News: David Bowie – TOY:BOX (previously unreleased Toy album Box-Set)

29 09 2021

TOY:BOX is a special edition of the unreleased David Bowie TOY album available as a 3CD boxset, and is due to be released on 7th January 2022. The sleeve artwork was designed by Bowie featuring a photo of him as a baby with a contemporary face. The package also contains a 16-page full-colour book featuring previously unseen photographs.

TOY was recorded following his Glastonbury 2000 performance. Bowie entered the studio with his band to record new interpretations of songs he had first recorded in the period 1964-1971.

Also included in TOY:BOX is a second CD of alternative mixes and versions including proposed B-Sides (versions of David’s debut single ‘Liza Jane’ and 1967’s ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’), later mixes by Tony Visconti and the ‘Tibet Version’ of ‘Silly Boy Blue’ recorded at The Looking Glass Studio time at the of the 2001 Tibet House show in New York featuring Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar.

The third CD features ‘Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric’ mixes of thirteen TOY tracks.

Pre-order the Toy (Toy:Box) CD box-set

CD1

TOY

I Dig Everything
You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving
The London Boys
Karma Man
Conversation Piece
Shadow Man
Let Me Sleep Beside You
Hole In The Ground
Baby Loves That Way
Can’t Help Thinking About Me
Silly Boy Blue
Toy (Your Turn To Drive)

Produced by David Bowie & Mark Plati
Engineered by Pete Keppler
Mixed by Mark Plati Assisted by Hector Castillo, Steve Mazur, and Todd Parker
Recorded at Sear Sound, The Looking Glass & Alice’s Restaurant in New York City, Summer 2000

CD 2

TOY- Alternatives & Extras

Liza Jane
You’ve Got A Habit of Leaving (alternative mix) *
Baby Loves That Way (alternative mix) *
Can’t Help Thinking About Me (alternative mix)
I Dig Everything (alternative mix)
The London Boys (alternative version)
Silly Boy Blue (Tibet version)
Let Me Sleep Beside You (alternative mix) *
In The Heat Of The Morning
Conversation Piece (alternative mix) *
Hole In The Ground (alternative mix)
Shadow Man (alternative mix) *
Toy (Your Turn To Drive) (alternative mix) *

Produced by David Bowie & Mark Plati except ‘The London Boys’ additional production by Tony Visconti
‘Silly Boy Blue’ (Tibet version) Produced by David Bowie & Tony Visconti
Engineered by Pete Keppler at Sear Sound, assisted by Todd Parker
Engineered by Mark Plati at Alice’s Restaurant
Recorded at Sear Sound, The Looking Glass & Alice’s Restaurant in New York City, Summer 2000
Except ‘Silly Boy Blue’ (Tibet version) recorded at The Looking Glass, 2001
Mixed by Tony Visconti, assisted by Darren S. Moore at the Manhattan Center, early 2001
Except ‘Liza Jane’ & ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ mixed by Mark Plati, assisted by Hector Castillo at The Looking Glass.
*Previously released

CD 3

TOY – Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric

In The Heat Of The Morning (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
I Dig Everything (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
You’ve Got A Habit of Leaving (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
The London Boys (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Karma Man (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Conversation Piece (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Shadow Man (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Let Me Sleep Beside You (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Hole In The Ground (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Baby Loves That Way (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Can’t Help Thinking About Me (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Silly Boy Blue (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)
Toy (Your Turn To Drive) (Unplugged & somewhat slightly electric mix)

Produced by David Bowie & Mark Plati
Engineered by Pete Keppler
Mixed by Mark Plati, assisted by Hector Castillo, Steve Mazur & Todd Parker
Recorded at Sear Sound, The Looking Glass & Alice’s Restaurant in New York City, Summer 2000
All songs written by David Bowie except ‘Liza Jane’ written by Leslie Conn.

TOY MUSICIANS:

David Bowie: lead & backing vocals, Korg Triton
Sterling Campbell: drums, claps
Gail Ann Dorsey: bass, clarinet, backing vocals
Mike Garson: piano, organ, synth, Fender Rhodes
Emm Gryner: backing vocals, clarinet
Holly Palmer: backing vocals, percussion
Mark Plati: acoustic & electric guitars, bass, Mellotron, backing vocals
Earl Slick: acoustic & electric guitars

Augmented by the following musicians on certain recordings:

Tony Visconti: bass, string arrangements
Lisa Germano: violin, accordion, mandolin, recorder, backing vocals
Gerry Leonard: electric guitar
Cuong Vu: trumpet
Strings – The Scorchio Quartet
Moby – electric guitar
Philip Glass – piano

Pre-order the Toy (Toy:Box) CD box-set


Find out about the David Bowie – Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) CD & Vinyl box-sets






David Bowie – Lodger (Tony Visconti 2017 Mix)

30 09 2017

The 2017 Tony Visconti mix of Lodger comes as part of the A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982) box set released today (29 September 2017).

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Lodger was Bowie’s 13th studio album, originally released in May 1979. The last of the Berlin Trilogy, the album was recorded in Switzerland and New York with Brian Eno, and was produced by Bowie’s longest collaborator, Tony Visconti, who also oversaw this 2017 mix.

First of all I must confess that Station to Station and Lodger are my favourite Bowie albums, so this review is not a critique, but a review of how the album sounds in its 2017 mix.

The short version of the review is this: Lodger has never sounded so good. Ok, now for the longer review! It does not sound as if there has been much tinkering with the instrumentation or vocals on the album, just a reworking using modern technology and the original master tapes – so it’s a remix, not a remaster.

From the drum roll that ushers in Fantastic Voyage, it’s clear that this is a high-fidelity version of the album. The strings and backing vocals are much clearer in the mix and there is added reverb on the tail-end of the “cos we’ll never say anything nice again, will we” vocal line. Apparently the lyrics are about the possibility of nuclear war, so this song is more relevant now than ever.

There is some great piano work from the late Sean Mayes on this song. I can recommend Sean’s Life on Tour with David Bowie book, which gives an interesting account of life on the road with Bowie and the band on the 1978 Isolar II tour.

African Night Flight is also greatly enhanced by the 2017 remix – there is greater separation between all instruments, and the guitar and chanted vocals sit much more comfortably in the mix. The excellent Dennis Davis drum parts on Move On sound so clear, and as with most tracks on this new version of the album, reverb and delay treatments are added to Bowie’s vocals. The ending of the song reveals layers that I have not noticed previously, that were hidden in the original mix.

Yassassin sounds a million dollars. The guitar and drums (especially the kick drum) are pushed to the forefront, giving the track so much more punch and drive. It’s like discovering a whole new song. The same applies to the frantic Red Sails – the guitar and sax interplay is so much clearer. Some of my favourite guitar lines on the album can be found in this track.

I was particularly looking forward to hearing my two favourite Lodger tracks, DJ and Boys Keep Swinging, and the new mixes Sound very fresh. DJ sounds so much richer – the drums and keyboards, including the wonderful ARP Solina, plus the amazing Adrian Belew guitar solos towards the end of the song, sound better than ever.

The kick drum and bass guitar are so much punchier in Boys Keep Swinging. Renowned for some of the band members switching instruments, this track, released as a single, is in my top 10 Bowie songs. Around the 2.30 mark, there seems to be a high-pitched guitar line removed in this mix, which is a little disconcerting and one of only a couple of negative points in the 2017 version of Lodger.

Repetition has the most disturbing lyrics on Lodger, and the song is greatly improved by this remix. I love the odd bassline on this track, and the guitars sound so vibrant. Once again, there are elements that I have not previously noticed that are more visible in this new mix.

The album closes with Red Money, the album’s update of the Bowie / Alomar song that appears as Sister Midnight on Iggy Pop’s The Idiot album. The bass is deliciously bubbly in this mix, and the instruments, especially the drums and percussion, sound so good. The Comsat Angels sounding guitar riff at around 1.30 and 2.20 – one of the strongest parts of the song for me, disappointingly sits much further back in the new mix.

So whilst this 2017 Tony Visconti mix overall is a vast improvement on the original 1979 version of the album, I will still return to the original of some songs, such as Boys Keep Swinging and Red Money.

Other highlights (on top of some of Bowie’s finest albums) on the box-set include the extended version of Beauty and the Beast (I had not heard this version before) and my favourite version of Cat People (Putting Out Fire), the stunning Giorgio Moroder soundtrack version, which has one of the most emotional Bowie vocal performances.

“Its been so long, so long, so long”

The A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982) box set is my favourite of the three released to date.  The whole package includes the following discs (all remastered, apart from Scary Monsters) plus a hardback 128 page book with photos plus notes from Tony Visconti:

Low / “Heroes” / “Heroes” EP / Stage (original and 2017 versions of the live album) / Lodger / Lodger (2017 Tony Visconti Mix) / Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) and the compilation Re:Call 3.

Buy “A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982)” CD boxset – on Amazon

Buy “A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982)” vinyl boxset on Amazon

Buy “Life On Tour With Bowie” by Sean Mayes on Amazon








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