David Bowie / Conversation Piece box

5CD box set covering 1968-69 era • Demos & radio sessions • New mix of Space Oddity album (available separately) • Previously unreleased tracks

This year, Parlophone will not move into the 1990s and issue a fifth ‘eras’ box set in their continuing David Bowie reissue programme, but will instead release a five-CD box set called Conversation Piece that focuses on Bowie’s early development throughout 1968 and 1969. This set will feature home demos, BBC radio sessions, a new 2019 mix of the Space Oddity album and more…

The first thing to say is that everything on this year’s vinyl box sets – that’s Spying Through A Keyhole, Clareville Grove Demos and The ‘Mercury’ Demos – is featured on Conversation Piece. Parlophone did say at the time that these tracks would end up on CD.

Additionally, there’s 12 previously unreleased tracks/demos from the period, as well as the new mix of the Space Oddity, by the album’s original producer, Tony Visconti. This new mix features the song ‘Conversation Piece’ restored to the track listing in its initially intended position, before it was originally dropped due to time constraints of vinyl (the song wasn’t wasted, it ended up as the B-side to Space Oddity follow-up The Prettiest Star).

Visconti has this to say about his new 2019 mix of the Space Oddity album:

“It was so much fun to find hidden gems of musicianship with more time to mix the second time around, a guitar twiddle here, a trombone blast there, Marc Bolan’s voice in a group choir and more detail in general that we overlooked all those years ago when the label gave us a week at the most to mix this album. And in the details you will find 22 year old David Bowie, who would soon take the world by storm.”

This five-CD box also includes the 1969 mix of Space Oddity, although, interestingly, the label have opted for the 2009 remaster as opposed to the 2015 ‘Five Years’ version because that version was mastered to be as close to the 1969 vinyl as possible, whereas with the 2015 version that wasn’t the goal.

The discs are packaged within a 120 page hardcover book which features exclusive images of memorabilia from the personal collection of David’s former manager, the late Ken Pitt, as well as photos from David’s archive and others by Ray Stevenson, Vernon Dewhurst, David Bebbington, Ken Pitt, Alec Byrne, Tony Visconti and Jojanneke Claasen.

The Conversation Piece 5CD box set. Click image to enlarge.

Sleeve notes are by Mark Adams, Tris Penna and Kevin Cann and there are contributions from George Underwood, Tony Visconti, Vernon Dewhurst, Dana Gillespie and John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.

The 2019 mix of the Space Oddity album will be made available separately on CD and vinyl and both come in a special die-cut sleeve. Sadly, Parlophone is persisting with the ‘random’ vinyl concept (used for the CHANGESONEBOWIE and CHANGESTWOBOWIE reissues), since this new vinyl edition of Space Oddity will be pressed on silver, gold and black vinyl and there’s no way of knowing before you order, which one you are getting. How cool is that? (answer: not very).

The standalone Space Oddity 2019 mix comes in a die-cut sleeve (CD also)

The coloured vinyl features hand-numbered labels with silver numbered 1 to 1969 and gold 1970 to 2019. The black vinyl isn’t numbered. Such a blatant attempt to get fans to buy the same record more than once leaves a rather sour taste in the mouth. It also means Parlophone are creating unnecessary work for retailers (I am one!), who no doubt will have to process refunds as fans receive the colours they don’t want. They really need to ditch this concept.

The Conversation Piece five-CD box set will be issued on 15 November 2019. There is no vinyl version, for fairly obvious reasons. SDE understands that it’s not the end for the ‘eras’ box sets and fans can expect Tin Machine and the 1990s albums to be treated similarly to the 1970s and 1980s, at some point.

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David Bowie

Conversation Piece - 5CD box set


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David Bowie

Space Oddity album 2019 mix - vinyl LP


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David Bowie

Space Oddity album 2019 mix - CD edition


Conversation Piece 5CD box set

Titles marked * are unreleased and the two Decca tracks presented here are released in superior quality to that released on the Deluxe Edition of David’s self-titled debut album on Deram. There is also a rare appearance for the full length mono version of Feathers’ ‘Ching-a-Ling’.

CD 1 – Home Demos

April’s Tooth Of Gold (2.29) *
The Reverend Raymond Brown (Attends the Garden Fête on Thatchwick Green) (2.15) *
When I’m Five (3.18) *
Mother Grey (3.00)
In The Heat Of The Morning (2.59)
Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe (3.19)
Love All Around (2.49)
London Bye, Ta-Ta (3.31)
Angel Angel Grubby Face (version 1) (2.31)
Angel Angel Grubby Face (version 2) (2.37)
Animal Farm (2.21) *
Space Oddity (solo demo fragment) (2.39)
Space Oddity (version 1) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (4.02)
Space Oddity (version 2) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (5.00) *
Space Oddity (version 3) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (5.10)
Lover To The Dawn with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (3.50)
Ching-a-Ling with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.58)
An Occasional Dream with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.49)
Let Me Sleep Beside You with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (2.54)
Life Is A Circus with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (4.50)
Conversation Piece (3.47) *
Jerusalem (4.19) *
Hole In The Ground with George Underwood (3.29) *

CD2 – The ‘Mercury’ Demos with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson

Space Oddity (5.28)
Janine (3.53)
An Occasional Dream (3.18)
Conversation Piece (3.31)
Ching-a-Ling (3.35)
I’m Not Quite (aka Letter To Hermione) (4.00)
Lover To The Dawn (5.01)
Love Song (4.08)
When I’m Five (3.13)
Life Is A Circus (5.33)

CD3 – Conversation Pieces (Mono)

In The Heat Of The Morning (Decca mono version) (2.51)
London Bye, Ta-Ta (Decca alternative version) (2.36)
BBC Top Gear radio session with the Tony Visconti Orchestra, recorded 13th May, 1968
– In The Heat Of The Morning (3.01)
– London Bye, Ta-Ta (2.39)
– Karma Man (3.07)
– When I’m Five (3.14)
– Silly Boy Blue (4.32)
Ching-a-Ling (2.51)
Space Oddity (Morgan Studios version – alternative take) (4.22)* with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson
Space Oddity (U.K. single edit) (4.42)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single B-side – mono mix) (4.54)
Janine (mono mix) (3.23)
Conversation Piece (3.06)
BBC Dave Lee Travis Show radio session, recorded 20th October, 1969
– Let Me Sleep Beside You (3.20)
– Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed (4.03)
– Janine (3.03)

CD 4 – 1969 stereo mixes

The original David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album (2009 remaster)

Space Oddity (5.14)
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (inc. Don’t Sit Down) (6.51)
Letter To Hermione (2.32)
Cygnet Committee (9.31)
Janine (3.21)
An Occasional Dream (2.54)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (4.46)
God Knows I’m Good (3.17)
Memory Of A Free Festival (7.09)

The Extras

Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single B-side stereo mix) (4.56)
Letter To Hermione (early mix) (2.32) *
Janine (early mix) (3.23) *
An Occasional Dream (early mix) (2.54) *
Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (full length version) (5.14)

CD 5 – 2019 mixes (all previously unreleased)

The Space Oddity album

Space Oddity (5.20)
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (6.18)
Letter To Hermione (2.32)
Cygnet Committee (9.28)
Janine (3.21)
An Occasional Dream (2.57)
Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (4.50)
Conversation Piece (3.11)
God Knows I’m Good (3.16)
Memory Of A Free Festival (7.14)

The Extras

Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (single version) (4.59)
Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (5.20)

Spaced Oddity 2019 mix vinyl LP

Side 1
1. Space Oddity (2019 Mix)
2. Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (2019 Mix)
3. Letter To Hermione (2019 Mix)
4. Cygnet Committee (2019 Mix)

Side 2
1. Janine (2019 Mix)
2. An Occasional Dream (2019 Mix)
3. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (2019 Mix)
4. Conversation Piece (2019 Mix)
5. God Knows I’m Good (2019 Mix)
6. Memory of a Free Festival (2019 Mix)

Space Oddity 2019 mix CD edition

1. Space Oddity (2019 Mix)
2. Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed (2019 Mix)
3. Letter To Hermione (2019 Mix)
4. Cygnet Committee (2019 Mix)
5. Janine (2019 Mix)
6. An Occasional Dream (2019 Mix)
7. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (2019 Mix)
8. Conversation Piece (2019 Mix)
9. God Knows I’m Good (2019 Mix)
10. Memory of a Free Festival (2019 Mix)

150 responses to David Bowie / Conversation Piece box

  1. Aleks Spectre says:

    A great boxset, a perfect voyage into the SPACE ODDITY era. I’m so glad this edition comes out. Even the new 2019 mix is really interesting, a new approach without denatured the original Now I waiting the same treatment for “THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD”.
    Hope in the wind?

  2. Dave H says:

    Since HD Tracks has all the recent David Bowie remasters in Hi-Def quality, why is it the music buyers who purchase “the box sets for fans who love holding the music in their hands” have to be left with CD quality audio and having to fork out again if they want to listen to music in HD.

    Since a single layer blu-ray can hold 25gb of data, why can’t these box sets add a bonus disc with everything in HD for those who want to hear the best possible available version and have it on a disc rather than having to download it and add value for money to these box sets.

  3. Charles says:

    Just opened the CD version and haven’t had a listen, but the box set itself is amazing.

    I’m sure there’s going to be an unboxing video from Paul soon enough.

    This is the box set this album deserves.

  4. Tim Barton says:

    Just got mine and went straight to the 2019 mix of Space Oddity after listening to the track on the 1969 mix. Now giving the former a full listen, and I can say that my reservations about yet another pricey box and having Space Oddity again so soon after the previous anniversary edition have given way to pleasant shivers of approval!

    Tony has done a fine bit of work on this-there is depth in this mix that certainly tops previous remasters. Space Oddity itself is something new, yet familiar. The spectacular fizzlin out fade is almost 3-dimensional, and the sense of floating David was likely after is more successful in this mix than in any I have heard to date.

    Most importantly, this is an album that has earned an update, and now sits above a couple of my other early Bowie favourites. I’ve not got to the other discs yet, but I am looking forward to that-and the hard-bound volume of info with loads of period photos is beautiful.

    I will still hold onto to my Ryko remasters, my EMI and Toshiba-EMI reissues, but this one! This does the album justice!

    Can we now get a Man Who Sold the World box? That would be a nice addition to these celebratory Bowie reissues.

    • Josh says:

      Thanks Tim – was totally curious about the sound quality of this latest release so glad to find your impressions here. This site has great updates and details of upcoming releases but it’s great to also see reviews of actual product like this as well. Much appreciated!

  5. Nelson says:

    Just realizing that the gold variant is going to be a super rare collectors item since there will be only 49 copies (1970-2019) wow!!!!

  6. Mark says:

    To be honest,I am not really into colored vinyl. Bought two now and was wondering if there is a way to tell which color the vinyl has without opening it? Thanks in advance!

  7. george c says:

    Nearly £90 for an album I bought in 1970 for 50p. It was residing in the bargain bin of a local record shop in Durham. Brand new too! Probably no chance of finding this box set at a bargain bin price in 12 months time.

  8. Tom M says:

    “Space Oddity will be pressed on silver, gold and black vinyl and there’s no way of knowing before you order, which one you are getting. ”
    Not a problem for me. Gold and silver are my least favorite vinyl colors, not very gold or silver looking.

  9. horslips says:

    Gareth, Somebody has to say it … “Parlophone must be laughing all the way gnome!”

  10. Gareth Jones says:

    I don’t mind the idea of a random coloured vinyl, if you know you’ll either be getting silver or gold. In America the vinyl version of the Monkees Christmas album was available in independent record stores as random red or green vinyl, and black was sold in non-independent shops like HMV.

    I feel that is fair and a good way of keeping Indie shops alive. Also the average colour vinyl lover probably wouldn’t be too angry whether they get red or green, or in Bowie’s case silver or gold. But standard black vinyl certainly should not be amongst the random choices when you order a copy. Parlophone must be laughing (gnome) all the way to the bank.

  11. Justin says:

    Awesome set! Let’s hope HUNKY DORY and LOW also get the same treatment. I would love to hear demos, rough mixes, and the original Subterraneans recorded for the TMWFTE soundtrack as well as Wheels and anything unreleased that was recorded at the Chateau and Hansa in 1976

  12. Goodie Andrews says:

    Why couldn’t the record company release the box set in the same format as the other David Bowie box sets? I think this new format is kind of cumbersome.

    • Michael says:

      I do not recall any other Bowie album yet getting a more than 2cd deluxe treatment… apart from the live album stuck with Station to Station. So this is a first of sorts.

  13. Mark says:

    Also looking forward to a “Low’ super deluxe edition (2027?) hopefully featuring the rough mixes Bowie got from Tony Visconti before heading to Berlin.

    • excerptsoon says:

      @Mark – Low was recorded in France, do you mean mixes recorded there but taken away to Bowie’s flat in Berlin?

  14. Silvio Farquhar says:

    So where da gnome song thag maka my papa laff so much in 1973, besta song by Ziggy Stardust, he sing so bootiful on gnome song, maka mi cry.
    Where da Joe Dolce boxa set?
    Shudd uppa ur face classic song ina my countree, musta bee soo much moor ina volt, iffa Joe Dolce masta tappa not burn wiv uvva in fyre in Loz Angles.
    Joe Dolce & Dayvid Bowie maka unreleesed elpee in 1981, calleda shudd uppa ur face u didactic despot.

    Makka da boxset or shudd uppa ur face.

  15. Gerbrand says:

    A Tin Machine live album Live at La Cigale, Paris 1989 has been released on September, 1. Digital only. Where is the logic in that?

  16. Kevin says:

    Hey, Paul. With the intel you have, would you be able to elaborate on the dimensions of the book/packaging? From that photo, it looks like it could be ‘White Album’-sized. As far as you know, is it likely to be that big?

  17. Bart says:

    I really dont Want to say IT aloud, but i’m afraid that long postponed Low super deluxe edition gonna be released in 2027 then…and of course i was waiting for next box covering Bowies 90s album but it wont happen too. Im kinda sad

  18. Kevin says:

    Hmm… For me, this is interesting-ish at best. I am curious to know if the BBC sessions included are complete ones. Any Bowiephiles have any insight on that?

    • Neil Wilkes says:

      They are both indeed complete – see details at the illustrated discography (which even includes the bootleg releases) where it states the following:
      Top Gear (13-05-68)
      Aired on 26-05-68 and repeated on 20-06-68. Performed by David Bowie and the 14 piece “Tony Visconti Orchestra”, including Herbie Flowers: bass; Barry Morgan: drums; John Mclaughlin: guitar; David Bowie: vocals and guitar; David Bowie, Tony Visconti, Steve Peregrine-Took: backing vocals; unknown string players. Produced by Tony Visconti. Recorded were:

      In The Heat Of The Morning
      London Bye Ta-Ta
      Karma Man
      When I’m Five
      Silly Boy Blue
      but the last song was not broadcast. ‘When I’m Five’ was released in 1982 as B-side of the ‘Love You Till Tuesday’ outtake on the DREAM DM 100 bootleg single. As it was used in 1969 for the “Love You Till Tuesday” film, the song in 1984 officially appeared on its soundtrack and ultimately on the Deluxe Edition of David Bowie. The other songs appeared for the first time on Bowie At The Beeb.

      Dave Lee Travis Show (20-10-69)
      Broadcast on 26-10-69. Performed by David Bowie and Junior’s Eyes: David Bowie: vocals and guitar; Mick Wayne: guitar; Tim Renwick: guitar; John Lodge: bass; John Cambridge: drums. Produced by Paul Williams. This session featured:
      Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed
      Let Me Sleep Beside You
      ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’ and an accompanying short interview with Brian Mathew (both featured on the “Bowie At The Beeb” broadcast) have been issued on the BBC Sessions 1969-1972 Sampler. The complete session, taken from the unreleased NMC BBC 3CD set, has appeared on Kiss The Viper’s Fang (EDB 002).
      The official Bowie At The Beeb CD has the same interview plus ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’ and ‘Janine’. In 2009, the entire session was included on the 40th Anniversary Edition of Space Oddity.

      So thanks for the sessions, but these are nothing new to fans.
      Where this set scores is as follows:
      1 – the remix of the album by Tony Visconti. What I have heard fills me with hope.
      2 – it drops the dreadful Ray Staff remaster, which tries too add a modern bass heavy sound on a folk album. Madness.
      3 – the recent 7″ vinyl sets are all included, although how badly it has been mastered remains to be seen. That said, I have of course pre ordered in all formats, mug that I am (and even more so when you consider I also have the various vinyl releases too).

  19. Michael says:

    Here’s what I have read from Steve Pafford website (he wrote Bowie Style) about what’s next from the Bowie estate & why Tin Machine box is not next.

    With Tin Machine at least one other member wants 25% of royalties.

    Estate is focusing on releasing box sets of the 5 individual albums up to Diamond Dogs.

    Sound & Vision is also being reissued. Plus concerts from 1990.

    • Neil Wilkes says:

      So another cash grab, but I will doubtless buy them all.
      Doubtless the 1990 shows will be the much bootlegged Milton Keynes Bowl from August 5th and the 15/16 May Tokyo Dome show as both of these have known video shoots as well (again, much bootlegged)

      Personally, I just woosh the Estate would do this properly and give us High Rez Blu-ray editions, including surround mixes. Where is Ziggy at Hammersmith? it was filmed, so exists in 24fps which is globally playable and sounds great turned up load with Tony’s 5.1 mix in a cinema so get it on a disc instead of the truly ghastly AC3 version we have on the DVD.

  20. David says:

    And here we go again… I recently picked up the beautiful Paul Smith splatter vinyl edition of Space Oddity and now I have to buy yet another copy – probably my 9th or 10th! It’s a different mix with (slightly) different track listing so that’s not too bad but the coloured vinyl wheeze is bloody annoying. I took a risk on Changes1 and got lucky but felt it safer to buy Changes2 on eBay at an inflated price to get a coloured LP pressing… which I guess I will do this time. No wonder the Mrs despairs of me!

    As for the demos although I bought them all on vinyl they did indeed say they would be on CD too which is great because they are fantastic – I can play them in the car now since I haven’t got an in-car record deck like Keith Moon…yet. Do such things exist?

    • Chris Squires says:

      indeed they do, it was on these very pages a year or so ago (longer than I imagine – maybe three years ago) where the subject came up and someone posted a youtube link to this, there are a couple of videos that highlight the phenomenon of in-car record decks.

      Are you watching Rega? No, didn’t think so.

    • John McCann says:

      Eh, David as youv probably got it nine or ten times already then you dont have to buy yet another copy,youv got enough my friend,go and buy a Captain sensible cd instead (the collection is a good place to start) the cap needs your cash a lot more than Bowie’s estate,love and peace your old pal John.

  21. J says:

    I think this is great for the right person who is amassing a complete collection. It is wonderful that Parlaphone is emptying the vaults for hardcore fans. To bad that other artists don’t do the same (Are you listening to us Rolling Stones?). This is a bit overpriced & I have not bought any of the Bowies Boxes since exclusive content is minimal. I have 188 Bowie discs as it is & this is not my fave record so I will pass. For completists try collecting promo Ryko cassettes if you are up to it. They sound great but 6 years into it I only have 7. Cheers!!

  22. Steve W says:

    My initial raction to this was anoyance that it meant no Years boxset this year (probably) and irritation that they were releasing more early stuff.

    However, after thinking about it I like the fact that it includes the eary Hitch stuff anf would like to hear the new Space Oddity mix so… Yet that price is still a BIT too high so will need to work until it becomes a bit cheaper. Not quite the ripoff I initially though then.

  23. Duncan Day says:

    I’m rather happy with this as I avoided all those 7” single boxes as I had a suspicion that a release like this would appear at some point, so this is a no brainer and early Christmas present for me. Helps that I’ve a fondness for this period in Bowie’s career so it should be a blast going through the disks. Yeah, very happy here :)

  24. AlexKx says:

    How is it “obvious” as to why this new box set is not being released on vinyl?! I don’t get it. That would be great if it were. What’s the deal?

  25. Martin Kilroy says:

    Beginning to feel so milked, I’m growing udders!

  26. torchomatic says:

    I wouldn’t mind the vinyl edition, but UK price is DOUBLE to that in the States. Rip off.

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Once you add shipping and import fees deposit it comes to nearly $33, so not much different. I’d probably rather pay slightly more for the convenience of ordering in the uk for returns and the like

  27. Neil Wilkes says:

    Sad sod that I am I will buy this both on CD as well as the HD download versions as I am a completist & need for the collection.
    Where are the Blu-ray editions though?

  28. Wahmbeck says:

    Looks fine but I’m not interested in this issue. It’s not worth the money. I’m still waiting for the next “Era” Box Set in 2020. No Bowie this year. So I have a better argument for the Pink Floyd box with my wife. ;-)

  29. Jonathan says:

    Love Bowie, love Space Oddity and would love to have this but not at this price. I’ve no interest in the book and its a shame they saw fit to include something that not a lot of fans want. As has been mentioned before they should take a leaf out of the Prince book and sell this at a reasonable price. Instead Ill be monitoring my future SDE emails for a decent offer on this set, until then I’d be happy to stream this.

  30. Matthew says:

    Whilst not my favourite Bowie album I do love the Hutch stuff so will definitely be getting this since it’s on Cd. Too expensive though and that vinyl is way too much.
    I was hoping for a proper sde for the 50th but feel this should have a DVD. Love you till Tuesday, for instance, is an important part of this period and is oop and minimum £25 used. Plus there are a few other performances too.

  31. Julian Hancock says:

    Whether or not the set is good value and/or worth having is for individual purchasers to decide. I suspect the reality is that unless there is sufficient margin, it simply isn’t worth the bother producing these sets. In that sense it’s no different to any other business.

    That said it does seem ironic that nowadays people pay top dollar for what are often cast-off recordings. Forty years ago, if these things ever got an official release, it was usually at a ‘special price, i.e. cheap since it was considered of lesser value.

  32. Shane says:

    All I can say is Bowie fans should be grateful they are getting so many boxes! Sure theyre not cheap but hey. Just be glad.
    *cut to me complaining tomorrow

  33. graham cooksley says:

    Strange that the vinyl / cd version is being rebranded as Space Oddity once again rather than ‘David Bowie’ yet the box version is a different title altogether, if they were / are planning a run of similar for the early albums it would make more sense to do it by official album title and make it a SDE

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think the die-cut double sleeve is a nod to the fact that Space Oddity isn’t the original name and you can effectively remove reference to it if you wish. As someone who had the Ryko with the ‘Ziggy’ cover even though it’s technically incorrect, I can’t help but refer to this album as Space Oddity. I also quite like the ‘wrong’ cover and maybe Parlophone should have done an alternate cover version instead of mucking around with coloured vinyl.

      • Markyp says:

        A self titled album is a bit rubbish when searching the net or any site for a purchase.
        David Bowie- David Bowie is not as specific a search as David Bowie “Space Oddity”.
        Calling “Conversation Piece” “Space Oddity” too would be confusing as well, so I understand why they’ve chosen this new way to title it.

  34. gwynogue says:

    I’m looking forward to this – I wanted the demos, but had no interest in vinyl so I passed on the box sets. Happy that they’re finally collected in a CD set.

    I would like to see a price drop, but I’ll be waiting a long time. Even if there’s a great deal on Amazon UK or Germany, it never translates to Amazon Australia. On the rare occasions there is a great deal on AmAu, the original prices are so horrendous that a ‘bargain’ price is still eye-watering.

    (p.s. The ‘S080s’ CDs arrived safely, many thanks Paul!)

  35. Brett says:

    A surround mix of Space Oddity would’ve been nice.

  36. Gisabun says:

    One other thought. Do we really need another Space Oddity mix? How many is that since the original release? Can’t Tony Visconti get it right?

    • Neil Wilkes says:

      That’s not fair at all – back when this was originally mixed they had (if I recall correctly) either a week or 8 days to mix the whole album, and TV is on the record as saying he always felt it was rushed & could benefit from reworking. From what I have heard so far I am in agreement.
      Tony should know – he was there originally, after all.

      • Mike Fairclough says:

        I thought I had read somewhere that Gus Dudgeon produced the track ” Space Oddity” with arrangement by Paul Buckmaster and Tony Visconti did the rest of the album.

  37. LowPop says:

    Hey Paul, loads of great new stuff recently. Thanks for keeping us up to date!

    Bowie-adjacent question for you… what’s up with the recent T Rex seven inch releases? Two last month and 20th Century Boy (blue vinyl & pic disc) announced. Is this a formal campaign that will continue or just a few one offs?

  38. Michael Fortin says:

    Not my favorite Bowie album. Not even sure if it’s in my top 10 Bowie albums. I will still check out the one disc Tony Visconti remix. I was blown away by his Lodger remix. The demos are OK, I checked them out on streaming and I think I can do without a physical copy, especially at $100 as the price is now.

  39. Wayne Klein says:

    I would mind just the remix album but I’m concerned about how his albums have been mastered by and for Tony Visconti. I’m really interested in the demos but not enough to pay that price for an album I’ve purchased multiple times.

  40. Ian says:

    I’d have posted re. my ambivalence to this release earlier if I could have stopped yawning long enough.
    Huge Bowie fan but SO is one of his least inspiring albums… It simply isn’t that good. Endless demos of the same few tracks don’t make them better songs.
    No problem with this now coming out on CD as it was always said the content would at some point. If you’ve got your vinyl boxes and you’re happy, great. If you feel ripped off as there is yet more content in this box set I’m sorry for you… But did you expect things would pan out radically differently? Honestly?

  41. Catweazle says:

    Wonderful, amazing, looking very much forward to this! I don’t get all the negativity. Yes, the price is a bit steep, but for me this is far more interesting than a box set containing the Tin Machine era stuff. Well, tastes are different…

  42. Wayne Olsen says:

    When are they releasing the unedited all-kazoo version of “Letter to Hermione” recorded at the Glasgow Festival of Art and Peace?

    • David Bly says:

      I believe that Glasgow are holding the tapes hostage until Parlophone agrees that all copies will come with their own Bowie clan kilt and his family recipe for haggis dominating the front cover, and also a ¼ size silver, gold, or black replica of the Paisley Cenotaph…

  43. KB says:

    I am not really a Bowie fan of such but I am really hoping this general boxset nonsense stops soon. I am someone who DOES buy boxsets (The Beatles recent releases) but am extremely cautious with what I purchase. Its such a shame The Beatles Abbey Road wasn’t released as a triple gatefold vinyl like the Anthology series was? What was wrong with those??? NOTHING AT ALL!!
    One of the best was when WB Issued the Van Morrison Moondance sessions, correct in that Van did NOT want this stuff release but what I loved about it other than the historic interest, the actual music and the superb clear mixing was that there was no fanfare, no guff, no badges caps & whistles just a fab little (little being the appropriate word in this day and age of over sized boxsets) 5 CD package in a thick card CD sized pack which did NOT take up precious room on my limited shelf space. I think this was also available as a simple 2 vinyl set also…wonderful, simple and knock out killer stuff.

    We won’t get into a discussion here about the recent Pink Floyd sets, the Early Years being an oversized monstrous oaf BUT great content…the Later years just not matching anything near the content and hopefully not the size!

    I guess this Bowie set is really a book with 5 CD’s so not too bad but I’d rather just have the CD’s with a smaller booklet. I think the boxset generation will start to die out soon and we can hopefully get back to basics and what actually matters…the music! Coloured vinyl? Blimey do me a favour! Plus limited should be no more than 500 as a matter of law :)

  44. Caroline says:

    *laughs* £85.99 *laughs some more*

    Not on yr nelly.

    (PS – “The Laughing Gnome” is a great record and cheer yourself up if you think otherwise)

  45. Tim says:

    When the day comes that there is no more physical product this will be the cost of the download with no prospect of a reduction in price. Still we can always pay £2oo to see our favourite artist on a screen from the back of a field.

  46. Phil says:

    I’ll just download it and make my own cds. Back to the old days!! I’ll get the vinyl album though…now where are my weighing scales??

  47. Steinar Wulfsberg-Gamre says:

    I resisted the vinylboxes earlier this year, and really looking forward to this release!
    I really like the new 2019-mix, at least the two released tracks. It’s as good as the Beatles new mixes. I expect similar releases to all the coming 50th anniversary albums!

  48. Nelson Lee says:

    Ha Ha Ha Hee hee hee. I’m a boring box set and you won’t buy me.

  49. RJS says:

    They could have fitted it all onto three CDs but that would have involved halving the price! Space Oddity is a fairly unspectacular album and, as is normally the case with most demos and unreleased tracks, hardly anything, if anything at all, will be better than what was originally released. Money for old rope. Like all of the Bowie reissues, repackages, remasters, remixes, etc, I’ll be giving this a miss.

  50. Mikael says:

    Am I the only one completely underwhelmed by this announcement? Old demos and stuff we already have? I didn’t much care for the previous demo releases either. In fact, I’d much prefer if demos and unreleased stuff post the 80s was released instead.

    Later days David is so much more interesting than late 60s stuff, to my ears. Bring on Outside outtakes, Buddha bringings, Tin Machine tangles. Unearth Earthling, show us the minutes of Hours. Let’s see the next next day, the Blackstar universe!

    Something new, ffs, not another remastered demo!

  51. Paul Taylor says:

    I’m not sure how truthful this is but apparently ChangesTwo was pressed on 140g black vinyl and the blue ones on 180g. I got my wife to take a picture of me putting an album on the fruit scales in Sainsbury’s to establish the weight, and therefore the colour :-D
    If the same (rumoured) process has been used here then shops might be advised to place small scales on their counters!
    ChangesOne was easy, you just had to switch on the torch on your iPhone and if you saw a light through the sleeve it was a clear copy

  52. Danny says:

    Mixed feelings here … why didn’t they do an “Early Years” box set covering the 1960s period in general in the style of the recent sets which began with “Five Years”. There is a wealth of singles and demos from 1964 to 1969 which may have made for a better set than this one, and placed all the 60s material in one place.

    Unless of course they will give the pre SO years the same treatment on a seperate box.

    I was expecting a Tin Machine box set, but then again in the various vinyl SO-related resisuses which preceded this box set as Paul has mentioned, it was stated that the material would appear on another format. I bought those sets as I prfer DB on vinyl but I was seriously underwhelmed by the “Mercury Demos”, not just the outrageous price tag but the rather poor packaging that accompanied it. I suspect the owner of these recordings and associated licensing fees is behind the high price tag.

    This new set does have a lot of material that I don’t have, or have only in bootleg quality, so I will probably get it though the inclusion of another remix of SO is not inspired. Still it looks like a better package than what has come recently.

    DB would probably turn in his grave (if he was in one ;) at how his legacy is being handled. He did authorize the Box Sets we have seen annually since his deat,h but I suspect he’d be mortified at the release of some of this material which he kepy under lock and key during hsi lifetime.

    His legacy is hugely important to us long term fans – for me beginning with the “Laughing Gnome” single back in the day – for Bowie was a Cultural Architect of whom we will probably never see the likes of again …

    And what of the leagacy … What does that leave us with?

    Tin Machine Box set – the 3 albums and probably 2 discs of ReCall – possibly supplemented with a release from the “It’s My Life” Tour.

    The 90’s – The Buddha of Suburbia, Outside, and Earthling with additional ReCall disc and perhaps the Soundtrack to the Buddha TV series and live recordings from the Earthling Tour, Summer Festivals and Outside Tours. And what of the “Leon Suites” and associated recordings? There is also the material from the “Omikron” soundtrack.

    The late 90’s/Early 2000s – Hours, Reality, Heathen plus ReCall and live recordings from the various tours from 200o-2004. We would need the full version of the unrelaesed “Toy” album too. There is also a msicellany of recordings from 2006 until the “Comeback”. I would be amazed that between the years 2004 and his comeback album in 2013, that he didn’t record a few things …

    Final Years Box – “The Next Day”, “The Next Day Extra”, “Blackstar” – with ReCall including the excellent oirignal Version of Sue (In A Season of Crime) single with the Maria Schneider Orchestera, the “No Plan” EP … and then, intriguingly we are also left with at least an album’s worth of demos from the “Blackstar” sessions, 5-6 tracks and a vocal for a duet with Lorde that was never completed, so potentially there is enough material for a final posthumous album.

    Then there’s the video material ….

  53. David Roest says:

    Still better than that piece of shit Freddie Mercury re-re-release next month with stuff we already got in 2000, 2006, 2013, 2016 and now. No need to burn your fingers on that Paul br mentioning it here because it ain’t worth it.

  54. mark turrell says:

    my favorite era is pre glam bowie when he was finding his feet.
    Definitely getting this.
    finally, the mono version of conversation piece reappears having only been on the ryko edition of space oddity.
    does anybody know if the stereo version of CP on the 40th set is represented here by either of the two demos???

  55. Dean says:

    Okay, we’re not getting Box 5. Disappointing, but there you have it.

    On the other hand we’ve had a slew of Bowie releases, and this set is a welcome addition. I don’t do vinyl, so having the demo’s on CD is perfect. I’ll get this for sure.

    The price is a little high for this – but while everyone loves a bargain, Bowie is my exception. I love his music, and I’ll never even think of how much I paid for it as soon as it arrives. I’d rather have this than not, so I’ll pay up.

    In fact, I’m excited for this – amazing!

  56. Johnny L says:

    I’m fair bamboozled by the negative comments. The previous sets – Five Years to Loving the Alien – had plenty of people moaning about ‘repackaging the old stuff yet again’ but this box set – significantly – features many previously unreleased recordings and songs, plus material on CD for the first time, the like of which we haven’t seen since the early 90s S+V campaign.

    I think part of the ‘problem’ is down to fans and consumers not knowing what’s next. Parlophone aren’t beholden to anyone with regards to their reissue programme, but that leads to speculation and frustration. And admittedly the posthumous mix of live albums, 7” picture discs, vinyl boxes and so on has proved hard to navigate or ‘rationalise’.

    But my guess is that the ‘era box sets’ of reissued albums will recommence at some stage and will likely include Tin Machine’s output (once those rumoured negotiations with the band members is resolved). It’s interesting, and surprising, to see how many commentators are disappointed by the lack of Tin Machine reissues! This could mean all sorts of things – that fan opinions of TM are significantly different to the supposed indifference or mockery of the music press and public; or that many people are clamouring for TM2, which has never been reissued to my knowledge (and features some great and under-rated songs – c’mon, I even love Hammerhead); or that some simply don’t like disruption to the flow of reissues.

    But the Conversation Piece box looks the business to me. No, it’s not cheap. But given the inclusion of a hefty 120-page book, it’s being marketed as a high-end product, presumably akin to the Sgt Peppers and Beatles box sets, which are things of beauty. And, more to the point, although this is in the realms of conjecture, Conversation Piece hints that there may be more to come… That the 1970s vaults, and more, might finally be opened. And that could be truly astonishing. So even if this era of Bowie is not your favourite, perhaps there’s more to come. Bowie we’ve never ever heard.

    • tinni-tussles-with-the-truth says:

      Vsconti 2019 Mix – lol . . . it’s what Bowie would have wanted.
      Yeah, I’ve found loads of stuff buried in the mix that I can’t believe is in there – it’s almost like I haven’t been producing music for the last 40 odd years, and therefore don’t know how you mix a multi-layered dynamically intricate album. I thought you just brought everything to the front of the mix, don’t you?
      Can’t wait to hear that.

    • Brice says:

      Totally agree with you Johnny !

    • Justin Cole says:

      100% in agreement with every statement. I was immediately in on this even if it is one of Bowie’s bottom-shelf albums.

      As for the comment about what Bowie would have thought of the 2019 remix: I assume the mix was actually done years earlier and with his approval. Just because it is being released in 2019 doesn’t mean it could not have been part of his plans to preserve his legacy. Allegedly, he planned for years of future releases once he knew his days were numbered.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I very much doubt this mix was done earlier than the last 12 months. Bowie spent the last 18 months of his life working on Blackstar and Lazarus… Giving tacit approval to ‘plans’ is one thing but it seems rather unlikely that he was worrying about making sure that Space Oddity was remixed.

  57. plasket says:

    You’d think that for $100+ they’d make an effort to include everything from the 40th Anniversary (2009) edition of Space Oddity…

  58. Elizabeth Ursula Hirst says:

    Well this is a relief – with the massive Floyd set due in November I was concerned about finding the moolah for another big Bowie Vinyl set. As for this set – it’s of marginal interest, and if the price falls I might take a punt – as much for the book as the musical content.

  59. pupton bluton says:

    I got very excited when I started reading this post, and despite my excitement settling down to very interested once I saw that yet another version of the indeterminately named 1969 album was included, I’ll definitely take the plunge if the price dips nearer to the £50-60 mark.

    However, it seems that every Bowie reissue programme is beset by a short-attention span that ends up frustrating those that it sets out to court. We all remember those deluxe versions that started with Ziggy, went through to Diamond Dogs, back to David Bowie/SO and fizzled out at Young Americans, before picking up with a mega Station to Station box, and stopping again. They came in all different shapes and sizes and were seemingly assembled by someone who would rather have been working on another reissue project, if indeed it was ever a cohesive ‘project’.

    And now, here we are again, with a dedicated campaign originally designed to release all ‘officially released’ material (except the first album), which then started to include unreleased stuff, and now has been dropped (albeit temporarily) in favour of what is a 50th anniversary edition of DB/SO dressed up as a rarities box. Phew, it’s hard being a DB fan! Whilst I get that this bridges between the first DB album and DB/SO it does feel odd to give it another name altogether, when well over half the material is DB/SO related.

    But the music is what matters of course and, as someone who doesn’t buy vinyl, this looks like fascinating stuff. I don’t really buy into the ‘remix’ thing, but if every album (up to SM at least) gets this treatment, then count me in, as there is an absolute wealth of material out there. The question is: does Parlophone have the attention span and dedication to make this an ongoing, consistent reissue programme? I guess time will tell….

  60. FrenchDuke79 says:

    What the……..This is not what I was expecting at all.

    I’m a Bowie fan and I have a lot of stuff but i’m not obsessive. I’ve bought most Bowie releases over the last few years but have avoided the recent glut of demo releases because of two reasons.

    Firstly they have all been way too expensive for what they are and the cost does not, in my opinion, represent value. Even when reduced and on special offer I have still felt the same.

    Secondly, the documentaries and other sources I’ve been privy to have somewhat cemented my belief that this very early period is more focused on Bowie trying to emulate others rather than being the artistic and cultural force that he would start developing and become over the following few years.

    I can appreciate that some people may really like this early stuff but following two other recent releases you must really like this stuff to keep buying it over and over again. Why release more of the same?

    I wanted the next era boxset and I can only imagine that some legal issues with the copyright around Tin Machine may be holding things up. I might be wrong but it would make sense. With that in mind though this feels like a stop gap non-purchase. Is this just filler to buy some time? Am I being to cynical?

    I’d be curious to see if this is an essential purchase for anyone.

  61. Wesley says:

    Since this ‘Space Oddity 50′ campaign started a Bowie completist would have to spend the best part of £300 to get all the releases. Personally I bailed after the Clareville box (although the Mercury demos is now down to £61 on Amazon and I imagine will fall even further after this announcement) but did get the Paul Smith coloured vinyl. That appears to have been the only item that was a truly limited edition – you can still get everything else on Amazon.
    From reading SDE and other forums this campaign seems to have created more ill will among Bowie fans than any of the other posthumous release campaigns. I know it’s all commerce at the end of the day but there IS a difference between celebrating an artists’ legacy and fleecing the fans, and based on the pricing alone this smacks of the latter.
    I can’t see this being a sustainable way of ‘celebrating’ the 50th anniversaries moving forward.

  62. kisdubos says:

    I’m just terribly bored of this era. I can’t even follow all these versions. I’m sick of figuring out which Space Odity demo on this new collection corresponds to “Space Oddity (Demo, Alternative Lyrics)” released on Spying Through a Keyhole, and stuff like that. Who wanted a 2019 mix of this album? Literary nobody.

  63. Dale Munday says:

    All this re-hashing . Where is toy ?

  64. Tom says:

    All these Bowie releases of the past coupla’ years are just wearing me out………

  65. Adey says:

    Even ebay flippers would feel ashamed at flogging the set for such a ridiculous price. Maybe record companies are the new scalpers?

  66. Aaron says:

    Underwhelming and overpriced.

  67. Adey says:

    Absolute rip off, and why do we need yet another “mix”
    of the space oddity album?

  68. Kauwgompie says:

    Paul, going forward will every Bowie album get this treatment or is this a one off? What are your thoughts?

    As a teenager I became interested in Bowie in the 80’s. I’m not particularly interested in a Bowie deluxe box from a 1969 album that I already own several times (Five Years, the 2009 2x CD and the 1990 Rykodisc cd). Maybe I’ll get it for completist reasons if the price comes down. $100 for 5 discs and a book I’ll never read is way too much. Maybe I’ll get it for half that price. But knowing these Bowie boxes, they don’t really come down in price much. I’ll have to wait for the German 3 for 2. Prince gave us 4 discs (without book) for $20. Let’s say 5 discs would be $30, then I pay $70 for a book I don’t want?
    Out of curiosity, are people interested in these books that often times come with SDE’s? Personally I only buy SDE’s for the music, not for books unless I’m an Uber fan of the artist which I’m not in most cases.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I get the feeling this is a one-off. My understanding is that we are unlikely to see big Station to Station style boxes for other albums…. although who knows? Pretty sure we’ll be back to ‘eras’ next year and a continuation of where we left off with ‘Loving The Alien’.

      • ELJAY says:

        well it’s been said and I’ve heard this very recently that anniversary releases are planned at least for now up to 2024 which would be diamond dogs 50th.
        I can quite believe and hope there’s one next year for tmwstw, taking the American date of nov 2020 which will be the 50th anniversary. the timing seems right for that, the uk date was april 71 with hunky dory released in dec 1971.
        I’m of the view that I do think we will see more of these. where they fit box no 5, the follow up to loving the alien I’m not sure but they will need to resolve the tin machine problem first as that may affect things.

  69. fredpostman says:

    Parlaphone hold your head in shame, the price is disgraceful….

  70. Eamonn says:

    Tin Machine and the suburban Buddha will probably follow in box form in spring 2020. Word is the drummer Sale from TM has been holding out for a fairer royalty rate; this may have delayed things.

  71. Gary says:

    After I’ve moaned so much about the 7 inch vinyl only releases,
    I’d be a complete hypocrite if I bad mouth this CD box set.
    Fortunately, I see no fault with it apart from the price.
    However, considering how much I used to pay pay for dodgy quality Bowie CD bootlegs at Camden market back in the 1990s,
    it starts to look just a little bit more reasonably priced for outtakes and demos I may only listen to once or twice…???
    Ok.. I’m obviously still trying to convince myself…

  72. Bogdan says:

    This look like a wee bit expensive? Otherwise, interesting material, to be sure.

  73. paolo says:

    It’s interesting how they choose to call this ‘Conversation Piece’ instead of labelling it simply as a 50th anniversary edition. Maybe anniversary editions are a concept that kind of saturated the market in the last decade or so? They’re also back calling the album ‘Space Oddity’ instead of ‘David Bowie’.

    For me personally there’s no point to buy this, gonna listen to the 2019 mix in some way, like I did with all other alternative/updated mixes from the recent boxsets, the 2CD 40th anniversary edition and the 2015 remaster, on CD as well, will suffice.

    I hope a similar treatment will be used for ‘Hunky Dory’, ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes’ when they’ll turn 50, those would be my most wanted super deluxe sets out of all of Bowie’s catalogue.

    But is that an official statement by Parlophone that the boxset series is put on hold this year? Or is just an educated guess?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It’s early September and this box is released in October. There is DEFINITELY not going to be any big box set this year. That’s not an ‘official statement’ but it is me telling you :)

  74. Sean says:

    So, is this the new long-term plan now that the box set remasters are pretty much done; deluxe versions of specific albums? If so, I can now look forward to what I’ve always wanted – Low in such a detailed format. It’s nice to have something to look forward to!

  75. Steven Bain says:

    I got the ‘Paul Smith’ version I’m happy with that, why only £16 USA and double that for the U.K.? Brexit?

    • Neil Wilkes says:

      It has been a complete rip-off in the UK for pressed discs compared to the US for a long time now, and the US does not have a trade deal with the EU so Brexit has zero impact on prices.
      As to why so much more expensive in UK (and, oddly enough, Japan where discs are also a lot more money) compared to other territories, I have no real idea. It makes no sense to me.

  76. Michael says:

    The 2019 remixed CD of “Space Oddity” will suffice for me. I refuse to venture into a treasure hunt for the coloured vinyl editions, and hope other DB fans follow suit so Parlophone finally gets the message to jettison this irritating marketing concept.

    Although the “Conversation Piece” box set looks to be of nice quality, I’m not a big fan of Bowie’s earlier period with Decca Records, so I plan to skip this one. But, as Charles expressed in this blog, a deluxe set of Tin Machine would be very desirable!

  77. Gisabun says:

    Never picked up all those demo stuff. But what ticks me off is the price. Part of the problem is that by throwing in a book, they can justify selling this at a ridiculous price. Too bad no version without the book.
    [Until maybe 4-5 years ago I was mostly a casual fan, basically stopped with his music at around Never Let Me Down (hmmm). So when S&V was re-released on 4 CDs and a booklet at a cheap price, I was happy.]

  78. Pete says:

    Nobody wanted this. We were all curious how they’d continue the eras box (comebine TM with BTWN? Just do TM? Skip TM completely?) and waited with money saved to buy a 5th eras box that showcased David’s 90s ouput, but since when has a company actually catered to its customers expectations and wanted to make money?? This is a step in the wrong direction if the plan is to just reissue the 1970-1987 Bowie output all over again, albeit with a more in depth look at demos. Now I’ll take it back if this is simply a parallel series to the eras box set and we still get a 1989-1994, or 1989-1999 box set or whatever in the next year, but if the plan all along was to stop those at 1988 and start over again with album focused box sets then Parlophone should have made it clear that the career spanning sets would only go up to 1988. I’m boycotting this release and any other Bowie one until we get a proper continuation of the eras sets and if we never do, I guess that’s just the end of buying Bowie product for me. And I encourage all of you who waited like me for a 5th eras box set only to be disappointed with no explanation from Parlophone, to boycott this as well. This is not the box set we wanted but I am sure many will buy it anyway simply because it has the Bowie name on it. Sigh…I’ll miss those great informative hardcover books that we got with the first four eras sets.

    • Gary says:

      I wanted this…

      What I don’t want is to be told what I shouldn’t want by a disgruntled dogmatist…

      Enjoy basking in your boycott…

    • Paul E says:

      Boycotting? What a childish comment. Maybe you should threaten to hold your breath until they do as you say.

      The “next” box set is apparently being delayed due to arguments over royalties between the Bowie estate and the other Tin Machine members.

    • Kevin from Edinburgh says:

      I too have been waiting for the next career-spanning set (the fifth in the series) rather than this, which I won’t be getting.

      But it should be pointed out that a number of voices on ‘the other site’ (you know the one) were decrying the career sets and arguing that what they should bet issuing was deluxe editions of individual albums with demos, outtakes, etc, which is what this appears to be.

      You can’t please all the people all the time, it seems.

  79. Geoff G says:

    If this is the next box set in the series I am underwhelmed.

  80. Tim Barton says:

    I was looking forward to a box with the Tin Machine material, which I assume will see the light of day soon. And yet this comes as no surprise. I will likely buy it, but I do hope the prices will be fair. No sign of it on Amazon Japan, nor HMV Japan yet (same frustration I am facing as I wait for that Kinks Arthur box).

    Well, saving for this as I am a completist.

  81. Graham says:

    I’m very much in two minds about this one. Nice to see the over-priced vinyl boxes getting a CD release, but that’s a lot of money when most of this will only rarely get played. Do I really need two more copies of Space Oddity? Especially when one of them is presumably the same one in the Five Years box… There’s also presumably some overlap with the old “at the Beeb” collection.

    One to pick up if I feel rich or the price drops markedly. Otherwise, roll on the 90s!

  82. Chris says:

    The price though. Even from a die-hard Bowie collector it’s a nah thanks.

  83. Steve says:

    Never thought of ordering multiple copies of the vinyl to get them one I want, thanks for the idea Paul!

  84. wardo says:

    I’ve lost track of how many “new” mixes we’ve had of “Space Oddity” over the past 20 years. The 2034 special 75th anniversary mix should be astounding…

    12 unreleased tracks alongside the demos from the boxes are certainly worth it for anyone who didn’t get the demo boxes. But the Space Oddity album was already remastered in 2015 for the Five Years box.

    Assuming there’s a Tin Machine box in tge pipeline, im hoping that won’t have to wait until its 50th anniversary.

  85. Cosmo Castanza says:

    I will be buying this …..when it is not a ludicrous £17 per cd ….and I would not pay that price if I was a millionaire out of principle.

    I have bought some of these random coloured vinyls in the past……but have not even opened them yet.

  86. Elim Garak says:

    Will “Unwashed” include the “Don’t look down” coda?

  87. juerie says:

    I will buy the 2019 vinyl mix, thats all I am interested.
    looks like 2019 is a cheap year for me. No 5th Bowie Boxset, a very overpriced Floyd one and a very boring Freddie Mercury Boxset. Ok, money safed.

  88. Leemer says:

    I thought the concept about vinyl was the same as software, once you opened it, you’ve bought it? That was what I experienced when I was young. Unless there was a flaw that could be shown to the retailer, there was no refund on opened records. Has this changed?

    • Gary Thompson says:

      pretty easy to scratch a record yourself, then claim ‘it was like that when I opened it’.

    • David Bly says:

      Firstly, and I’m sure Paul can attest to this, for ages in the UK LPs were not shrink-wrapped and you could look at the discs to see if there were any obvious flaws before you bought them.
      Also many stores would let you play them first, so a record you bought ‘new’ might’ve been played several times by other people!

      As for these days, with a lot on vinyl not being sold in stores, retailers have allowed that there might be defects and will be happy to exchange them even if opened. Amazon is actually very good about this, in many cases not even requiring you to return the defective or damaged ones.

      • Ex-Oligarch says:

        As someone who worked at a US label and at a large distro during the 1980s, I can tell you that the staff would open records all day long to play them while we worked, then run them through the shrinkwrap machine again.

        • David Bly says:

          I worked for some years at a now defunct chain store called Record Town, that was mostly in malls.

          We would correctly send back defective records, but found out that the home office would regularly re-shrink-wrap some records and send them back out.
          We actually caught them a few times cause we’d get back LPs that in their original release would have a sticker on the cover and it would be missing, plus the shrink wrap was a different kind than the original.

          I’m sure other chains did this kind of thing.

  89. Kristan S Reed says:

    Wake me up when they finally get around to opening the vaults on the all the 1970-73 unreleased stuff. This is proper barrel scraping territory.

  90. Colin Harper says:

    I suppose most Bowie buffs will find this of marginal/zero interest, but the Tony Visconti Orchestra on that May 1968 BBC session featured future jazz fusion guitar sensation John McLaughlin – though very likely not playing any fusion solos :-)

    I’ve written two books on John’s 1960s/early 70s period and, curiously, that Visconti session sticks out as an oddity – John was very active as a jobbing session man for around 18 months spanning 1966-67, appearing on all sorts of (now) incongruous things like ‘Mellow Yellow’, ‘Winchester Cathedral’ and Engelbert Humperdinck records (plus a couple of David Bowie tracks, with Visconti, recorded in September 1967 and released in 1970 on ‘The World of David Bowie’). But he very decisively left that world at a certain point in 1967.

    The May 68 session for Tony must have been a favour for an old pal or possibly John momentarily needing some cash – his other activities in that spring 1968 period being mostly hardcore / low income jazz adventures with small-group bandleaders Mike Carr, Howard Riley, Danny Thompson and Gordon Beck (plus a glut of late-night BBC session MOR/lounge jazz recordings with vocalist Joy Marshall). The Visconti/Bowie session was one of the very last things he did before clearing off to Belgium for six months of total free jazz / poverty with Gunter Hampel’s Time Is Now.

    • GentleRabbit says:

      Cheers for the info, Colin. Quite fascinating.

      • Colin Harper says:

        You’re welcome :-) I may be right in saying that only four of the five tracks from the May 68 BBC sesh have been released before… but if I’m not, I’m sure a Bowie will put me right.

    • David Bly says:

      Bloody wow!

      I just looked you up and it seems you’ve done a lot of writing about great guitarists and other musicians and have even recorded your own stuff.
      You’ve also written quite a number of liner notes on things I have and some I plan to get.

      Rather than list all you’ve done, I’m going to put a link to your Wikipedia page so everyone here can see all the great stuff you’ve done!

      • Colin Harper says:

        Err… thank you, David! I should point out that I didn’t start that Wikipedia page – I found it by accident ages after someone else started it, for reasons I can’t imagine, and was baffled to find a dozen or people had contributed to it. I couldn’t take it down so I resolved to fix some inaccuracies and add to it every couple of years if I’d had a new book published or suchlike. The funny thing is, pro musician friends tell me it can be quite tricky to start a wikipedia page (if they’ve tried to do it themselves) – can’t remember why, though… Anyway…

        • David Bly says:

          Colin –
          I didn’t imagine that you started the page – I don’t think many people do start their own, unless it’s for reasons of setting the record straight about some serious issue.

          I have contributed/fixed a few Wiki pages on music, in particular musicians on Island Records, and a few others not on Island.
          I do stay away from the major artists like The Beatles, even when I see a mistake, because those kinds of pages are notorious for people wanting to change them to suit their own beliefs.

          The ‘trick’ about Wiki pages is that they essentially require you to have proof of certain things, like links to articles, company pages, and other places that can prove your claims. I have made a few changes where they were reverted cause I had no documentation.

          Of course the hardest things to prove are things that only you know, and have no proof of. I’ve met numerous musicians over the years, and there are things that only I and they know. Of course, I wouldn’t just write things about them that are not important, like the day I was at Niagara Falls with [x] and [y], or the time I was unable to take [z] and [Mrs z] to the Pennsylvania Dutch country cause my car needing fixing.

          And as they have no proof of who you are, even if you are registered, they won’t just take your word that you are you.

          But at least we know you are you, and are all the better for it!


  91. Tobias says:

    With my luck, even if I’ll order 5 vinyls at the same time, I’ll get 5 black ones. And end up paying 200£ for a golden one on Ebay….

    • Pete says:

      Sounds like silver will be the rare one. If they’re numbered 1970-2019 there will only be 49.

      • Bruno says:

        Hi Paul – looks like the numbers for silver and gold vinyl LPs are mixed up… This is what the Bowie FB page states:
        “numbers 1 to 1969 on silver vinyl numbers and 1970 to 2019 on gold vinyl, with the remainder being black vinyl.” so the other way round…

      • Markyp says:

        It makes 50 and that’s the gold.
        Still very rare.

  92. Mark S says:

    Awesome. I wonder if this is the beginning of a parallel box set series rounding up all demos, unreleased tracks for each period.
    Given the main series features almost all commercially released material, it makes sense for there to be a series like this. If indeed that’s what we are going to get.

    • Gary Thompson says:

      @ Mark S I was about to whinge about how they’d changed the box format from previous sets, but your point re unreleased material made me realise my mistake. I think this is a good thing; I bought the first 2 singles demos boxes, but resisted the Mercury demos & SO box set, so this fills out a gap in my collection nicely.

  93. George says:

    This isn’t the Bowie box set I was looking for..

  94. Charles says:

    Not the route I was expecting, but will be good to get all of this year’s releases on CD.

    Bring on TIN MACHINE!!!

  95. Jim says:

    So many version of Ching-a-Ling! The song that makes the Laughing Gnome sound like a masterpiece.

  96. Brian Smith says:

    That’s more like it!! a CD release! Not a 7 inch box set.

    • Shawn C. says:

      I’ll buy it, but would have preferred the 90s box. Why not finish out his formal releases as they have with the last three boxes and then do this? Hopefully Paul is correct and they willl releases boxes of the 90s and later output at some point.

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