Although next Monday the 10th marks the sixth anniversary of his death, David Bowie still manages to be in the foreground, in this case with a deluxe edition of Toy, the unreleased album from the beginning of this century in which the British artist had rescued with his band from then a handful of songs composed in the ’60s.
At the time, the musician had not yet acquired his stage name and was pushing to make a place for himself in the intense London music scene.
Of course, as has always happened throughout its trajectory, it is not an ordinary launch, but rather it occurs in a context that makes it an event.
On this occasion, the recent news of the sale of the musician’s rich catalog to the Warner company by his heirs and the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of his birth, which will take place this Saturday, January 8.
David Bowie recorded the Toy material after its monumental performance at Glastonbury in 2000.
With good sound and alternative versions
And even though Toy circulated with poor quality audio online since 2011 by a fan who leaked those sessions, and had been officially released on November 26 in the middle of an ambitious compilation called Brillant Adventure, this luxurious presentation, with 26 alternative versions as extra, gives an entity to the album that it had not had until now.
It happens that from today it is available independently in a luxurious box of three CDs, six vinyls and a photo book; but also with its original cover, where, in a disruptive way, the iconic artist appears with his face slightly deformed as if it were the missing link between the monkey and the man, and a baby body.
The story of Toy it dates back to to the period that includes the years 1999 and 2000, when Bowie participated in the remembered cycle of the music channel VH1 Storytellers and gave a memorable performance at the legendary Glastonbury festival.
After dusting off in his musical journey for VH1 the theme Can’t Help Thinking About Me, the third single of his career, recorded when he was still calling himself David Jones (his birth name); and with the excitement of his band’s performance at the famous festival, the artist considered a good idea to refresh those songs in a current format that had gone unnoticed.
An “old school” recording
Although Bowie had shaped his records practically throughout its entire history through experimentation in the recording studios, this time opted for old school band playing like he was a live.
Thus, accompanied by bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, guitarist Earl Slick, drummer Sterling Campbell, pianist Mike Garson and backup singers Holly Palmer and Emm Gryner, and with the production of the all-rounder Mark Plati, the remembered artist was encouraged for the first time to take a look at its distant past.
Considering that even in his great farewell to this world with Blackstar, Bowie was always characterized by anticipating the future, the result of Toy operates in a different sense, since there are no conceptual novelties there, although It is not an absolutely nostalgic album either..
This is the cover of Toy, the launch that celebrates 75 years of the birth of David Bowie.
Signals of the future
In any case, this production includes some elements, in some cases barely perceptible, that allow glimpses of future alter egos and sounds that they were going to parade along the path of the man with the bicolor gaze.
The choruses in the introduction of You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving they remind Absolute beginners, Conversation Piece could have been part of the album quietly Hunky dory and in Shadow man there are traces of Ziggy stardust, to name a few examples.
Other cuts like the one mentioned Can’t Help Thinking About Me, The beauty The london boys or Silly Boy Blue instead present Bowie mod from the ’60s that opened the shows of The Who.
As anticipated, a large part of the songs that make up this album were already known for having been included in various subsequent Bowie publications, but here they appear with the vigor of a live band performance.
In the large number of alternative takes there are pearls such as the string arrangements made by Tony Visconti, an old acquaintance who was once again part of the Bowie universe, or Lisa Germano’s violin in acoustic cuts.
In the end, there is reward
Toy was shelved at the time due to differences between the artist and the Virgin label, and true to his style Bowie chose to look forward again and got to work on what would be Heathen, his 2002 album.
Years passed, some songs were the B-side of various promotional singles, cuts from Toy leaked online in 2011, Bowie continued to think ahead with The Next Day (2013) and the aforementioned Blackstar that turned his death into an artistic fact, until finally his heirs sold his catalog and Warner decided to give new life to this almost unpublished.
Bowie pianist Mike Garson will conduct a special tribute concert for the musician on Saturday, January 8. .
In the fifth compilation box Brillant Adventure (1992-2001) intermingled Toy, but now it appears exclusively – and with alternate shots that offer a whopping 38 cuts in more than two and a half hours of music– to celebrate 75 years of this fundamental artist.
For this saturdayIn addition, a special concert is planned for paid streaming through the site https://rollinglivestudios.com/, commanded by the pianist Mike Garson, of which Duran Duran, Def Leppard, Noel Gallagher, Living Color and actors Gary Oldman and Ricky Gervais will participate, among others, to celebrate Bowie’s 75 years.
Source: Telam / Hernani Natale
Reference from clarin