Parlophone Records is releasing a new 7″ vinyl singles box set this spring in celebration of what would have been David Bowie‘s 72nd birthday.
Spying Through a Keyhole (Demos and Unreleased Songs) features nine previously unreleased recordings, including the earliest known version of one of his most beloved songs, “Space Oddity.”
The set, which comes 50 years after “Oddity” became Bowie’s first hit, is named after a lyric from the song “Love All Around.” Though most of the tracks in the collection have familiar titles, these versions had never been released before last year, with most comprised of solo vocal and acoustic home demos, according to a statement announcing the set; this is the first physical release of the songs, which were briefly available on streaming services for a limited time in December.
Check out the descriptions of the recordings below.
“Mother Grey“ (demo)
This mid-tempo tale of a fledgling son fleeing the nest features multi-tracked vocals, guitars and harmonica from David.
“In The Heat Of The Morning” (demo)
A well-known early Bowie song but presented here in demo form with final lyrics.
“Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe” (demo)
A charming demo from 1968.
“Love All Around” (demo)
A delightful love song from whence the title of this collection came: “I see a pop tune spying through a keyhole from the other room”.
“London Bye, Ta-Ta” (demo)
An early demo version of the song with completely different lyrics in a couple of the verses compared to those of the later full band versions.
“Angel, Angel, Grubby Face” (demo version 1)
The first and only previously known demo of this song.
“Angel, Angel, Grubby Face” (demo version 2)
A later version of the same song with alternative lyrics.
“Space Oddity“ (demo excerpt)
The lyric and arrangement variations lend weight to the theory that this is possibly the first ever recorded demo of one of Bowie’s most famous songs.
“Space Oddity” (demo – alternative lyrics) (with Hutch)
Originally conceived as a song for a duo to perform, this is the first known version to feature John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson again with lyric and arrangement variations.