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David Bowie / Spying Through A Keyhole

4 x 7″ singles • Unreleased demos

The previously announced David Bowie Spying Through A Keyhole seven-inch vinyl box set now has a release date and is available to pre-order.

The set is released to mark 50 years since the ‘Space Oddity’ single and features nine previously unreleased recordings from the era during which that song was conceived. Most of the recordings are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances and the cover image is a photograph by Ray Stevenson and was taken in Tony Visconti’s flat in the summer of 1968.

Each single label is designed to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles are all mono and play at 45 RPM.

Spying Through A Keyhole is released on 5 April 2019.

Compare prices and pre-order

David Bowie

Spying Through a Keyhole [VINYL]

Currency:

Single 1
Side 1
Mother Grey (demo)
Side 2
In The Heat Of The Morning (demo)

Single 2
Side 1
Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe (demo)
Side 2
Love All Around (demo)

Single 3
Side 1
London Bye, Ta-Ta (demo)
Side 2
Angel Angel Grubby Face (demo version 1)

Single 4
Side 1
1.Angel Angel Grubby Face (demo version 2)
2. Space Oddity (demo excerpt)
Side 2
Space Oddity (demo) with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson

73 responses to David Bowie / Spying Through A Keyhole

  1. Pingback:David Bowie ‘Clareville Grove Demos’ box now available for pre-order | superdeluxeedition

  2. Pingback:David Bowie / Clareville Grove Demos / seven-inch vinyl box set | superdeluxeedition

  3. Dan says:

    The official announcement on davidbowie.com stated that these recordings are not limited to vinyl and “may appear on other formats” in the future. This suggests to me that there will be more demos/rarities issued on vinyl like this before they are all eventually collected on CD.

  4. Charles Hodgson says:

    Amazon UK are terribly overpriced for most items I’m interested in these days, presumably due to lack of competition.
    But they do have to get rid of stuff from time to time to free up warehouse space.
    So it is worth keeping items you are interested in in your shopping cart and keep an eye out for deals as they come up.
    As for Bowie, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg for an unlimited future of price gouging family approved projects.
    And my wife says she heard a Bowie tune on a British Airways ad today. But they won’t license tracks for a Bowie related movie project, presumably as they won’t have complete creative control / veto. Same thing happened for ‘Velvet Goldmine’ in the ’90’s. So maybe that’s as per his wishes. I don’t remember him licensing songs to adverts, but maybe that’s my memory playing tricks on me.

    • Dan says:

      Bowie never wanted a biopic and the best way to ensure a film is never made is not to grant permission for the music to be used. I think that’s just the family carrying out his wishes.

      As for the adverts, why not? Songs are meant to be heard and since db himself is no longer around to sing them, what’s the problem? It keeps the songs in the public consciousness.

    • David Harold says:

      Yep, that’s your memory playing tricks on you indeed. Most recent I think was Louis Vuitton in 2016. I think the bio film thing is just the same as why he never took part in any official biographies, though he was happy to talk about himself at length. He realised the futility of that sort narrative.

    • Mikael says:

      Well, Crystal Japan was made for a Japanese saké commercial, and he did things with Audi around the Reality time. Then of course when I’m five for BA (or was it Heathrow?) plus Vuitton. Wasn’t Pepsi a sponsor st some point?
      So he didn’t mind advertising, but he was picky.

  5. Matthew says:

    Not RSD2019 then, a week earlier, wonder what is. Looking forward to hearing these, and yes more than once!

  6. Gisabun says:

    A thought. Why release it on 4 7″ discs? They were never release before. It is one thing if a re-release [for example, The Beatles Xmas singles box set] . I think most here would of been happy if it was released on a single LP [assuming the songs aren’t too long].
    Such a waste.
    Or a money grab.
    Personally flipping over a vinyl every 3-4 minutes is ridiculous.

    • mitchell w feldstein says:

      bowie for all his otherworldly brilliance seems to have been rather human and mundane when it came to releasing product.it has gotten even worse since his passing.

    • Steve says:

      I could be wrong but I think they’re trying to replicate how he sent his demos to record companies – ie on 7” vinyl. Or perhaps they’re trying to make that creative leap anyway.
      “Each single label is designed to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies”

    • Mister Godzilla says:

      Makes you wonder how people in the 50s/60s/70s/80s etc coped having to turn those records over!

  7. Tony says:

    Are these a limited numbered edition Paul?
    I just had beers and burgers for two in Hammersmith which came in at £40, if this box is well packaged then maybe it’s not such a bad price, but it wouldn’t have taken a
    lot of effort to slip a CD copy in.

  8. Geoff D says:

    No problem with the format (although the price is a little on the high side) but why is the original Space Oddity demo only an excerpt when the whole thing is known to exist? Seems a bit mean spirited not to include it in full.

  9. David Perry says:

    Bought it from the D2C.

    Worth pointing out that the 15% welcome discount from Bowie.com doesn’t work :(

  10. Elizabeth Ursula Hirst says:

    It’s not so much the price of this, but the massive hike for UK – I guess it is our own fault as due to reasons that don’t belong here the pound has taken a pasting against other currencies. We’ll be paying for that with our deluxe editions along with everything else.

    • Paul Murphy says:

      Well, we’re holding up pretty well against the Venezuelan bolivar [I’m a glass half full guy]. Amazon UK do seem to overprice things against elsewhere to start with, then bring them more into line later. However, as someone else so appositely pointed out, had I found this at a record fair, when they were not slightly rarer than a dodo sandwich, at twice the asking price I’d have been more than happy to grab it, so I’m on the pre-order list and if it comes down later, I’ll just shrug and get on with the day.

  11. Charles says:

    Happy these are being released and I’m hoping for more, but I will wait for the CD.

    Bring on Tin Machine!

  12. thewildeyedboyfromfreecloud says:

    Ordered!
    So many negative comments.
    £40 for 4 replica acetates of previously unreleased Bowie music is well worth it imo.
    And they will defintely be played in this house – again and again, no doubt.

    • andy b in the place to bowie says:

      so you would order anything Bowie related, cos its rare and a snippet?

      Would you pay that much even if he is on the is on the can/john farting the theme to JAWS? I ain’t knocking this stuff but come on the whole thing of ‘Saw you coming’ is apt at times to gullible people. Before anyone has a pop, it has been mentioned several times that it will be appearing on a bigger set. People + money + no Sense

      • Chris Squires says:

        That’s not really a fair comment Andy. And it’s a bit harsh to be directed at someone in such a personal way. EVERYTHING on this site is equally stupid / indispensable depending on your outlook and to mock someone for finding something interesting would soon bring the whole house crashing down if we all did it. It’s probably true that everyone here has an artist that they would spend money on buying something akin to Coughing and tuning their way through a couple of rare / unheard songs… and this is something more that what you suggest. If this was Stephen TinTin Duffy…4 unreleased 1980s 7″ demos and you would have my £40 faster than you could count it. Wouldn’t matter if it was promised on a later set or not. Why would that stop you as, again, almost everything ends up on something else later anyway, but that’s not how being a fan works, is it?

  13. Alan Hawker says:

    So many negative comments. I love hearing his pre-fame material and this is a no-brainer of a purchase for me. Is the format a little gimmicky? Yes, but no more so than releasing exclusive tracks on picture discs and thus ensuring the quality of the music isn’t at its’ best. As least these are on real vinyl. Would have made a nice 12″ LP and would be more convenient to play. However, when they release stuff we don’t have 10x already, then I feel it needs to be encouraged. This will make a lovely birthday present for me.

    • Catweazle says:

      Agreed!
      I’m pretty certain that some of those calling this a ‘rip-off’ have gladly paid much more for the odd Hype bootleg 7″ or so. C’mon, this is unreleased Bowie stuff, let’s be happy we get to hear it. I’ll surely add it to my collection, and for those who won’t – well, wait for the CD or DL or stream… there’ll probably be a solution for everyone, so why complain?

    • Mic Smith says:

      Agree completely.

  14. Eamonn says:

    For those in need of another Bowie fix, I’d recommend spending less money than that Keyhole business on Chris O’Leary’s pending second Bowie book, Ashes to Ashes – dissecting each song from Low to death in his inimitable style. Check-out his blog https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com for a flavour. Great review of the book here: https://bookforum.com/inprint/025_05/20626

    • Shawn C says:

      Thanks for the tip Eamonn – preordered the book on Amazon. Looks interesting. Personally, I find the latter half of Bowie’s career the most interesting, likely because I discovered him as a teen in the 80s.

  15. Gisabun says:

    Another cash grab by the label [and maybe estate].
    If The Thin White Duke was alive now, I wonder if he would allow this to be released. Let alone all the other vinyl only singles during the past year or so.
    If the label caves in and releases a CD [or digital] version, then we know it’s a cash grab.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      The label have already stated that this content will reappear elsewhere in the future, so ‘caves in’ doesn’t apply.

    • Dan says:

      Er, yes. This is just the latest of many posthumous releases planned by db before his death. Do you not know the story of the envelopes he left with his business manager, one to be opened every year…?

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        I must admit I do take with a pinch of salt all these releases Bowie supposedly ‘planned’ before his death. He was really busy with Blackstar and Lazarus in the 18 months prior to his death, but apparently he still had time to plan a seven-inch box set four years into the future…

        • Dan says:

          He wasn’t actually that busy with Lazarus – according to Ivo Van Hove (the director) he merely attended a few rehearsals when he was well enough. If you knew your time was coming to an end and you were as big a control freak as db, surely you would leave a plan for what you wanted released and what you didn’t want released? How much effort does it take to make a few lists on several sheets of paper? I just don’t believe that Bill Zysblat, the Estate, the family and db’s close collaborators would all go to the trouble of fabricating this story about the envelopes if it wasn’t true.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Yeah, you might be right. Although ‘Legacy’?.. did he request another greatest hits so soon, after Nothing Has Changed. Why would he do that?

  16. RJS says:

    Ten years ago this would have been released on a CD and sold for a fiver. Definitely one for the box collectors.

  17. Mark says:

    Brilliant, if no one buys it the price will drop before release.
    This could be better of course , maybe as suggested more info about the tracks?

  18. Paul Gray says:

    This is rather like The Beatles Christmas Box Set, desirable for fans, ridiculously priced and won’t actually get played.

  19. Dean says:

    Sorry, huge Bowie fan, but this release is a disgrace. £40 is waaaaay over the top, and the singles format is – to steal a line from video games – an out of season April Fools joke. I won’t be buying in case it encourages more of this nonsense.

  20. poptones says:

    This picked my interest : “Each single label is designed to reflect the way David sent many of his demos to publishers and record companies, featuring his own handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The singles are all mono and play at 45 RPM.”

    I still have no interest in buying this box set but now I understand why they selected that format (7inch box set) for this release. It makes more sense when explained that way. I just wish Parlophone repressed the 5 years 1969-1973 box set and included those four 7″ singles as a bonus.

  21. Brian says:

    I’m sure a CD release will eventually happen.

  22. Cosmo Castanza says:

    A British legend……….costs more for Brits to buy than any of the other options …..are we mugs or judt stupid ?

    A Cd option for a tenner would be of interest , but no more overpriced seven inch sets for me.

    • Stuart Ansell says:

      What has his nationality got to do with the price of fish? Is your rationale that, because Bowie was British (can’t debate that, but he was primarily a musician of the world – the Warsaw trilogy, mining the Philly sound for young Americans, the US pop gloss of Let’s Dance, even down to his final album which was a collaboration with
      a bunch of young American Jazz musicians, Bowie was as open minded and anti xenophobic as you can get), we shouldn’t have to pay more for a box set which is manufactured outside of the country and then imported into it?

      I mean, fair enough if you think if you think it’s overpriced, literally no-one is forcing you to buy it, or indeed be a “mug”, or be “stupid”. But to get nationalistic and entitled about the price of a record just because the originator happens to have been born in the U.K. seems a bit tenuous at best.

      This is a lovely site for like minded people to share their mutual love of records – let’s keep it positive, shall we? If it’s not for you, it’s not for you – that’s no problem, enjoy the stuff you enjoy.

  23. Gorecki says:

    Although £10 each per 7″ is not excessive in itself these days (when I first started buying in the 80s they were 0.99 or 1.99 I think?) this ‘feels’ expensive – and that ‘feeling’ makes a lot of difference. Especially as this doesn’t look terribly lavish as a ‘box set’, there’s not many tracks, they’re not going to be terribly listenable, certainly not frequent listening, and it’s hard not to get a sneaking suspicion all these tracks will subsequently be released on some far more extensive CD. They feel more of historic interest than necessary listening – like the annotations and footnotes in a classic novel – an interesting insight into process, thinking and development, yet no more important than that. And right now I have to prioritise car insurance (ouch!) over singles….. I know, my priorities are screwed! ;)

    By the way, on the subject of less than lavish box sets…. back in the early 90s All About Eve (or more likely Phonogram/ Vertigo/ Mercury on their behalf) released at least one ‘box set’ which stretched the concept to the very limit: the Strange Way 10″ came in a ‘box pack’…. and, er, that was it! No poster, no cards, no badge, nothing. Just a record in a very squishable box. I still count it as one of the single most bizarre ‘limited editions’ (of 10,000 no less – very hopeful!) I ever came across. And these box pack formats which were foisted on AAE and The Mission make digipacks, card sleeves and so on, look positively easy care, and non-damageable by comparison. I did hear rumours, whispers, myths that some copies of the Strange Way box had a small promo photo in… but I’ve never seen one, and I won’t believe a myth until I do: like Yetis, Shangri-La, or Milton Keynes!

    • Lydia Figg says:

      Love this comment – btw I actually live in that land of make believe M.K, 5mins from Bowie’s Bowl extravaganza! (it was destiny – saw him there in 83′ – moved up here the following year. I’d love the box set but like you no spare spondoolies currently. I was only talking my son of the joy of holding music in your hands as a prized piece..something I did with all my hero’s albums back way then..life will present them to me at some point I hope!

  24. Sean Hewitt says:

    I’m an enormous Bowie fan. Bought the last two £100 box sets, numerous of the remasters from the earlier ones, Cracked Actor, Welcome To The Blackout, the Glastonbury CD/DVD set and the David Bowie Is app. I don’t regret any of those purchases – they’ve all brought me great enjoyment.

    I wouldn’t dream of getting this set. What an overpriced waste of time. I’ll wait until the inevitable CD/digital release. It’ll be far cheaper. I can wait.

  25. andrew r says:

    Is this a ltd edition with cd to follow?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I doubt we’ll get a CD of this product, but I expect these tracks will end up on CD as part of, perhaps, some bigger product.

      • colm47 says:

        Evening Paul. I love your site, been a daily reader for years now.

        I’m sure you’re delighted with the success of your site but you must get fed up with the eternal CD v Vinyl debate and having to monitor comments on it.
        How old is the site now, 7/8 years or is it more?
        This debate has been going on for all that time.

        You might need to put up a warning sign!
        Please don’t mention the B word, or in your case, the CD v V words

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Thanks! When I get around to it, I will publish a big FAQs / ‘Rules’ about comments!

          • colm47 says:

            Ah Paul, it’s not like you’re busy!

          • Dr Volume says:

            Oh man I’m sure we could all compile a list…
            Please do not:
            1. Scream ‘Cash Cow’ or ‘Cash Grab’ every time a new release is announced – they all want your money it’s your choice whether you hand it over.
            2. Comment just to say “I’ve never heard of this artist”
            3. Comment just to say “I can’t believe you’ve posted this and ignored the new release from (insert name of new release that’ll probably be up in the next week)”
            4. Quote from ‘that’ Smiths song every time anything is reissued or repackaged
            5. Say ‘I bet it’s brickwalled..’, ‘I bet it’s a vinyl rip’, ‘I bet it’s the wrong master’ just cos it’s on Cherry Red
            6. Say “I could get that in a charity shop for 50p ” (Guilty!!)
            7. Say “What? You expect me to buy the same music, again? On a different colour piece of plastic?”
            8. Say “Whatever next, they’ll be bringing back cassettes next!”
            9. Say “Whatever next, they’ll be bringing back 8 track cartridges next!”
            etc etc etc etc. I could go on..but then again we’d have nothing to talk about :)

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Haha… that’s a good start :)

      • AlexKx says:

        Ding, ding, ding, ding! Correct answer! And a good one, eh!

        • Chris Squires says:

          10. One for the Box Collectors, they’ll never play it…..
          11. £2.50 postage for a 2KG box set is a rip off….
          12. I can’t believe they’ve left off *insert name of an obscure track here* I not buying this otherwise perfect 10 disc compilation…..
          13. “Instead of releasing this on Vinyl why don’t they release it on CD! No CD, No Sale”…. Reply – The 2CD and 3CD expanded sets were remastered in 2011 and 2014 and are £2.99 – £7.99 on Amazon.
          14. £12.99 for 4 CD bookset? Too expensive, I will wait for it to drop a fiver and then I’ll think about it.
          15. It only costs £1.03 to print a 96 page book….
          16. No Marbles?
          17. Will the Blu-Ray be region free?

          • Mike the Fish says:

            I agree that the 8 track/cassette/marbles comments are well past their sell by date now. The thing that frustrates me about the marbles thing is that they were part of some kind of concept that does make sense: I quite like that. Charity shop for 50p/a quid frustrates me because in my experience things have really changed in charity shops over the last 3-5 years and many items that were *really* common at that price now aren’t. That said, I’m hardly the least irritating person to walk the planet or type on a blog.

        • Mike the Fish says:

          To be fair, I’m guilty of repeatedly bashing Cherry Red, but they do have a reputation they need to improve. It’s got to be fair for new customers to be aware, and perhaps for Cherry Red to be embarrased into improvement. Vinyl rips might be the best way sometimes, but they don’t have to be as bad as some of the ones CR have let out!

  26. Mark Davey says:

    £40 for 4 singles is a no from me.
    Fully agree with Wolfgang just a cash in and more appropriate as a bonus disc

  27. DAL says:

    Why is it so expensive via Amazon UK?

    • Jamie says:

      Because Amazon have pushed proper record shops out of business & can charge what they like? Massively overpriced for 4 singles, even given today’s market.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        That isn’t the reason, it’s because the label will be charging a dealer price that means you need to charge £40 to make anything like a decent margin.

        • Mic Smith says:

          What Records are beating Amazon UK price even when you factor in postage. Even cheaper with loyalty points. Just preordered for less than £30.

          • GentleRabbit says:

            Just out of curiosity and slightly off-subject, but could anyone recommend What Records and their shipping/postage methods? I try to order from independent shops when I can, but have again become a little reluctant after a few recent episodes where I received damaged, carelessly-packaged LPs (good old CDs almost always survive the journey intact, though!)…

            Can anyone recommend particular independent stores that pay close attention to sturdy, reliable packaging for long journeys? It just gets pretty maddening, I do try to do my research regarding each store’s ratings and testimonials… I sometimes add polite comments regarding safe packaging, and I’ve even been met with slightly passive-aggressive responses (“We know how to pack our records safely, thank you very much etc”… all I ask is that expensive, mint vinyl (with hefty international shipping charges) is packed in strong LP mailers that protect the corners and such. I’ve know of LP mailers that virtually guarantee the safety of its contents (Whiplash mailers are the ones that jumps to mind), but they are a bit more expensive than others… though far from extortionate and they would pay for themselves in no time.

            I was recently stung by a particular shop based in Haarlem, Netherlands when I rushed into securing copies of the recent U2 coloured vinyl. The full transaction was around the equivalent of £60-70, and when I picked the package up off the doorstep, I immediately felt the LPs inside shifting around inside and my heart began to sink. The covers were damaged due to their basic lack of effort… and the store is bordering on unreachable – their Discogs profile has been inactive for a while (something I perhaps should have checked in advance), they actually refuse to use email (“No email. Only live chat!” their website chirpily informs you, regardless of things like time difference and customer service etc) and then refuse to cooperate unless I cover return postage. Now I’m stuck, I don’t have the usual recourse of PayPal or eBay to help me as I paid them directly with my card, and I don’t know if I can even trust these guys to honour a refund if I go through with it.

            Again, this is not a slight against independent retailers (who I have supported for years), I just want to make a little list of people who both care about what they do and go the extra mile in delivering their product to you. I’ve got a few, most of which are a little on the expensive side, but it seems that you indeed do get what you pay for.

            Again, apologies Paul for being off-subject, it’s just something that doesn’t seem to get any easier and I’d love to hear peoples’ 2 cents.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            The SDE shop is good :) although I’m biased and we have a very ‘curated’ selection. For example, for all international customers we put the Paul Young box into a larger outer box with loads of padding to make sure it – and the print – arrived in tact.

          • GentleRabbit says:

            Will certainly bear that in mind, Paul. Love that SDE has its own shop.

          • Chris Squires says:

            Dear GentleRabbit

            I have only regularly used SDE and What records for non-Amazon purchases for the last 5 years. I have, like many, tried many other independents but always seem to run into issues of unavailable stock, difficulty with damage / badly wrapped parcels, just last week I spent £135 with one online shop and they couldn’t supply what I ordered although it was showing as available and is still showing as available although they were quick to refund it was still annoying. It wouldn’t be fair to name names on this forum. Of course independents charge on order rather than on delivery. Which is a double edged sword, I like to look at it as a positive. I have records coming in the next few months that I have already paid for so my bank account won’t take a hit (it already has). Tim, at What is very personable if you have to contact him, and his packing is second to none, not had to return a single thing since my first order in 2013 of the Blue Vinyl of Platinum by Mike Oldfield. The other thing that What does, but it requires monitoring, is it has some exceptional deals…. It’s weakest point is it’s website as it is not easy to navigate or browse but if you know what you want it is easy enough. It’s not curated like SDE though and I have bought stuff from Paul I never thought I would. Bagpuss, Clangers anyone? Love them both. Between the two “shops” you can’t go wrong.

          • GentleRabbit says:

            Thank you, Chris. Very valuable information for me.

  28. Annabel Lecter says:

    Each to their own.

    Some folk will buy the box set and will cherish it.

    Some will choose not to and their life won’t be impacted in the slightest by the existence of this product.

    Others will get a bit disproportionately cross about the fact that not everything that is manufactured by Bowie’s record label and made available for public consumption appeals to them personally.

    I won’t be buying this, but I hope that those who do indulge enjoy the item.

  29. Wolfgang says:

    Another terrible cash grab rip off.
    Every other month another Bowie 7″ or box set, livecalbum or whatnot. And what way to best cash grab release some badly sounding demos for as much as possible retail price? A set of vinyl singles!!
    Unbelievable. They could easily release it on CD or as bonus tracks to some or other album/set…
    Stop buying that stuff!!

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