Q Magazine

New David Bowie LP to be Released for Record Store Day

‘Waiting In The Sky’ has been described as an alternative version of 1972’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.’

david bowie new album
Source: MEGA
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A new David Bowie LP, recorded during the early Ziggy Stardust sessions, will be released to mark Record Store Day in the UK on April 20 this year.

Announced to coincide with what would have been the Starman’s 77th birthday, Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) is a collection of recordings taken from the famous Trident Studios sessions of December 1971. The 1/4” stereo tapes were created as a provisional tracklisting for what would eventually become The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The new record is not simply a collection of Ziggy outtakes and alternative recordings, however, but an alternative LP in its own right, and a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of one of the century’s greatest albums. The tracklisting runs differently from Ziggy Stardust and features four songs that didn’t make the final cut of the seminal release.

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david bowie waiting in the sky
Source: Parlophone

The 'new' version of Ziggy Stardust will be released exclusively for Record Store Day on April 20.

On Side 1, where fans would expect to find “Starman”, is the Chuck Berry cover “Round and Round” (later released as the B-side to the single “Drive-In Saturday” in 1973), and instead of “It Ain’t Easy”, the side closes with a cover of Jacques Brel’s “Amsterdam” – best known to Bowie fans as the B-side of 1973’s “Sorrow”.

Side 2 not only features two more different tracks, but also highlights how Bowie experimented with the order of the songs before settling on the version known today.

“Lady Stardust” and “Star” are moved from the opening tracks of the side to the album’s closers, and two of the LP’s best-loved songs, “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide” have been replaced altogether by another pair of long-time non-LP favorites. “Holy Holy” is a re-recording of the 1971 single (later to appear as the B-side of “Diamond Dogs” four years later), and “Velvet Goldmine” – considered by many devotees to be a lost Ziggy-era classic – appears on Waiting In The Sky but failed to make the final cut for Ziggy Stardust itself. The song would not surface until 1975, as the backing to the re-release of “Space Oddity.”

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david bowie ziggy stardust
Source: MEGA

'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars' is considered one of the century's greatest albums.

Although the title of the new album is taken from the lyrics to “Starman”, that song, along with “Suffragette City” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”, had not yet been recorded when this variation of the LP was compiled. And rather than the famous street scene that graced the final Ziggy cover, the new album’s artwork features a single photograph of Bowie by Brian Ward taken at an early Ziggy Stardust session, and the inner sleeves are shots of the original Trident Studios tape boxes.

As reported by Q last week, Bowie’s 77th birthday is also being celebrated with the naming of a newly-constructed street in Paris, near Austerlitz train station.

Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) will be released by Parlophone exclusively on April 20 for Record Store Day 2024. Check out the tracklisting below:

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Side 1:

1. Five Years

2. Soul Love

3. Moonage Daydream

4. Round And Round

5. Amsterdam

Side 2:

1. Hang On To Yourself

2. Ziggy Stardust

3. Velvet Goldmine

4. Holy Holy

5. Star

6. Lady Stardust

david bowie ziggy live
Source: mega

'Waiting in the Sky' features songs not included in the final version of 'Ziggy Stardust'.


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