We may have lost him in 2016, but rare, unreleased music by David Bowie has been found, prompting Parlophone Records to announce the debut of David Bowie Is It Any Wonder, a six-track EP. The first track, an acoustic version of “The Man Who Sold the World,” dropped on January 8th, which would have been Bowie’s 73rd birthday and has been streaming as a digital single. The other five songs will be released on a weekly basis starting January 17.
On April 18 (Record Store Day), a 9-track album, ChangesNow Bowie, will be issued in LP and CD forms in limited quantities. The album is actually culled from a live session recorded and mixed at Looking Glass Studios in New York in November 1996 during a rehearsal for Bowie’s then-upcoming 50th birthday bash concert at Madison Square Garden. A select song collection of Bowie favorites from the mostly acoustic session include: “Aladdin Sane,” “Lady Stardust,” “Repetition,” and a cover of Velvet Underground’s “White Light/White Heat.” Bowie was accompanied by Gail Ann Dorsey (bass, vocals), Reeves Gabrels (guitars) and Mark Plati (keyboards and programming) during the session. The cover art for ChangesNowBowie will be that of a black and white portrait of Bowie taken in New York in 1996 by renowned photographer Albert Watson.
In addition to that and according to BBC News, previously lost footage filmed in 1998 of the music giant will be shown for the very first time in the UK to 300 Bowie fans at Leicester’s National Space Centre. Shot by friend and collaborator Prof. Martin Richardson, the 30-minute experimental film had been tucked away in a chest at Leicester’s De Montfort University all these years. Prof. Richardson used the 35mm film to produce a hologram as an insert in David Bowie’s 1999 album Hours. The hologram was reproduced for 500,000 copies of the album. At the beginning of the film, Bowie is seen walking towards the camera, practicing several poses.
Prof. Richardson met and struck up a friendship with the glam rocker in 1994 and recalls the “Starman” telling him, “When you’ve done your bloody hologram it will be up and down the width and breadth of the country. I am going to make you famous.” Richardson remembered realizing at that moment he was about to direct David Bowie, the super rock star he idolized as a boy.
Also, fans in Philadelphia have been paying homage and celebrating the life of David Bowie with the “We Can Be Heroes” exhibit at the National Liberty Museum for “Philly Loves Bowie Week.” The exhibit is a smorgasbord of live music, poetry readings and 62 pieces of artwork made of the Hall of Fame rocker by fans ranging from 4th graders to international artists. The exhibit will run through February 23, 2020.
As with these new music tracks, the discovery of any David Bowie gem is treated like the Holy Grail. As a 16-year-old, Bowie performed with the group The Konrads as the band’s saxophonist (under his real name of David Jones). In 2018, Konrads drummer David Hadfield unearthed the first song Bowie recorded with the group singing lead on “I Never Dreamed.” The 1963 demo, which had been rejected by Decca Records was sold at auction for a fetching $51,239. Hadfield found it in a breadbox once belonging to his grandfather. What else is destined to turn up?