- 29 Sep 16
Lavish box set of Bowie's period of transition
The follow-up to his exhaustive Five Years set that spanned the period 1969-1973, this twelve CD set (also available on vinyl and download) features everything officially released by Bowie during his “American” phase from 1974 to 1976.
Named after an unreleased track recorded in 1974 it’s a monumentally expansive collection and focuses on the post-Ziggy period, when Bowie transformed himself, firstly into a Transatlantic blue-eyed soul-boy, before morphing into the Thin White Duke. Full albums of that period include Diamond Dogs, Young Americans and Station To Station – all quite different records stylistically as result of his then chameleon-like artistic restlessness. (A 2010 remix of the complete Station To Station album is also included.) In addition you get David Live, a stunning concert album from 1974, featuring highly theatrical versions of ‘Changes’ and ‘All The Young Dudes’, among other live favourites. (Both the original version and a 2005 re-mix are here). Another concert album, Live Nassau Coliseum 76, captures the Duke when the transformation is almost complete. Highlights here are an intense version of ‘Word On A Wing’ and a chaotic ‘Life On Mars’.
Of more intrigue will be what is described as a complete unreleased album, The Gouster, which was recorded prior to Young Americans (though in truth it mostly contains earlier versions of songs that would later become familiar). Recorded at Sigma Sound, in Philadelphia in 1974, with Tony Visconti at the controls, tracks include remastered versions of ‘Young Americans’, ‘John I’m Only Dancing’ and previously unreleased mixes of ‘Right’, ‘Can You Hear Me’ and ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’ – the latter a particular stand-out due to its rawer, more soulful rendition.