LISTEN: Clips from 'rejected' early David Bowie demos

News 10/05/2019

Not all the tracks recorded for David Bowie's debut album made it to release - and now clips of three tracks that were rejected have been released ahead of the reel-to-reel master tape being auctioned in the UK later this month. 

Bowie recorded the songs 'Funny Smile', 'Bunny Thing' and 'Pussy Cat' during 1966 and 1967, along with 'Did You Ever Have a Dream', which later appeared on the 1981 compilation 'Another Face'.

Have a listen to the clips below.

Paul Kinder, a Bowie expert, said 'Bunny Thing' was a "beat poem about rabbits smuggling drugs, complete with in-character reminiscences of an aged German bunny." 'Funny Smile' was described as "a very solid and catchy R&B number", and noted Bowie's "totally weird music hall mockney accent" on 'Pussy Cat'. 

"For Bowie fans, these tracks represent part of the holy grail of unreleased recordings," Kinder said.

David Bowie's self-titled debut album was released on June 1st, 1967, and it bore little resemblence to the pop music at the time - or even the standalone singles released before and after the LP for that matter. It instead presented a selection of music-hall style songs exploring a theatrical direction.

"I haven’t much to say about that in its favor," Bowie later said of the album. "Musically, it’s quite bizarre. I don’t know where I was at.”

The demo tape sale will take place on the 21st May by Omega Studios. It's descrived as a "boxed reel of 1/4" Ampex recording tape, containing four tracks recorded by David Bowie at Decca Studio 2 in West Hampstead, London circa 1967." "Please note that this item is sold as an artifact only and no copyright(s) are included with this sale,” it noted.

The estimated sale price is between £5,000 and £8,000 ($9,800 - $15,800 NZD), starting at £3,000 ($5,900 NZD).