May 25, 2011 – 3:12 am

How much is that Bowie in the window?

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Bowpromo1 [promo vinyl]

A rare vinyl copy of a promo from Dana Gillespie’s collection. Ex SBD stereo.

Time for nostalgia.

A copy of this rare vinyl promo emerged early in May. It contained perhaps first mixes of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory album plus sessions with his friend and lover, Dana Gillespie, taking up all of Side B. Amazingly, it seems like none of the alternate Hunky Dory tracks have ever been out there before, at least we could not identify them.

From listening, it appears Bowie spent quite a bit of time playing and recording Hunky Dory, making small and subtle changes in the instrumentation and words. He finally left out both It Ain’t Easy and Bombers from Hunky Dory. While none of the new alternate takes are dramatically different from what’s officially released, it is good to know that the mainman paid attention to detail while recording during his formative years before Ziggy.

The Gillespie tracks are all accounted for except for the unreleased variation of All Cut Up On You.

Big thanks to Euripides who ripped the vinyl in high resolution 24/96. The sound is excellent. Bowie’s retirement years have left his fans wanting anything vaguely “new”.
- Professor Red

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Oh! You Pretty Things (5.4MB)
Side A [of the vinyl] opens with a version of ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ that sounds very close to the Hunky Dory version, but with a few subtle differences. Bowie’s vocal is slightly more upfront on the Hunky Dory version, while the piano on the BOWPROMO version sounds much more ’spatious’. The only genuine difference that is detectable though is the amount of reverb used on the chorus. The BOWPROMO uses this on both the main and backing vocals, whereas the album version uses much less, if any, for both.

Track 02. Eight Line Poem (4.7MB)
On Hunky Dory, the guitar is more central during the intro, drifts to the left and then back to the centre for the end. On the BOWPROMO version it starts on the right then switches between left and right during the second half, again ending in the centre. On the BOWPROMO, the piano is completely natural sounding, whereas on Hunky Dory it has a flanging effect applied. However, this version is best known for a different vocal take. Bowie sings ‘The tactful cactus by your window’ vs ‘Tactful..’ and ‘They’ve opened shops…’ vs ‘Opened…’. The echo used on ‘collision’ in the line ‘Mobile spins to its collision’ is also missing on the BOWPROMO.

Track 03. Kooks (4.7MB)
A different stereo mix that fades two seconds later than the official version. For example, in the intro, both acoustic guitars are centered in the Hunky Dory version whereas they are clearly present in the left and right channels in the BOWPROMO version. Also note the acoustic guitar throughout the entire song on the BOWPROMO, which has been completely faded in the verses on Hunky Dory.

04. It Ain’t Easy - Omitted, same as on The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
This song was possibly already recorded before ‘Changes’ and ‘Life On Mars’, as the latter two are not included on the BOWPROMO album. Of course they would have been very likely candidates to secure Bowie a record deal. ‘It Ain’t Easy’ ended up in 1972 on Ziggy Stardust.

Track 05. Queen Bitch (5.2MB)
This tribute to The Velvet Underground appeared in slightly different form on Hunky Dory. Compared to the latter, the BOWPROMO lacks any reverb on the vocals but adds some reverb on Mick Ronson’s riff. The BOWPROMO version can be identified by the very subdued ‘Hmmm’ at the very end, which apparently later was overdubbed on the Hunky Dory version.

Track 06. Quicksand (8.2MB)
The intro of the Hunky Dory version is in mono and only opens up to stereo at 0′ 51″ (’I'm frightened by the total goal…’); the intro on the BOWPROMO is in full stereo from the very start. Furthermore, some additional strings have been added to the Hunky Dory version at 3′ 20″ (’If I don’t explain what you ought to know…’).

Track 07. Bombers - Andy Warhol Intro (5.6MB)
The version of ‘Bombers’ that in 1990 ended up as a bonus track on the Rykodisc edition of Hunky Dory is a rather tinny mix, lacking in bass. Besides, at 0′ 23″ (”Seemed a good idea to drop a bomb on the wasteland here”) and 1′ 12″ (”So the Pentagon sent a cable and the Queen a telegram”) into the Ryko mix, there are extra drum beats that do not sound convincingly intentional. As can be heard in the audio excerpt, these ‘jumps’ are absent on the BOWPROMO album. Also interesting is that ‘Bombers’ develops into an alternate version of the intro to ‘Andy Warhol’, which runs slightly longer, as it includes a strum on the acoustic guitar and a few more laughs of Bowie at the very end. ‘Bombers’ and part of the intro to ‘Andy Warhol’ have appeared on the ChangesThreeDavidRobertJones (Grace AZL1-1984) bootleg LP. The ‘Andy Warhol’ intro is also found on MissingLinksOneZiggy (Icon One), but the sound quality of both recordings is rather poor.

08. Mother Don’t Be Frightened - Omitted
The first of five Dana Gillespie tracks on Side B. This song, which was produced and arranged by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, appeared in 1974 on her Weren’t Born A Man album.

09. Andy Warhol - Omitted
Originally written by David for Dana Gillespie, musically backed by The Spiders and produced by Bowie/Ronson. This is a quite different, shorter version (2′ 45″ vs 3′0 2″), compared to what appeared on Weren’t Born A Man. The intro is faded in and the mix is more direct and less echoey than on that album. The outro on the BOWPROMO also is much shorter and less guitar-heavy. This version has recently been released on Oh! You Pretty Things.

10. Never Knew - Omitted
Released on Dana Gillespie’s Ain’t Gonna Play No Second Fiddle and reissued on Andy Warhol.

Track 11. All Cut Up On You (5.7MB)
This is a much shorter version (3′ 23″ vs 4′ 12″) than on Weren’t Born A Man.

12. Lavender Hill - Omitted
This ballad was not released until the 1994 Andy Warhol CD.

Tracks 8, 10, 12 can be found on Andy Warhol (Lemon).
Track 9 can be found on a Bowie tribute compilation, Oh! You Pretty Things (Sanctuary).

Side 1: As per David Bowie ‘Hunky Dory’ LP
David Bowie (vocals, guitar, alto & tenor sax, piano)
Mick Ronson (guitar)
Rick Wakeman (piano)
Trevor Bolder (bass)
Mick Woodmansey (drums)
Side 2: See track details above

The Andy Warhol compilation of Dana Gillespie’s RCA Years was released by Lemon early in 2010. Lemon is an imprint of Cherry Red Records in the UK. Click on the link to order the album.

The rare Dana Gillespie cover of Bowie’s Andy Warhol was finally officially released on the Sanctuary album Oh You Pretty Things in 2008. Click on the link to order the album.

Here’s the famous Hunky Dory album from 1971. Click on the link to order the album.

  1. 10 Responses to “BOW WOWIE”

  2. Thought for a minute you finally had some live bow wow wow. Ah maybe someday.

    By kevin doyle on May 25, 2011

  3. Thanks for the Bowie!!

    @kevin: this early live Bowie show was offered last March…

    Not the best sound quality, but a complete show…

    By CrackerJack7891 on May 25, 2011

  4. This is a wonderful surprise! Thanx !

    By Timmy on May 25, 2011

  5. I won’t upset this site by providing the links but all the missing tracks are available on the net. You need to do a bit of work though - sorry!!
    Cut and paste the track number and title to Google and you will find them all on “4shared” files. I find it helps to put everything into inverted commas “(details)”
    With track 12 add “mp3″ because otherwise you will find that you get loads of maps in London!!
    Good hunting…

    By Norbert on May 25, 2011

  6. Thanks!

    By Alberto Boschini on May 26, 2011

  7. How come all the Dana Gillespie tracks have been omitted apart from “All cut up on you”does anyone have a dl link for them?Thanks for the Bowie one’s though.

    By Tommytinkroom on May 26, 2011

  8. Big O - thank you so much for posting this cool stuff :)

    Norbert - thank you so much for taking the pain out of the potentially painful and time-consuming search for the missing tracks.

    I was able to find all of the missing tracks exactly as you said… It was easier to add the .mp3 to all of them, and enclose in quotation marks.

    thank you again :)

    By David Robert Cajones on May 27, 2011

  9. can you repost track 11? Thanks O!

    By walter on Jan 14, 2016

  10. Repost track 6. Doesn’t download except for 2kb of 8.2mb.

    By RaVn7HD on Oct 10, 2016

  11. I can’t download track two. Rather than appearing as an MP3, it appears as a PHP file. Thank you.

    By Andy on Apr 23, 2017

Post a Comment