On what would’ve been the great man’s 75th birthday, The Press brings you Part 2 of our Bowie Deep Cuts series, collecting some interesting mixes, demos, live versions, and album tracks.
David Bowie – Deep Cuts Pt.2 mp3
1. Drive-In Saturday – Bowie introduced Drive-In Saturday just days after he wrote it and this super-rare live acoustic version is from one of his last ’72 American concerts, performed on 4 November 1972 in Phoenix. A superb rendition and the audience sits transfixed. This somewhat “forgotten” Bowie classic would eventually appear on Aladdin Sane and be released as a single reaching No. 3 in the UK.
2. What in the World – Co-sung with Iggy Pop and originally intended for The Idiot, this is the version that appears on Low. Recorded in France at the Château d’Hérouville in September 1976, the track notably features Eno’s ‘Pacman’ EMS Synthi One sound-effects. The song was a staple (and regular highlight) in the set of the Isolar II World Tour of 1978.
3. The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud/All the Young Dudes/Oh! You Pretty Things – The Mick Ronson-led live medley of songs from Ziggy Stardust the Motion Picture segue into each other as if they were always meant to. This is one continuous track rather than being split up song by song as it has been released on previous CD versions of the album. A perfect performance of three Bowie greats.
4. Black Country Rock – This is the Tony Visconti remix that appears on the reissued 2020 version of Metrobolist, aka The Man Who Sold the World. The remix is louder and much punchier than what was previously available and Visconti has added a few tricks such as unnecessary echo to this groovy album highlight.
5. Cracked Actor – Five Years (1969-1973) 2013 remaster. Written in late-1972 in Los Angeles while on the American leg of the Ziggy tour, this seedy rocker with Ronson’s dirty, driving riff, is an underrated gem and the best track Aladdin Sane has to offer. When performed live in ’74 and again in ’83 Bowie wore a cape and sunglasses and sang to a skull in his hand.
6. The Prettiest Star – Bowie’s perfectly lovely follow up single to Space Oddity stiffed badly in the charts in 1970. Written for Angie with guest guitar work from friend Marc Bolan who plays melodically over Bowie’s strummed acoustic 12-string, it was eventually glammed-up and included on Aladdin Sane featuring Ronson’s muscular Les Paul crunch.
7. The Man Who Sold the World – Otherworldly live version performed with Klaus Nomi on Saturday Night Live on 15 December 1979 long before Cobain reintroduced it to the world some 14 years later. Bowie in career-best voice here.
8. Sue (Or in a Season of Crime) – Dark and distorted single version of a song recorded in 2014 that was remade for Bowie’s final LP Blackstar. Less propulsive and much less urgent than the remake but quietly affecting and highly avant-garde.
9. Nite Flights – Cover of colossal title track to the Walker Brothers final album in 1978, written by long-time hero and influence Scott Walker. This is the remaster off last year’s Brilliant Adventures (1992-2001) box set giving this fine Black Tie White Noise track extra muscle.
10. Lady Grinning Soul – Five Years (1969-1973) 2013 remaster. Closing track off Aladdin Sane the magnificent Lady Grinning Soul finds Bowie in superb voice; an incredible performance and one of his finest and most underrated ever. Accompanied notably by Mike Garson’s exquisite piano flourishes and Ronson’s Spanish-flavoured acoustic guitar solo.
11. Moss Garden – A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) 2017 remaster. Bowie and Eno working together on the “Heroes” album recorded in Berlin 1977; the fluidity of Eno’s synthesised drones and Bowie’s koto plucking resulting in one of their best collaborations. The instrumental centrepiece of that masterpiece.
12. Karma Man – The John Peel recorded 1968 cut features John McLaughlin on guitar and Herbie Flowers on bass, ie: the definitive version. Includes Visconti’s lush string arrangements, dynamic drumming, and a commanding vocal from our young hero.
13. John I’m Only Dancing – Bowie released two 7″ singles of this song – two entirely different recordings, but carrying the same catalogue number – in September 1972 and April 1973. This is the ‘sax’ version recorded on 20 January 1973 during the Aladdin Sane sessions that was intended to be included on that LP until scratched at the last minute for reasons that aren’t clear.
14. An Occasional Dream – A lush up-tempo psych-folk serenade from 1969’s Space Oddity, with a jaunty recorder arrangement. This is the new mix by Tony Visconti from 2019’s Conversation Piece box set.
15. Sound and Vision – A rare live outing recorded during the Isolar II Tour at Earl’s Court, London, on 30 June 1978. During the wobbly intro Bowie tongue-firmly-in-cheek announces “This is all last-night stuff folks!”.
16. I’m Deranged – An edgy live recording of this Outside classic from June 1997 at Amsterdam’s Paradiso and included on liveandwell.com, a 1999 limited edition live album which could only be acquired by being subscribed to BowieNet at the time. Released publicly for the first time on 15 January 2021.
17. Glass Spider – This legitimately eerie track was reworked and enhanced by producer Mario McNulty as part of the new production of the 1987 album Never Let Me Down for the Loving the Alien (1983-1988) box set released in 2018. An inspired revision.
18. Win – Recorded in November 1974, this dreamy, spiralling Young Americans ballad was written for then-girlfriend Ava Cherry and is taken from the remastered 2016 Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976) boxset.
19. When the Wind Blows – This beautiful, doom-struck mini-epic and title track for Jimmy T. Murakami’s anti-nuclear-war film from 1988 is one of Bowie’s most unheralded songs of the decade.
20. A Foggy Day (In London Town) – Taken from last year’s Brilliant Adventures (1992-2001) set, this George and Ira Gershwin jazz standard was recorded in 1998 in New York in collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti and is one of Bowie’s best ever covers.
As a David Devotee, I love almost all of these Deep Cuts, but I think Lady Grinning Soul is, as you write, “an incredible performance and one of his finest and most underrated.” Sound and Vision is great, of course, and What in the World, Black Country Rock, and I like Nite Flights. Thanks for the reminder of what other great tracks this brilliant artist made Press, and Happy Birthday Mr. Bowie!
Hope you enjoy it Rilaly, I’d be interested to see which ones you don’t care for so much. Thanks for checking in.
Great post Pierce, but when I click on the blue mp3 link, I’m taken to your More Album Cover Outtakes post from October 2020 “The Police – Outlandos d’Amour (1978)”
Should be fixed now
Fun idea to focus on deep tracks. I’m also glad you included many of Bowie’s early songs. In general, I prefer his first 10 years or so until the mid-’70s, with his glam rock years being my favorite period. I also like some of the songs he released thereafter. Essentially, I stopped paying attention to Bowie’s music after the “Tonight” album from September 1984.
Christian, thanks for reading/commenting.
Thanks for sharing. You always come up with something I haven’t heard before.
Great, thanks for checking paolo
I scrolled down your list to see if you had “Win” in there. One of my favorite deep cuts of his. I made a spotify playlist of the Iggy/David collaborative tunes. Looks like I need to make another playlist of David’s Deep Cuts 🙂
Great stuff msjadeli, hope this helps you compile the playlist. Thanks for checking it out.
A true great who will never be replaced
You’re not wrong Kev. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.