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David Bowie’s earliest demos to be released in new 7″ vinyl box set

Parlophone Records are set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of David Bowie’s first hit Space Oddity with the Clareville Grove Demos, a 3×7″ box set containing some of the artist’s earliest known demos.

Recorded in 1969 in Bowie’s Clareville flat in London with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (David’s previous bandmate in Feathers), six home demos feature on the collection. Four of those have never been heard before.

david bowie earliest demos clareville

Photo: Ken Pitt

Yet another box set for David Bowie fans has been unveiled. Clareville Grove Demos, to be released via Parlophone, collects six of the iconic artist’s earliest home demos.

Each of the singles are packaged to look like the original demos Bowie sent to record labels, down to the handwritten song titles on EMIDISC acetate labels. The discs themselves are recorded mono and play at 45rpm.

Check out the Clareville Grove Demos tracklist and some song descriptions below. Further details and a release date are yet to be announced.


Single 1 / Side A: Space Oddity
Now featuring the final lyrics, this version of the demo first appeared on the long deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary 2 CD release, and is now making its debut on vinyl. It predates the 2nd February Morgan Studios recording that featured in the Love You Till Tuesday television film.

Single 1 / Side B: Lover To The Dawn
This song aimed at a former lover would eventually morph into Cygnet Committee recorded for the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album later in the year.

Single 2 / Side A: Ching-a-Ling
Previously recorded in October 1968 by the trio Turquoise featuring David, Hermione and Tony Hill (who became Feathers when Hutch replaced Hill). David and Hutch continued to perform the song as a duo following Hermione’s departure.

Single 2 / Side B: An Occasional Dream
Slightly different lyrically to the later album version, this version of the demo also first appeared on the deleted Space Oddity 40th Anniversary release.

Single 3 / Side A: Let Me Sleep Beside You
A studio version was first recorded in September 1967 but remained unreleased until The World Of David Bowie album in 1970. The song was later recorded in session for the BBC in October 1969 and was a song David clearly believed in, recording it once more for the unreleased Toy album 30 years later. That version finally saw the light of day on the Nothing Has Changed 3 CD set in 2014.

Single 3 / Side B: Life Is A Circus
A cover of an obscure song written by Roger Bunn recorded by vocal/instrumental quartet Djinn. Vocals are shared Simon and Garfunkel style by David and Hutch.


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February 15, 2019