Eight months after David Bowie‘s death, fans can finally hear his long-lost The Gouster, recorded during studio sessions in 1974.
The songs are part of a new 12-album compilation box set called Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976), which was released Friday (Sept. 23) by Parlophone Records.
The tracks, which later took on different versions for other releases, can be heard in their original form, heavily influenced by funk and soul. They were recorded in Philadelphia on a tour break after the album Aladdin Sane and laid the groundwork for 1975’s Young Americans.
The Gouster, seven tracks in total, begins with “John, I’m only Dancing” and also includes “Somebody Up There Likes Me” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
Producer Tony Visconti explains the title in the liner notes: “’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.”
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