To mark what would have been David Bowie’s 72nd birthday today (8th January), Parlophone Records have announced a 7” vinyl box set of early demos and unreleased songs.
Available to buy at an as-yet-unspecified date in the spring, ‘Spying Through A Keyhole’ features nine previously unreleased recordings from the era in the late sixties when Bowie’s breakthrough single ‘Space Oddity’ was conceived.
Most of the songs are solo vocal and acoustic home demo performances and the box set’s title is lifted from the lyrics of the previously song ‘Love All Around’.
Among the musical gems are two of the earliest known demos of ‘Space Oddity’ including a version with alternate lyrics. ‘Space Oddity’ was released as a single on 11th July 1969.
Although this will be the first physical release of all the songs, they were made available to listen to on streaming services for a limited period in December.
As listed on DavidBowie.com, the tracks are as follows:
Most of the recordings 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.