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David Bowie – New Album of Previously Unreleased Early Demos from 1969 Announced

The ‘Mercury’ Demos Due Out June 28 via Parlophone

Apr 25, 2019 David Bowie
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The posthumous David Bowie reissue campaign continues. A new collection of early demos, The ‘Mercury’ Demos, has been announced. It features 10 songs recorded by Bowie (with John “Hutch” Hutchinson on guitar and vocals) in Bowie’s flat in spring 1969. Nine of these versions are previously unreleased, with only the demo of “Space Oddity” previously appearing on the Sound & Vision box set. The songs were recorded live in one take to a Revox reel-to-reel tape machine for Calvin Mark Lee, a Mercury Records A&R man who wanted to send the demos to his boss Bob Reno. The tracks helped Bowie land his recording deal with Mercury Records. Below is the release’s tracklist, above is the cover art.

A press release further describes the album: “The version of ‘Space Oddity’ from The ‘Mercury’ Demos, originally released with edits on the Sound & Vision boxed set, is presented here in its true context for the first time. The other nine recordings on the album are all previously unreleased. In addition to the Bowie originals, the session also includes the Roger Bunn composition ‘Life Is a Circus’ (which features in an earlier demo version on the Clareville Grove Demos set) and the Lesley Duncan composition ‘Love Song,’ later recorded by Elton John for his Tumbleweed Connection album. Bowie’s own ‘Conversation Piece’ is announced as a new song and ‘Janine’ features a short, 19-second section sung to the melody of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude.’”

The press release also says The ‘Mercury’ Demos will “come in a replica of the original tape box and will feature one LP, a print, two photo contact sheets, and sleeve notes by Mark Adams.”

The ‘Mercury’ Demos Tracklist:

Side One:

1. “Space Oddity”
2. “Janine”
3. “An Occasional Dream”
4. “Conversation Piece”
5. “Ching-a-Ling”
6. “I’m Not Quite (aka Letter To Hermione)”

Side Two:

7. “Lover to the Dawn”
8. “Love Song”
9. “When I’m Five”
10. “Life Is a Circus”

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