In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the indelible Space Oddysey, Parlophone has put together a new collection of previously unreleased David Bowie demos. The ‘Mercury’ Demos were captured live in a single take in Bowie’s flat in 1969, and include versions of “Space Oddysey,” “An Occasional Dream,” and “Janine,” which apparently “features a short section sung to the melody of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude.'” Also appearing on The ‘Mercury’ Demos are Bowie’s renditions of Roger Bunn’s “Life is a Circus” and Lesley Duncan’s “Love Song.” The demos feature accompaniment from John Hutchinson, an early collaborator of Bowie’s.
Earlier this month, Parlophone released another collection of Bowie demos titled Spying Through A Keyhole, which also included a few early recordings of “Space Oddysey.” The ‘Mercury’ Demos are out on June 28—find the full tracklist along with more information about the album below.
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MERCURY DEMOS LP BOX DUE IN JUNE “I recall how we lived on the corner of a bed…” As part of the ongoing Space Oddity 50 celebrations and following the recent Spying Through A Keyhole and Clareville Grove Demos collections, Parlophone is releasing a further set of recordings known as The ‘Mercury’ Demos on 28th June 2019. The ‘Mercury’ Demos are 10 early Bowie recordings captured live in one take to a Revox reel to reel tape machine in David’s flat in spring 1969, with Bowie on vocals, guitar and Stylophone and with accompaniment from John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson on guitar and vocals. The version of ‘Space Oddity’ from the Demos, originally released with edits on the S&V box, is presented here in its true context for the first time. The other recordings on the album are all previously unreleased. In addition to Bowie originals, the session also includes the Roger Bunn’s Life Is A Circus (which features as an earlier demo version on the Clareville Grove Demos set) and the Lesley Duncan composition, Love Song, later recorded by Elton John for his Tumbleweed Connection album. David’s own Conversation Piece is announced as ‘a new song’ and Janine features a short section sung to the melody of The Beatles’ Hey Jude. The session was a document of the ‘Bowie & Hutch’ duo’s set of the time recorded at the request of Mercury Records A&R man Calvin Mark Lee for his boss Bob Reno. Both Calvin and Bob are referenced during the 41-minute recording which was key in securing David his deal with Mercury Records. The ‘Mercury’ Demos comes in a replica of the original tape box and will feature 1 mono 33 1/3 rpm vinyl LP, a print, two photo contact sheets and sleeve notes by Mark Adams. The labels of the LP feature the same EMIDISC acetate styling as Spying Through A Keyhole and Clareville Grove Demos with the song titles in David’s own handwriting. Side 1 Space Oddity Janine An Occasional Dream Conversation Piece Ching-a-Ling I’m Not Quite (aka Letter To Hermione) Side 2 Lover To The Dawn Love Song When I’m Five Life Is A Circus #BowieTheMercuryDemos