David Bowie Box
(ISO / Columbia Legacy)


When David Bowie moved his label from Virgin to Columbia he took several of his previous recordings with him. Those three Virgin releases, along with the two so far made for Columbia, were rereleased in Japan in 2004 and 2007 as double CD sets complete with unreleased tracks and numerous remixes. First released as imports by Sony International and finally compiled as a box set in the U.S. by Legacy, the David Bowie Box offers a number of rare and unreleased Bowie gems that deserve to see the light of day. Comprising Sony’s 2007 David Bowie Box are double disc CD sets of Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), ‘hours... (1999), Heathen (2002) and Reality (2004). The excellent artwork and sound quality aside, the unreleased 60+ bonus tracks alone make this a Bowie box set worthy of attention. Highlights are numerous especially Bowie reviving three key tracks he first cut back pre-Space Oddity in 1968 (on Heathen) and a rocking cover of “Waterloo Sunset” on Reality. Commenting on these rare re-workings of classic ‘60s Bowie cuts, long time Bowie producer Tony Visconti tells MWE3.COM, “David phoned me early in 2001 and said that he'd been working with producer and his band music director, Mark Plati, on an album concept. He started to sing a few of his very early written songs live and even though they were obscure songs all the hardcore fans knew them and loved the modern renditions. David said if the songs were given a second chance by rerecording them with today's values and techniques they might sound really great. The album was called Toy. I was asked to arrange strings and a couple of band arrangements for the album. After recording about 10 of the old songs David started to write brand new songs for the album, like "Shadow Man," "Slip Away," and "So Afraid." For some reason Toy never saw the light. Most of the songs ended up as album tracks and bonus tracks for Heathen and Reality. Some of those were rerecorded, so the Toy tracks are earlier versions. For "Conversation Piece" I stuck to about 85% of my arrangement from the late ‘60s, but some licks that Mike Garson played on piano inspired some new parts. We used a big string section too, about 24 players. Ultimately I was also asked to mix Toy. I love the album and I think it's a great shame it was never released. Sadly there are only about 3 tracks that were never heard by the public." www.davidbowie.com


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