In observance of what would have been David Bowie’s 73rd birthday, the late singer’s estate today released a rare version of “The Man Who Sold the World,” taken from a forthcoming EP called “ChangesNowBowie” (listen below). The nine-track EP, due on vinyl and CD for Record Store Day on April 18, features songs recorded for radio and broadcast by the BBC on Bowie’s 50th birthday on January 8, 1997.
Somewhat confusingly, “ChangesNow” will be preceded by a different six-track EP called “Is It Any Wonder?” containing unreleased and rare tracks to be released over six weeks. The first of these is today’s release of “The Man Who Sold the World,” which appears on both EPs. Five more songs from “Is It Any Wonder?” — the title of which, of course, is from the lyrics of Bowie’s 1975 smash “Fame” — will be released on a weekly basis from January 17 (a rep declined to provide further details on those songs).
The “ChangesNowBowie” broadcast featured an interview with Bowie by Mary Ann Hobbs interspersed with specially recorded birthday messages and questions from the likes of Scott Walker, Damon Albarn, Bono, Robert Smith, and many more.
This mostly acoustic session was a stripped back affair and was produced by Bowie himself, Reeves Gabrels, and Mark Plati.
“ChangesNowBowie” was recorded and mixed at Looking Glass Studios in New York in November 1996 during rehearsals for Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden. Gail Ann Dorsey (bass, vocals), Gabrels (guitars) and Plati (keyboards and programming) accompanied Bowie on the recording.
“ChangesNowBowie” will be released in limited quantities on LP and CD for Record Store Day on April 18, 2020 (although most Bowie RSD releases are available on streaming services). The cover art for the album will feature a black and white portrait of Bowie by photographer Albert Watson, taken in New York in 1996. More details will be announced shortly.