Previously Unreleased David Bowie Album, “The Gouster,” To Be Included in New Box Set | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Previously Unreleased David Bowie Album, “The Gouster,” To Be Included in New Box Set

To Be Included in David Bowie - Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976)

Jul 21, 2016 David Bowie Bookmark and Share

Last year the excellent David Bowie box set Five Years (1969 - 1973) was released. It collected Bowie’s early albums. Now a follow-up box set is planned, entitled David Bowie - Who Can I Be Now? (1974 - 1976) and it includes a previously unreleased album, The Gouster. While some of the songs have been released before, including iconic single “Young Americans,” the complete album has never been released. The Gouster eventually morphed into 1975’s Young Americans (the two albums share four of the same songs).

The news was broken on the late Bowie’s official Facebook page. More details on the box set are promised soon. But below is an excerpt from the box set’s liner notes by producer Tony Visconti on The Gouster.

“Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African American teens in the ‘60s, in Chicago. But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut we were enamored of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude.

David had a long infatuation with soul as did I. We were fans of the TV show Soul Train. We weren’t ‘young, gifted and black’ but we sure as hell wanted to make a killer soul album, which was quite insane, but pioneers like the Righteous Brothers were there before us.

So The Gouster began with the outrageous brand new, funkafied version of David’s classic ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, a single he wrote and recorded in 1972, only this time our version sounded like it was played live in a loft party in Harlem and he added (Again) to the title. It wasn’t the two and a half minute length of the original either.

We maxed out at virtually seven minutes! With the time limitations of vinyl (big volume drop with more than 18 minutes a side) we could only fit two other long songs on side one, ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ and ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ both about six and a half minute songs. We had hit the twenty-minute mark. Technically that worked because ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’ had lots of quiet sections where the record groove could be safely made narrower and that would preserve the apparent loudness of side one.

Side two also hit the twenty-minute mark with ‘Can You Hear Me’ saving the day with its quiet passages. Forty minutes of glorious funk, that’s what it was and that’s how I thought it would be.”

Below is the tracklist and above in the cover art.

The Gouster Tracklist:

Side 1

1. John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)
2. Somebody Up There Likes Me
3. It’s Gonna Be Me

Side 2

1. Who Can I Be Now?
2. Can You Hear Me?
3. Young Americans
4. Right


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May 26th 2017

Great article.!!