BTWN is one of my most-played Bowie albums from his later years. I still remember the excitement of seeing the Jump they Say video for the first time (a special preview on some music show, the Tube perhaps?) and thinking “Yes! He’s back!!”.
    I’ve been wanting a vinyl copy for ages but have you seen the prices? The Box set will be justified for that alone.

    – I still have my originals of the others included in the box but it will be interesting to see what treatment they get in terms of Re:Call material.

  38. Philip John Birtwistle says:

    So, some of us are left hoping for a Tin Machine box then….. Hopefully it’ll follow. Conversation Piece was a small set by BowieBox standards, so I’m they can do the same with TM.

  39. Fred Smith says:

    I would be very suprised if ‘Toy’ is included in the set,there’s all those remixes of ‘Jump They Say’ to fill it up instead.

  40. eljay says:

    Its exciting to think we could get a full release of toy possibly with tracks that weren’t on the leak but strongly rumoured to have been recorded, can’t help thinking about me & karma man.
    2001 could also be a red herring covering just a couple of tracks on recall like nature boy. It happened on the lta boxset, 1988 only covering the live Tina Turner tracks.
    Also why isn’t 1992 covered with real cool world?
    It could be a hefty boxset with potentially 6 studio albums, live at bbc theatre 2000, recall at least 2 cds, many 12 inch remixes, the 3 live albums released for streaming, an extra remixed album.
    Interesting what the announcement of a new project could be, hopefully it is tin machine. Or the beginning of a visual series of dvd/bluray.

  41. Mike says:

    Sound and Vision live tour and the Ryko additional tracks will all be missing. So perhaps will be released separately.
    Where is TM1 ?!

  42. daveid76 says:

    I assume they’ve made an album of Toy and that’ll be the 2001 bit.

  43. Mark Porter says:

    If there are rights issues to Tin Machine era why don’t they…
    Release the box with just the normally enclosed book and an album from that era that Bowie owns the full rights to.
    Release the rest separately and we build our own box.

  44. Andre Salles says:

    I know I, for one, have spent many a sleepless night worried that a Bowie box set would be released less than 20 years after the last album it contains. I’m so pleased the estate has put my mind at ease. Now I don’t need to fret about this until 2036!

  45. Poptones says:

    I truly don’t care about the 7″ picture discs series, I’d rather see a release of a 7″ box set (either black or clear vinyl) and CD singles box set of all Bowie’s singles.

    I agree about skiping Tin Machine and starting with the excellent Black Tie White noise. It’s a great era for Bowie. I hope they will include the Bowie 50th anniversary show at Madison Square Garden in 1997. I guess this box set will be a success because most of these albums are hard to find on vinyl. Outside wasn’t even released on vinyl at the time, there was only a shortened version (excerpts of outside) on vinyl. I bought the US ISO Friday white double LP of Outside 5 years ago when it was released and it sounds fantastic. Sadly it had sold out quickly and became very expensive on Discogs and eBay for Bowie fans. Same for Hours. Excellent release from ISO but also sold out after a few weeks and available on import only.

    So this box set is very good news for Bowie fans who will have the chance to buy these LPs for £20 (instead of £200).

    After that, there will be one last box set (2003-2016) and as outside of Re-Call LPs there are no extras or bonuses, I guess they will start a super deluxe edition series for each album?
    They probably have tons of demos, outtakes, complete live sets, etc. Enough material for SDEs. Toni Visconti could also release 5.1 mixes of Bowie’s albums. I read in Visconti’s autobiography, he’s a fan of 5.1 surround sound,

  46. Richard S says:

    Yeah, what DID happen to the 7″ picture discs. I was really looking forward to the next few. Ah well, save a bit of cash I suppose. Plus those stickers over the openings always annoyed me!

  47. Joe says:

    Other then the ludicrous arbitrary explanation regarding the length of time between the release of the album and the box sets, it was goos to get an official update. But as for a box 6, would they even be able to release one, or do the rights to those albums belong to another label?

  48. Stephen says:

    There seems to be some schizophrenia re: whether the Tin Machine albums are “Bowie” albums or not. Remember how originally they were meant to be a proper “group” in their own right with Bowie as just “one of the guys in the band”? But then the CD remasters had Bowie’s name clearly displayed on the spine alongside the mini-pics that made them match his other solo albums. Now, they seem NOT to be Bowie albums again. I wish they’d commit one way or the other…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Regardless of his posturing at the time, they clearly ARE Bowie albums, just under the name ‘Tin Machine’. He wrote most of the songs and sings most of them. Having said that, keeping Tin Machine as a separate box does allow them to side-step the issue completely – and the artist would indeed be ‘Tin Machine’ rather than David Bowie.

      • Stephen says:

        Yes, I agree. I also wonder if they are worried about a potential sales drop-off owing to the general stigma around that era. Skipping it (for now, at least) is probably a safer bet financially in these uncertain times. Even long-terms fans probably aren’t exactly clamouring for an expanded Oy Vey, Baby. (Not having a dig: I quite like that album. Well, some of it.)

  49. John Barleycorn says:

    Maybe they are announcing this new as a way of encouraging fans to reign in their expenditure on a glut of SDEs pre end of the year so they have some remaining for this… canny. Would anyone cancel a pre-order they had on the basis of the Bowie box to come?

  50. Steve says:

    Even though I own two of them, I’m not a big fan of the era box sets. I would much rather have each album celebrated individually with a super deluxe edition in the vein of CONVERSATION PIECE.

  51. mote says:

    I will buy the CD-set and look forward to getting the stand-alone vinyl of Buddha, BTWN and Outside.

    And I hope for a Tin Machine box. The bonus tracks can be gathered on re:CallTM and those who don’t like Tin Machine continue with bowie box 5 and re:Call5 .

  52. Chris Woods says:

    As others have said it is an odd decision to separate Toy from Heathen. Not only were a fair number of the tracks released as b-sides during the Heathen & Reality sessions but ‘Slip Away’ was originally recorded as ‘Uncle Floyd’ for Toy. And most of the rest of the album started in those sessions also.

    They’ve been very definite before that the purpose of these box sets is not to release previously unreleased demos etc so it’s possible that any version of Toy released will only be a compilation of the previously available songs.

    1993-1999 is my least favourite bowie era however this still sounds like it will be fun, especially if we get the BBC concert on vinyl, or with an expanded track list.

  53. Charles says:

    The 20 year gap sounds like hogwash to me. But I’ll be preordering the box set and ready to preorder the next one in whatever random year makes sense to whomever is in charge of these things.

  54. Dennis Mosen says:

    Well dissapoited if they dont keep up the 7 inch 40 anniversary picture discs

    • Mark R says:

      So disappointed in there not being any Scary Monsters 7” singles re-release, especially Ashes To Ashes. It’s the first song that caught my attention as a wee 7 year old.

  55. The Alien says:

    Wonderful news and grateful for the official update, it’s so good to know that they are continuing and to put any uncertainty regarding this to bed.

    Why do they worry so much about the years decreasing exponentially, though? What mental gymnastics and twisted logic did it take to come up with that statement? I’m more concerned about other things – like the sudden, strange 2 year gap in between boxes 4 and 5 and the missing chunk of years between 1988 and 1993. And that rationale of having “20 years between original release Andy box set release” for some reason…

    I’m lucky enough to have all 4 ( thus far) of these beautiful things sitting proudly on my shelf (which I’ve begged, stolen and borrowed for along the way), and I know it’s silly in one way, but the completist in me would almost rather have the next box start where Loving The Alien left off in terms of chronology (1989) even if it will not contain the Tin Machine albums, otherwise it’ll look like there’s a box missing in between 4 & 5! I also felt that ending it at 1999 felt right as it focused it more on the brilliant 90s period and also left more room for crucial things in the box like the Leon sessions (please include these…). I also truly hope that the ’20 year gap’ principle will be dropped so that we get the final box the year after (2022) rather than in… 2036. Would have liked to see that one issued next year actually – hopefully with the mythical ‘Blaze’ included, which would have seen it land five years after David’s passing, tying it all together nicely.

    The main thing is, this is great news indeed. About time we all had some of that. Thank you Bowie Estate ⚡️

  56. Allan says:

    It would be strange if they were to bundle Toy with this set given it was a jumping off point for Heathen and a number of its tracks were included as Heathen B sides. I would have thought that it would make more sense to include Leon is Outside – the improvised sessions for that were supposedly rejected by record companies, formed as the basis for Outside and are widely available as bootlegs.

  57. Ian Murphy says:

    Quite impressed that the Bowie estate has actually made an announcement like this which shows some understanding of how fans think. I agree that the 20 year gap sounds a bit like something manufactured in retrospect, but actual communication like this is to be welcomed. At least taking Tin Machine out of the running entirely, retains the potential for a dedicated box if any rights issues are sorted out in the future.

  58. Pete says:

    I’m not bothering with the 80s and 90s box sets but will be back in for the C21 one (Heathen, (Toy, hopefully) Reality, The Next Day, Blackstar, etc.).

    I’ve bought all the 40th anniversary picture discs. Obviously they were going to end at some point but the fact that they have stopped just before Ashes To ashes does feel like it was more to do with not being able to get product out in time for the anniversary due to Covid than any strategic plan. Would be nice to be told though.

    Would love a Hunky Dory CD box set along the lines of Conversation Piece if there was enough genuinely unreleased material to warrant it.

  59. Martin says:

    They would have been better offering the pic discs again as box sets – they would probably have gone quicker

    Missed opportunity re Tin Machine – But this probably gives them an opportunity to milk it a little by offering a Tin Machine specific box at a later stage?

  60. -SG- says:

    Gee, I wonder if things being shut down and uncertain times, might have been reason for the delay?
    That said, Bowie recorded the unreleased Toy album before Heathen, word of that project started in ’99 and it was to be released around 2000-2001, so that would be a likely contender for the set, and would be a reason to buy this, as an excellent box set covering basically everything from 1995-2003 already exists. Deluxe edition of Black Tie also exists, so there really does need to be something more to this set. This time around they should include everything, unlike the last stet that missed some key 12″ mixes.

  61. Thomas Beattie says:

    Considering what’s going on in the world at the moment and the people behind these non stop senseless reissues are already making plans for more money grabbing in the good name Bowie.
    Surely anyone who calls them selves a fan owns the albums in the forthcoming 90’s box?
    I’m sure it’s a waste of time stating this but what about letting the man rest in peace.
    I doubt if Bowie spent his last days on earth approving this exploitation of his fans

    • Marcel says:

      That is a very strange sentiment. I think Bowie’s legacy should be celebrated. Would you rather have people forget about his music and let him rest in peace? I have become quite a huge Bowie fan (partly because of the earlier boxsets) and i only have Black Tie. SonI am looking forward very much to this new boxset.

    • Karl says:

      Some of us are new fans from The Next Day – Blackstar era… I suddenly got into Bowie after the Blackstar Video was first shown.

      As for exploiting fans… fans don’t have to buy the material. I’m also sure I’m right in saying that a lot of these releases were in fact discussed or arranged with Bowie prior to his passing, when he first signed whatever agreement with Parlophone for the back catalogue even though Sony were still his current record label.

    • The Alien says:

      Get off your high horse, Thomas!

      There is no exploitation going on here (well, perhaps every now and then but Bowie’s legacy is largely being handled well).

      Bowie knew what would come after and apparently left some plans to direct certain aspects of this. What do you mean, “let the man rest in Peace”? Never reissue or release any more Bowie material? That would be churlish and a betrayal of his spirit and memory, which deserve to be regularly celebrated. You don’t have to buy it, either. But I know I will!

    • Dan says:

      ” the people behind these non stop senseless reissues are already making plans for more money grabbing in the good name Bowie”

      er… that would be the Bowie Estate then, releasing carefully curated box sets posthumously just as Bowie had instructed in the so-called ‘five year plan’ he left behind.

  62. Quatrmass says:

    I’m a little disappointed about the anniversary singles but, at the same time, I remember buying the Scary Monsters-era singles at the time and feeling ever less enthusiastic for each successive one. I’m sure that feeling would have been amplified this time.

    As for the box set… meh. My heart knows I’ll pick it up in the end (“for the collection” – what a great excuse that is for wasting money on box sets I’ll rarely play), but my head says it depends on the extras. A well-curated “Toy” will make all the difference.

    Shame about the Tin Machine era, but here’s a question. Did that coloured vinyl reissue of Tin Machine II ever come out earlier this year? My Amazon pre-order still sits awaiting fulfilment and I don’t know anyone who did get a copy

  63. Ross Munro says:

    Personally, I was thinking if the Tin Machine albums were going to get reissued they would do it as a smaller separate set from the main series. I’m a little disappointed that will never materialise, but I think it’s better for Tin Machine to be separate from Bowie.

    As mentioned by Graham below, I’m guessing Toy (which was meant to be released in 2001) will be included, like Gouster in WCIBN.

    Overall, been looking forward to the new box set. The previous sets have been highlights in my music collection. I was a little annoyed with all the 90’s material being released throughout this year (Is It Any Wonder? EP, the RSD release and the various 90’s era live albums on Spotify), they ended up announcing The Man Who Sold The World / Metrobolist remix as the tail end of the year release, so I’m glad a 90’s box is on the horizon, even if it’s later than I wanted.

  64. Great news indeed, I have been waiting for this box set! However I’m a bit worried about that span of 10+ years. Black Tie White Noise has lots of wonderful extras, and I was waiting for an official release of the “Leon” tapes. With already the obvious release of Toy and the many extras from other albums, and two live recordings per box until now, I cannot see an exhaustive release with less than 12-13 discs (at least) which is more than the previous boxes. So, very happy to see this, but considering how many great stuff there is to release, worried about how complete and definitive it can be.

  65. Colin Harper says:

    As a casual observer, was anybody in the David B fan community really distressed about the prospect of there being less than 20 years between era and release if this set had appeared in 2020? That has to be the most ludicrous and surely spurious excuse for delaying a box set / reissue that I’ve ever heard.

  66. Tony Ward says:

    Thanks for the update Paul. Always appreciated.

    Maybe the “exciting news” is an expanded “Peter & The Wolf” random coloured 10″ box set + Still waiting for ” Revolutionary Song” to be included in this “all inclusive” rip-off the fans Parlophone project.

    I still feel that Ryko would have done a much better more fan-friendly job of they’d got the Bowie re-issue gig. Ryko’s work with The Monkees back catalogue has been exemplary.

  67. Joe says:

    I wonder if the forthcoming announcement is related to 1990’s Sound+Vision Tour. They’ve focused a lot of the 1990s recently but have conspicuously avoided that one.

    Since they’re skipping Tin Machine, presumably for licensing reasons, it would make sense to reissue the band’s three albums and extras together when they can, but bundling a S+V live album with it would make no sense. So logically (not always a Bowie Estate strong point, admittedly) a standalone S+V product will be on its way at some point. Maybe for a future RSD, but hopefully it’d have a wider release.

  68. Scott Carrick says:

    They need to start the 40th Anniversary Picture Disc Releases again. Can’t believe they stopped right before Ashes To Ashes, it would have sold by the shed load, think they’ve shot themselves in the foot with this decision :-(

  69. BRUCE NICHOLSON says:

    The explanation of waiting for twenty years since 2001 seems a bit odd, but at least they have offered an explanation.

    Potentially there is an awful lot of material from this period? Black Tie could definitely do with a new vinyl issue, but would it be a double album, as I’m sure the original release didnt have all of the album and was a single album? Then there are all those extras that were on the 3 CD version of BTWN.

    There is probably enough of Outside to have a separate release, but I imagine it will be in the box, and Earthling has loads of extras on the various singles, and I’m sure hours did too.

    The singles from Heathen had a number of songs which might have been on TOY, but not all of those songs found their way out on singles, so maybe a TOY could be on the cards. And Reality had a fair decent number of extras on singles. Plus, it would be nice to finally have Buddha on vinyl [apart from bootlegs and very expensive Brazilian imports] and perhaps the BBC Radio Theatre session on vinyl. I’m sure there was a release of Reality which also had a DVD of Bowie performing the album in full in London? Maybe break with tradition and had a DVD of both performances?

    I think this could be a hefty old box if it was comprehensive, so looking forward to it.

    I can’t imagine what the special announcement might be, but i hope it really is something special, and not another colour vinyl of something.

  70. Gareth Jones says:

    I’m assuming sales of the 7-inch picture discs were an unsuccessful venture. Certainly they continued to be readily available in my local record shops for weeks after release, so they weren’t all snapped up in a day! And record labels ultimately are about making profit, even if continuing the series would be the right thing to do for the fans.

    This kind of practice is certainly not uncommon though. I remember as a kid buying certain magazines published by Marshall Cavendish. You know the type. Issue 1 came with a free binder, and you were supposed to collect every issue to in order to complete making a model wooden ship or learning about the complete history of the Tudors or something!

    Anyway, they ALWAYS mysteriously disappeared off the shelves in the newsagents after around 12 or so issues. Yet when you got Issue 1 with the free binder, the TV commercials would state “Collect week by week in this handy free binder to store all 52 issues”.

    At least the Bowie picture discs didn’t come free with a record box to contain all the 7-inches that now won’t be happening I suppose!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I just think they should at least do fans, who were collecting them, the courtesy of telling them what is going on.

  71. Atane says:

    Thanks Paul for this news.
    I guess the several live gigs (Paris 1999, Live&Well 1997, Dallas 1995,) that were released on streaming plateforms this year will be part of this 2021 box set.
    Can’t wait !

  72. Bassel Hassouna says:

    Does that mean that box 6 will wait until 2036 to allow 20 years between blackstar and the box

    • Jakob says:

      This was my question too! Worst case scenario is I guess I’ll have to pick up a copy of Heathen and Reality in the meantime. I’ve been holding off assuming the boxes would come in a timely fashion. Hopefully they go with 20 years since Heathen instead.

  73. Brian Smith says:

    maybe a 5.1 series…ha wishful thinking

  74. Marc Fin says:

    I think that a 93-97 period including lives from the Outside and Earthling tour, the famous “Leon files” and some of the best remixes of this era should have done it. Around 12 CD is quite correct for a boxset.

  75. Rob says:

    I’m a big Bowie fan but I haven’t bought any of these era boxes. I can’t really justify the cost given how little previously unreleased material they contain. (I was almost tempted by the last one but ultimately passed). If they could include the albums in high-res on a Blu-ray with 5.1 mixes than I’d take the plunge. (Apparently there are some 5.1 mixes that Visconti did ages ago that have never been released. In interviews he has confirmed that he completed 5.1 mixes of Low and Lodger and has hinted that there were others). Or do a dedicated Blu-ray Audio box, like the recent Doobie Brothers collection; that I would most certainly buy.

    Also, I wish they would consider some video releases. Multiple shows on the 1978 tour were filmed. It would be great to have a concert film from that year. Not to mention the amazing 1997 Earthling tour.

  76. Jan Lier says:

    Rooting for TOY, in a final mix by Tony Visconti for example :)

  77. johneffay says:

    I can see the arguments for & against including the Tin Machine material. Personally, I would rather have it included than a bunch of chopped down single versions of songs on a Re:Call disc. I will buy this no matter what, but what I’m really hoping it includes is a stack of decent outtakes from the Outside sessions.

  78. Brian Smith says:

    really it should be 1993 to 2000. As Toy is more associated with Heathen. And to end it with the Beeb gig that happened after Glasto would be great!

  79. Rare Glam says:

    I was wondering about the 1990s-2001 era. I have the re-issued box set of ‘Heathen’, ‘Outside’ etc albums each with bonus CDs of 12″ remixes the second time they were issued some years back, all in very nice Japanese type mini LP sleeves. What is there from those or that era anyway that might add to rather than just repeat what’s in that box? These albums were also issued on vinyl not long ago as well wern’t they? ‘Buddah’ and White Socks’ I’d be into in the card sleeve format, without Tin Machine, not sure what else there is from that era?

  80. Beechlander says:

    Exciting but not totally unexpected news what with the drip-feed of releases this year (Is It Any Wonder, ChangesNowBowie) and delighted to see it will capture early 90s up to Heathen leaving an obvious “Era 6” box to complete everything from 2002 onwards. A wealth of material to choose from apart from the obvious albums. Could start with the many mixes of the early period (Jump They Say, Black Tie, Miracle Goodnight, even Real Cool World). I recall Eno mentioning there were a lot of out-takes/unused tracks from the Outside sessions so maybe these could surface. The Sound+Vision tour I recall was broadcast live on Radio 1 not sure if this has ever been released officially. The …Hours album was originally intended as the soundtrack to a video game I believe and there were a number of B-sides and session tracks released at the time on CD so ripe for a vinyl release. Plus the Toy material which is an obvious inclusion. No Tin Machine is fine with me – separate band and worthy of a separate boxset if needs be.

  81. Dylive says:

    Apart from the BBC Concert and “Toy”, I hope the box set will include the limited edition “liveandwell.com” and the EP “Earthling In The City”.
    Possible box set title? My bet is on “Strangers When We Meet”.

  82. Staale Venstad says:

    Maybe The Tin Machine boxset is the Later-This-Week-News!?!?!

  83. stephen king says:

    I agree with the previous comments about Toy as not sure what other “exclusive” studio album content could be included with this box after the others had different versions of at least one LP per set: no excuse for remixing or re-recording Earthling, for example!
    I am annoyed about the 40th anniversary picture discs being dropped when there were only really the 4 from Scary Monsters to go for the RCA years (assuming that Wild is the Wind and Peace on Earth would have been quietly ignored a la Suffragette City).
    Any thoughts on the “exciting project”? Maybe a 50th anniversary picture disc series to start with Holy Holy in 1971!! Maybe not…

  84. Antonio says:

    OUTSIDE deserves a dedicated “super deluxe collector legacy expanded edition box-set”

  85. Ollie Carlisle says:

    It’s got to have Toy in it for 2001 to make sense, which is excellent news. The whole explanation of how many years since the time period covered to release of the box sets is clearly some reverse-engineered cobblers to explain away why it wasn’t released last year but it makes very little sense. More likely, the 80s box set didn’t sell as much as the previous ones so they gave that more time and went away to add value to the next one by decided to include Toy as a previously unreleased album rather than finishing with hours. Dodgy explanation but good decision.

  86. Matt says:

    Tin Machine deserves to be in the 1988-1992 era boxset. I would definitely buy it and would hope that it would include a DVD with all the videos and Live show.
    Really disappointed that they’ve made this decision without considering the fans.

  87. Tim Abbott says:

    Was pretty sure this was going to happen, and am glad it is. These boxes (specifically the vinyl editions, of which I have all four so far) really cemented my appreciation of Bowie, and for all the flaws (the debacle with Heroes, and the weird editing on In Memory Of A Free Festival), I think they’ve been done really well as a consistent set.

    I’m slightly disappointed that Tin Machine won’t feature, but recently bought the Tin Machine II LP, and the first album seems easily available/ripe for reissue so if Oy Vey Baby is the only casualty, I won’t mourn too much. Of course it could be that the next announcement is going to be a dedicated Tin Machine box (#4.5 in the set), perhaps?

    Interestingly, there was mention on a certain forum that the post-2001 albums are not with Parlophone, so this could be the final box. Is that true?

  88. Peter says:

    Am hoping that the picture discs return, as for me, they are just about to get interesting with the singles from Scary Monsters and its a shame they seem to have just stopped.
    Maybe this is the news that is now due this week?

    • John 79 says:

      I agree with Peter,the 7″ picture discs were just getting interesting and I really enjoyed that new romantic period of Bowie,I hope they continue at some stage,fingers crossed.
      &
      I’d love to also to see a SDE of Earthling,for me that was a cracking album with great artwork!

  89. Kevin says:

    I remain hopeful that we might get a comprehensive stand alone Tin Machine box set, but its disappointing that its not happening just now.

  90. Eamonn says:

    Putting out product with…..GASOLINE !

    I think Toy will be the Gouster-type ‘box bait. And The Metrobolist the foreshadow for a Man Who Sold…(and possibly Hunky Dory) 1971 anniversary box in the vein of Conversation Piece. Two boxes in one year? Why not? As suggested, this is a huge business for Parlophone and Tintoretto now. You could have one in Spring and the other 6 months later.

  91. Jordan Farquharson says:

    I am very glad that another box set will be released. I don’t need a Hunky Dory reissue. I already have the Five Years box.

  92. andrew r says:

    2001 allows them to increase box content
    and charge accordingly.Not including heathen
    allows for era 6 to have enough content.
    At this point i feel the money men are truly in charge
    My go to superdeluxe set at this moment is the Prince S.O.T. T
    Hard to see era 5 having the same care taken .

  93. Dean says:

    …Toy was from 2001

    • andrew r says:

      true i didn’t consider it as DB never wanted it released in the 15 years until his passing
      It would show more respect to release it as a rough work in progress,
      Who apart from Bowie would know what form it would have taken ?

  94. Rob says:

    Personally I’m really excited about adding something consistent to the collection, as I’ve loved the 3 that I’ve bought. That said, what I really wish they’d do is crank out some more ‘Five Years’ sets. I missed the boat on that one, and the other 3 have been readily available since release, so I just wonder if it was produced in fewer numbers and therefore there might be demand for some more being made?

  95. Nav Phokela says:

    Wasn’t ‘Toy’ recorded in 2001 and whilst not officially released as an album, some of the tracks became b-sides to Heathen singles. Perhaps they intend to include those in the boxset.

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