If one member of your family has found success in the music business, why not have a go yourself. Here we take a look at some of the people who have had a famous relative and have had go at making records of their own.
The Next Time You Feel Important – Freddie Lennon (Father of John Lennon)
Leaves – Murry Wilson (Father of The Beach Boys Wilson Brothers)
Deep Water (Mono Single Mix) – Grapefruit (Alexander Young, brother of Angus & Malcom from AC/DC)
Some Velvet Morning – Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood (Daughter of Frank Sinatra)
Reality – Carolyn Franklin (Sister of Aretha Franklin)
Woman – Mike McGear (Brother of Paul McCartney)
The Ballad of Bruce Lee – Robert Lee (Brother of Bruce Lee)
When I’m A Man – Simon Townshend (Brother of Pete Townshend)
If You Ever Believed – Lucy Simon (Sister of Carly Simon)
Hey, St. Peter – Flash & The Pan (George Young, brother of Angus & Malcolm from AC/DC)
Normally I would only look to share one what-if album a month because they take a bit longer to put together than the compilations I post. However, the lockdown has given me a little bit more time and this particular piece also fits in nicely with the recent posts about Bowie that went online in February and April.
Bowie did not see much in the way of success during the 60s, but he was laying down the groundwork for what would come later. He reeled a number of singles on the Vocalion Pop, Parlophone and Pye labels but none of them troubled the charts. Even with these singles behind him, he managed to secure a deal with Deram, a subsidiary of Decca Records. He released three singles and one album whilst on the label but none were chart hits, even though The Laughing Gnome made number 6 in the UK when it was re-released in 1973. The majority of these records were released in 1967, which was one of the most experimental years for music but this curious mix of music hall/ Anthony Newley style numbers fell on deaf ears. Bowie wrote a number of new songs and presented them to the label as potential singles but they were rejected effectively ending his association with Deram & Decca. However, this compilation looks at what might have happened if these songs had not been rejected and Bowie continued to be a Deram recording artist into 1968.
Even though the recording sessions for the follow-up album were meant to start in the Spring of 1968, I have taken a view that anything that was demoed in that year could be used. I have also discounted any song that was used on the 1969 ‘David Bowie’ album as well, so no Space Oddity I’m afraid. What we have here is a solid, if not spectacular album which is a little rough around the edges, but that was down to the fact that very few of these songs were actually recorded in a studio. Most are simply demos. Would these songs have been changed once Bowie brought them into the studio? Who knows, but what we have here is a rough idea of what a second Bowie on Deram album would have been like, with accompanying singles.
London, Bye, Ta, Ta – Originally this song was going to be the B-Side of the unreleased ‘In The Heat of the Morning’ single, but it sounded like a great place to start the album off and would have been wasted on the flip of a seven inch. It looks at how London is changing and has become something of a strange young town to the song’s narrator.
Mother Grey – The influence of Ray Davies on Bowie’s early songwriting was evident on his debut album. With the release of these 1967/8 demos, you can see that Bowie had still not got all of this out of his system with Mother Grey. The song covers the domestic drudgery of Mother Grey as she cleans the house, makes dinner and polishes the picture frame of the son who has moved out of the family home. Similar to Ray Davies’ ‘Two Sisters’ then.
The Reverend Raymond Brown (Attends The Garden Fete On Thatchwick Green) – This would not have sounded out of place on his debut album, seeing as it follows a cast of characters in an imaginary village. Various characters are mentioned including Rev. Brown who leads the village band during a fete whilst lusting after a local beauty and the local women gossiping about Sally who has got herself pregnant. All a bit Ray Davies.
Goodbye Threepenny Jones – An observation song from Bowie where he watches a performing artist performing a show with stories of sadness and despair. Bowie’s companion is heard laughing during these stories and then Joe is thanked for the show and asked not to come again.
Angel, Angel, Grubby Face – Would this one have made the cut if the second album sessions had gone ahead, seeing as it has a very similar melody line (in places) to London, Bye, Ta, Ta? This song looks at the hustle and bustle of city life with the relatively peacefulness of the countryside. The Village Green Preservation Society before it came out I suppose.
When I’m Five – Bowie must have thought highly of this song at the time because he not only recorded a studio version, but he also cut a version at the BBC for a radio session. This BBC version would be used as the soundtrack to the short promo film ‘Love You ‘Till Tuesday’. Is it a song for children, or just a child. Bowie sings as though he were a child and would have been this album’s ‘Laughing Gnome’.
Ching-A-Ling – For a short time in 1968, Bowie was part of a folk trio with Hermione Farthingale (his girlfriend at the time) and initially Tony Hill who was soon replaced by John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson. The only known studio recording session completed by the band was ‘Ching-A-Ling’ which producer Tony Visconti had booked without the approval of Bowie’s management as a way of getting a record contract. As it was, it didn’t. Bowie would record another demo in 1969 but that would be the last time he revisited the song.
Love All Around – A lovely Bowie melody that seems to be a love song, but some of the lyrics in the chorus are a bit hard to hear due to his enthusiastic strumming. This causes the recording to become a bit distorted in places.
The Mirror – Bowie spent time studying mime with Lindsey Kemp and this would be a source of income for him between 1967 and 1969. Kemp asked Bowie to write some songs for a show he was putting on called ‘Pierrot in Turquoise’ and this is one of those songs. The only known recording of these songs date from 1970 when the Pierrot show was broadcast on the BBC under the title of ‘The Looking Glass Murders’. These date from the time period of the second Deram Album and one of the songs, ‘Threepenny Pierrot’ was re-written to be London, Bye, Ta, Ta.
Karma Man – Bowie had been studying Buddhism since the mid 60s and this song looks at a man who sits crossed legged with all of his world possessions on him. That being his clothes and beads. Could it be Bowie commenting on capitalism or just putting forward what he had seen from his studies of Buddhism? This song looks to have taken inspiration from Syd Barrett without sounding too much like the one time Pink Floyd front man.
Love Song – When Hermione Farthingale broke up with Bowie and left Feathers, he and ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson continued to record demos and play the odd gig together. When they recorded a demo tape, it included a number of Bowie originals as well as a couple of covers. Bowie would include covers in a number of his early 70’s LPs including this song. Love Song written by Lesley Duncan; who the musicians can be heard talking about at the beginning of the song as she was a back-up singer for Dusty Springfield at that time.
Life Is A Circus – Another song from the Feathers demo tape. This was originally recorded by an obscure folk group called Djinn. Bowie may well have come across them as Djinn had asked Tony Visconti to be their producer. It would be this demo tape that secured Bowie a contract with Mercury Records.
Let Me Sleep Beside You – A blatant attempt at a hit single, and would have made a good A-side so it keeps that position here. Artists didn’t always put singles on their albums in the 1960’s. With some suggestive lyrics about a girl now being a woman, this was rejected by his label because of the song’s message. Strange as this was the label that in January 1967, had allowed The Rolling Stones to release “Let’s Spend the Night Together’. I suppose the difference being that the Stones sold a lot of records and Bowie, at this stage, had not.
Columbine – Another song from the ‘Pierrot in Turquoise’ project.
In The Heat Of The Morning – One of the songs put forward by Bowie to Dream as a potential single. This was one of the first recordings Bowie made with Tony Visconiti and this, like ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’, was Bowie looking for a more commercial sound. Deram were not impressed though and the working relationship between the label and Bowie came to an end.
April’s Tooth Of Gold – A song detailing young people and their interesting fashion sense and the older generation not having a clue as to what is going on. The characters and language used may well have been out of date by the time of the second album sessions, so relegation to a B-Side would have been a fitting home for it. The strumming is a bit reminiscent of Autumn Almanac by The Kinks.
The release of ‘Conversation Piece’ in 2019 shows the leap that Bowie made between his two self titled albums was not as great as would first appear. With the demos opening a door on a songwriter honing his craft, would a second Dream album have allowed Bowie the development time to make that leap? Maybe, maybe not.
Some of Bowie’s earlier material can be heard on the Songs of David Bowie podcast. http://www.thesquirepresents.co.uk/episode-87-the-songs-of-david-bowie/
London, Bye, Ta Ta – 1
Mother Grey – 2
The Reverend Raymond Brown (Attends The Garden Fete On Thatchwick Green) – 2
Goodbye Threepenny Joe – 2
Angel, Angel, Grubby Face – 2
When I’m Five – 1
Ching-A-Ling – 2
Love All Around – 2
The Mirror – 3
Karma Man – 1
Love Song – 2
Life Is A Circus – 2
A – Let Me Sleep Beside You – 1
B – Columbine – 3
A – In The Heat Of The Morning – 1
B – April’s Tooth Of Gold – 3
1 – Taken from David Bowie (1967) Deluxe Edition
2 – Taken from Conversation Piece
3 – Demo from Looking Glass Murders (Currently Unreleased)
The cover of this compilation is adapted from The Dream Anthology release from 1997.
Due to the still unreleased nature of some of these songs, it has not been possible to produce a Spotify playlist
In this post, I will continue with my alternative history of The Beatles with a follow up to the 1966 collection, A Collection of Beatles Oldies.
With The Beatles officially no more by the end of 1970, EMI had potentially lost a very lucrative cash cow. The individual members releasing a number of solo albums and singles throughout the early years of the 1970s, which did sell a significant amount of units, offset this somewhat. However what-if EMI had decided in its infinite wisdom to produce an LP for Christmas 1970 which followed on from their previous compilation, A Collection of Beatles Oldies. It would use the same format as the previous volume so it would include B-Sides, a few unreleased songs from the archive with a couple of rarities thrown in for good measure.
Rain (Mono) – Left off of the previous volume for being released the same year as the A Collection of Beatles Oldies compilation. Originally released as the B-Side to the Paperback Writer single.
Baby You’re A Rich Man (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the All You Need Is Love single.
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Let It Be single. Even though the single came out in 1970, the initial recording sessions for this song were started in 1967 and sounds more in tune with the psychedelic songs of that year than the more straightforward music the band were producing when it eventually saw the light of day.
The Inner Light (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Lady Madonna single.
I Am The Walrus(US Mono single mix) – This version of the song includes an extra bar of music before the words ‘yellow matter custard’. The UK version was an edit of the first half of Take 10 with Take 22. This was the version released on the B-Side of the Hello, Goodbye single and the Magical Mystery Tour EP. It would seem that Capitol Records in the US were sent an unedited tape of Take 22.
Penny Lane (Stereo) – This dates from the 1980 US Rarities, so it could be said to be a little out of the time frame of this record, but this is a unique version worthy of inclusion here (and who’s to say that someone might have done the same thing in 1970 anyway). This was a combination of the stereo version of the song, which American audiences had not heard up to that time with some additional piccolo trumpet at the songs conclusion which had been heard on US promotional copies of the single.
Revolution (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side of the Hey Jude single.
Across The Universe (Mono) – This version was released on the charity album, ‘No One Gonna Change My World’. This version had some added sound effects added to make it fit into theme of the record, which was released to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.
Don’t Let Me Down (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Get Back single.
Old Brown Shoe (Stereo) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Ballad of John & Yoko single.
Not Guilty (Full Length Version – Stereo) – Recorded during the sessions for The Beatles ‘White Album’. One of the last songs to be left off of the album, it was felt by Lennon especially, that airing the bands dirty laundry in public would not be beneficial to their public image. Listen to the song’s lyrics and you will see what he means. Harrison said that the song was a reference to the band’s trip to India, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the lavish launch of Apple Corps, which he had missed due to spending time with Ravi Shankar instead of returning more quickly from a trip to Asia. The song was legendary with Beatles fans during the 70s due to it being a known, but not heard outtake. Harrison did record a solo version for inclusion on his 1979 George Harrison album, but the original Beatles version did not see the light of day until 1996, and even then, it was in edited format. The full-length version would not be officially released until 2018.
Christmas Time Is Here Again (Mono) – Between 1962 and 1969, The Beatles would release a fan club exclusive single with songs and sketches. One of those was Christmas Time (Is Here Again), which was included on the 1967 release. This is the edited version that would eventually be released to the general public as a B-Side on the 1995 Free As A Bird single.
Across the Universe (Mono – No One Gonna change My World Version)
Don’t Let Me Down (Mono)
Old Brown Shoe (Stereo)
Not Guilty (Stereo – Full Length Version)
Christmas Time Is Here Again (Mono)
This playlist could not be reproduced on Spotify, as they contain songs not available on the platform at this time. The front cover is adapted from one of the rejected ideas that had been put forward for the ‘White Album’.
The first playlist of the month is something I have never done before and that is completing an Original Soundtrack album. Now, this isn’t for a film (which you might expect, but a TV show. The show in question is Hunters which looks at a group of Nazi Hunters working in the USA in 1977. The show is a curious mix of of a serious story mixed in with some lighthearted moments and you will really need to watch the programme to see what I am talking about. I really loved the music that they used and looked around to see if it had been released anywhere.Now, TV shows don’t have the same track record of producing soundtracks in comparison to films and it would seem that this is no exception. Luckily in this day and age, there are websites that list the music from programmes such as this and I used these to help me compile this mix. I do hope that those websites are accurate and it’s too late if it isn’t.
Before putting this together, I was inspired by the soundtracks Quentin Tarantino films have. The only thing missing would be dialogue from the films but as it turns out, that would have made the rustling album too long. I also thought that as the show is set in 1977, all of the music should have been produced on or before that year. That meant there was no place for the lovely Verse by Olfur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott which was used quite extensively and in multiple episodes. To accommodate the amount of awesome music, I felt that the album should be a double. Due to the limitations fo the vinyl format, it did mean that not every song from the show could be used.
Being based upon the length a vinyl record did mean that the sides needed to match up in terms of play time. There was no point in having a side that lasts for 15 minutes and the other 20. This did prove a bit of a challenge as I also like the music to flow sonically as well. Even though this is not perfect in that regard, I am still happy with the end result. I wanted all of the songs to be available on Spotify so I could share this collection with you. To my surprise, Spotify had all of the songs I picked, some of which are quite obscure. It just goes to show that when it comes to Spotify, artists such as David Bowie have gaps in their collections but obscure groups such as Crowmell and 5 Spiritual Tones are represented.
Lastly, I needed a front cover. Most of the images on line were in the same format as a movie post and do not fit in to the square associated with a record sleeve. Luckily, an image came up on the Glamsham website that was perfect. After a bit of careful editing, the cover was done. Enjoy.
Get In A Hurry – Eugene Blacknell & New Breed
Put Your Head On My Shoulder – Paul Anka
Baby, Do That Thing – Honey & The Bees
All Along I’ve Loved You – Tony Ashley & The Delicates
We now move to the third and final of my Bowie playlist CDs. I have not gone any further because I could just about listen to Bowie’s 80s output but found what he produced from Tin Machine onwards was not to my tastes. Anyway, I digress. Bowie left the hedonistic lifestyle that head fuelled his work in Los Angeles and moved to Europe to clean up; but had also become interested in German bands such Neu and Kraftwerk. He would also find inspiration from the album Epsilon in Malaysian Pale, a solo record from Tangerine Dream guitarist/keyboardist Edgar Frosse. Brian Eno became a collaborator and Bowie moved away from the Blue Eyed Soul of his L.A. work to one of electronica and ambient. What is different from Bowie’s previous work is the number of instrumentals on what became known as the Berlin trilogy of albums. These albums have a very distinct sound, but the songs on Bowie’s first album of the 80s (Scary Monsters and Super Creeps) have a similar sound, so those from this album that were used have been placed on disc one.
Disc two takes us into Bowie’s commercial 80s period. Let’s Dance was released in 1983, three years after the release of Scary Monsters which was at that point, the longest gap between new Bowie LP releases. The album’s title track would be a number one hit single in UK, US and numerous other territories. The album also sold over 10 millions copies and at the time was Bowie’s most successful album. However, this could be argued to be the first time that Bowie tried to second guess his audience, especially as he had gained so many new ones. The two albums that came after Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down were all commercial successes. However, they weren’t particularly well received by fans and critics, and Bowie distanced himself from them as early as 1990. It is easy to see why. They are well produced and very commercial, but the contrast with the experimental music featured on disc one of this collection is the most striking of all of the Bowie collections. Whilst disc one is full of audio landscapes, disc two became a generic mix of over production and session men. It’s therefore no great surprise that Bowie called this his Phil Collins years. One surprise on the second disc must be the inclusion of the song, Too Dizzy. Written as a homage to the 50s, Bowie came to dislike the song so much that it was deleted from all reissues of the record. Nevertheless, it finds a place here.
CD 1 is Bowie at his most experimental, and CD 2 at his most commercial. It goes to show more than any other of the Bowie collections I have posted the ever evolving nature of his music and craft.
The cover image was taken during the Berlin years and perfectly captures the nature of the music recorded during those years.
Speed Of Life
Sound & Vision
Be My Wife
Boys Keep Swinging
Ashes To Ashes
The Secret Life Of Arabia
Look Back In Anger
Always Crashing The Same Car
I Keep Forgetting
Cat People (Putting Out Fire)
Time Will Crawl
This Is Not America
Loving The Alien
As The World Falls Down
The playlist for disc one is available on Spotify, but disc two could not be re-created because one or more songs were not available on that platform.
Upon completing The Doll’s House fantasy LP, I began to think about what other fantasy album projects could I look at? Having a look through The Beatles records in Squire Towers, I came across a now deleted compilation called ‘A Collection of Beatles Oldies’. Looking at the track listing, I wondered if this could be improved upon? So with Ian McDonald’s classic book ‘A Revolution in the Head’ in hand, I thought I would have a go.
In late 1966, EMI were worried. The Beatles did not have any new product for them to sell during the Christmas period and the only new piece of merchandise anyone was set to hear was the annual fan club flexidisc. By this time the band had decided to retire from touring, so their fans in the UK also wouldn’t have any concerts from them to look forward to. Fans even protested outside the house of manager Brian Epstein when that news was released. There were rumours in the press that the band was on the verge of splitting up because the individual members had been working on a lot of projects without the involvement of the other three. This led EMI to decide to put together a compilation LP of old songs as a means of keeping the Beatles brand going.
The album EMI came up can be considered the first Beatles compilation LP. Out of the 16 songs on the album, 13 had been released as singles in the UK. Of the other three, Michelle and Yesterday had been released as singles in other territories and the final song, Bad Boy, had initially only been released before in the US market. EMI saw this as a way of appealing to UK record buyers as they would be getting a song they probably otherwise didn’t have. In another effort to tempt the record buying public, some of the songs were remixed in stereo. Up until the late 60 The Beatles singles released in the UK were available only in mono. The compilation did receive some good reviews, in part because it contained 16 songs instead of UK industry standard of the time of 14. It was also well received as an import in the US. It was not without its critics, as some of the songs had already been used on compilation EPs released in the preceding years, and there was a shortage of hard to find or unreleased songs. It was clear to everyone what this record was; a quick cash in.
However, what-if EMI had taken some time and released a compilation that was full of harder to find songs and more archive material? What could have been used? Well, all of the songs must have been recorded before December 1966, when the LP was released. The Beatles may not have been in favour of allowing unreleased songs out until the Anthology series of the 1990s, but this is a what-if scenario record so everything is fair game.
Love Me Do (Original Single Release – Mono) – The second out of three versions The Beatles recorded for EMI. This version has Ringo Starr on drums and it was this one that was released as the Beatles first single. The version found on the Please Please Me album was the third version recorded with session drummer Andy White playing drums. The difference between these two versions was that on the third version, Ringo can be heard playing the tambourine. There is no tambourine on the second version.
How Do You Do It? (Mono) – This was almost the band’s first A-Side. Producer George Martin felt it would be a hit single, but The Beatles were not keen on releasing it as they felt the song didn’t fit their sound. Later it was a number one hit single for Gerry & The Pacemakers (who were also produced by George Martin). The Beatles version would not see the light of day until the Anthology 1 album in 1995.
Thank You Girl (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to From Me To You.
One After 909 (Mono) – Recorded in early 1963 this is one of the earlier writing efforts of the Lennon and McCartney partnership. The song would not be released at the time but would be re-recorded six years later and included on the Let It Be album. The original version would later be released on the Anthology 1 album.
I’ll Get You (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to She Loves You.
This Boy (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to All My Loving.
And I Love Her (Stereo) – Originally released on the German version of the Something New album, this includes a few more bars of guitar playing in the closing riff. It is unknown why this version was created but the Beatles did not play this extended passage when recording the song, so whoever created this created a rarity. This was later re-released on the US version of the Rarities album in 1980.
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (Mono) – A German language version of I Want to Hold Your Hand. It was not unusual for bands to record songs in languages other than English to appeal to foreign markets. This was The Beatles only attempt at doing this, but was not only released in Germany. The single was given a release in Australia when the band toured there in 1964, and appeared on the US version of the Something New album. The title is not an exact translation as in English it is ‘Come, Give me Your Hand’.
Sie Liebt Dich (Mono) – Originally released as the B-side of the Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand single
Leave My Kitten Alone (Mono) – Recorded during the sessions for the Beatles for Sale album. Why this was not put on the record instead of Mr Moonlight is one of those questions we will no doubt never know the answer to. It is a considerably better recording. It was considered for a single release in the mid 80s when the Sessions album was being put together. The Sessions project was an attempt to release some previously unreleased Beatles material but was blocked by the band at the time. It was eventually released on the Anthology 1 album.
She’s A Woman (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to I Feel Fine.
Yes It Is (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to Ticket To Ride
That Means A Lot (Mono) – Recorded for possible inclusion on the Help album. The Beatles were not satisfied with their version so the song was given to P.J. Proby to record, for whom it would reach the top 30 in the UK singles chart. The Beatles version would later be released on the Anthology 2 album.
Bad Boy (Mono) – Written by Larry Williams, this was one of a number of his songs that the band recorded. It was only intended for the US market and was released on the Beatles VI album. As noted above, this was included on the official version of A Collection of Beatles Oldies as a way of appealing to Beatles completist.
I’m Down (Mono) – Originally released as the B-Side to the Help single.
Love Me Do (Single Version)
How Do You Do It?
Thank You Girl
One After 909
I’ll Get You
And I Love Her (German Stereo Mix US Rarities LP)
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
Sie Liebt Dich
Leave My Kitten Alone
She’s A Woman
Yes It Is
That Means A Lot
Amongst the songs that were up for the selection on the compilation was If You’ve Got Trouble, which was up for consideration as Ringo’s song on the Help album. However, the band were not happy with it and it is easy to see why. It is not a very good song and the band seemed to know it. In time it was included on Anthology 2. Also missing is Rain, which was the B-Side of Paperback Writer. Released in May of 1966, this omitted as it would have made the album sides a bit lopsided. As it is, both sides clock in just over 18 minutes. I would have also though that this would have been considered too new to be on a collection of oldies. However, Paperback Writer was included on the released version of this album. The LP uses the cover from the original release in 1966.
Spotify did not have the German Stereo single version so to make up the numbers, the stereo mix from A Hard Days Night was used in its place.
With the release of 1972’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album, Bowie had achieved the success he had been working towards for the previous decade. 1972 was a busy year for Bowie as he helped to produce Lou Reed’s Transformer album, released John, I’m Only Dancing as a stand-alone single, and donated the song All The Young Dudes to Mott the Hoople. The Ziggy Stardust tour also traversed the world so with that workload, it is not a surprise that the Aladdin Sane album has been notorious down the years for a serious lack of bonus tracks. It would seem that Bowie just didn’t have the time to record anything other than what was necessary, or those songs were all he had. The inclusion of a Rolling Stones cover hints at the direction Bowie would take for his next record. Aladdin Sane is a continuation from the Ziggy Stardust album, as it still has a number of glam elements but combines this with a tougher rock sound. There were even some influences from jazz and cabaret. The majority of the Aladdin Sane tracks are used in the second half of the CD.
Pinups was to follow and only two songs were used from it, the single Sorrow and it’s B-Side Port of Amsterdam. I must admit to finding this album a bit difficult to listen to because in my opinion his covers are not as good as the originals that inspired Bowie. The first half of CD one is taken up by recordings from Diamond Dogs, Bowie’s attempt to adapt the book 1984 before the family of George Orwell refused to sell him the rights. Included is the song Dodo from the Diamond Dogs sessions which was not on the parent album but was performed live in Bowies 1973 variety programme, The 1980 Floor Show. The studio version would not surface until 1990. The demo version of Candidate was used which is not only different musically from the version originally released but also contains different lyrics. The one anomaly (if that is the right word) is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City, which is believed to have been an outtake from the later Station to Station album. There is some conjecture though that it was recorded for the Diamond Dogs album as Bowie had recorded another Springsteen song in Growin’ Up (also included here) in the same period. It sounds like it should go in Bowie’s glam period so that is where it has been placed.
CD two moves into Bowie’s mid 70s period when he embraced Soul music. Young Americans fully embraced it whilst its follow up did contain some soul elements but also showed hints of the direction he would go in after that. Young Americans was the first time since he had become a star that Bowie had changed musical style so severely. This meant that Bowie did lose a portion of his UK fan base but with the single Fame reaching number one on the US singles charts, he was cementing his status on the other side of the pond. It was also during this period that Bowie developed a serious cocaine habit, the results of which could be seen in the way he looked. This is not called his Thin White Duke period for nothing. Bowie claims that he knew he was in Los Angeles whilst recording this because he read he was. Guitar players Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar have also testified to the quantity of drugs taken during this period. There aren’t too many outtakes from this period so the run time on disc two is a little short. The cover is an outtake form the Aladdin Sane photo shoot with a Diamond Dogs era Bowie logo added to it.
Panic In Detroit
We Are The Dead
Sweet Thing (Reprise)
The Jean Genie
Chant Of The Ever Circling Skeletal Family
Port Of Amsterdam
Watch That Man
It’s Hard Toe Be A Saint In The City
Rock ‘n Roll With Me
Station To Station
Somebody Up There Likes Me
Can You Hear Me?
Who Can I Be Now?
Wild Is The Wind
It’s Gonna Be Me
Neither of these playlists could be reproduced on Spotify, as they contain songs not available on the platform at this time.
Here is the first of a number of Beatles related posts I’ve prepared, and this is a concept that is neither new, nor original, but it is one I had never thought about until a friend asked me what would be my track listing for a one disc ‘White Album’. The band’s producer was in favour of a single album at the time but was over ruled by the band. Maybe he was right, maybe he wasn’t but what we are left with is an album that was the first to highlight that The Beatles were going in their own separate ways. It just took them another year and a bit to realise it. If the single album is to follow the rough template of the bands albums from Help onwards, that would mean one song sung by Ringo Starr, two by George Harrison and the rest would be Lennon and McCartney. Okay, Revolver had three vocal performances by Harrison, but Sgt Pepper only had one so it evens itself out there. So, what would make the cut on this new slimmed down version of the album?
Back In The U.S.S.R.
I’m So Tired
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
Mother Nature’s Son
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Long, Long, Long
The record has to fit within the recording limitations of a single LP, so we are looking at about 23 minutes for each side. Even with those limitations, you certainly get your monies worth with this album as there is a total of fifteen songs. The first song could not be anything other than Back In The U.S.S.R. as it is the best side starting song on the original double. The segue into Dear Prudence works brilliantly as well. A more mellow effort after the upbeat first track. Glass Onion just sounds right as track three and is in the same place it was on the original album. The tempo slows down again with I’m So Tired before the folky Blackbird continues the mellow mood. We are brought out of this by the first Harrison song on the album; the upbeat soul inspired Savoy Truffle. It also includes a nice horn track that would become a feature of Harrison’s solo work. We finish off the side with another two Lennon songs in Sexy Sadie and Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Side two kicks off with two McCartney songs in Martha My Dear and Mother Nature’s Son, which wouldn’t be the only songs to feature a sole member of the band. The guitars are turned up for the next two tracks with the bluesy Yer Blues and possibly George Harrison’s greatest song whilst in The Beatles, While My Guitar Gently Weeps. We then have a bit of whimsy from John Lennon with Cry Baby Cry with the hidden track Can You Take Me Back still there leading nicely into Long Long Long. We end with the Starr sung, but Lennon written Good Night. Not the best song on the White Album, definitely not the worst but better than the Starr original Don’t Pass Me By.
The tracks that didn’t make the cut were cut in my opinion, for good reasons. Either I didn’t like them or they were not as good as the ones I kept. The break down is seven sung by Lennon, four by McCartney, three by Harrison and one by Starr. I suspect there will be those who will say that their version would look nothing like this, but as this is another of those What-If’s. Someone else will no doubt come up with a different track listing that for him or her, is better. For my money though, this is a pretty good album.
The artwork is taken from one of those in consideration when the album was going to be called A Doll’s House, but was eventually used on the compilation Beatles Ballads. I also used the mono mix of the album, as this was the last Beatles album to have a dedicated mono mix, but it is possibly the least known version of any Beatle album.
You can hear the playlist below, but not in mono I’m afraid. Annoyingly, Spotify only has the Stereo mix of the album available at this stage.