There is a lot of good news for fans of David Bowie. In November comes “David Bowie 5. Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001)”, the fifth in a series of boxes that cover the career of the “chameleon” since 1969. And in January 2022 it’s the turn of “Toy”, the disc which Bowie recorded after the Glastonbury concert in 2000, but which was never edited.
Parlophone Records and ISO Records announced the release of two milestones in David Bowie’s record career: November 26, 2021, will see the release of “David Bowie 5. Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001)”, the fifth in a series of boxes covering Bowie’s career since 1969, and January 7, 2022, the day before his birthday, will see the release of “Toy (Toy: Box)”, which will make the legendary unreleased album available in 3-CD or 6-vinyl versions of 10 ”.
“David Bowie 5. Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001)”, the latest volume in a critically acclaimed series that includes “David Bowie 1. Five Years (1969 – 1973)”, “David Bowie 2. Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976)”, “David Bowie 3. A New Career In A New Town (1977 – 1982)” and “David Bowie 4. Loving The Alien (1983 – 1988)”, will be available in physical versions with 11 CDs or 18 LPs and across all digital streaming and download platforms.
The boxes include newly remastered versions – with collaboration from the original producers and musicians – of some of Bowie’s most underrated and experimental material: “Black Tie White Noise”, “The Buddha Of Suburbia” (available on vinyl for the first time on nearly 30 years), “1. Outside”, “Earthling” and “Hours…”, along with an expanded version of the live album “BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000”, a compilation entitled “Re: Call 5”, which brings together B sides, alternative versions not included in albums and soundtracks, and also the legendary album “Toy”, edited here for the first time.
“Toy” was recorded after David Bowie’s Glastonbury performance in 2000. Bowie entered the studio with his band – Mark Plati, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Holly Palmer, and Emm Gryner – to record new versions of songs he had recorded himself in 1964-1971.
Bowie’s plan was to record the album “old-fashioned” with the band playing live, choose the best versions and release the album as soon as possible. It was a remarkably advanced plan for the time, but unfortunately, in 2001, the concept of a “surprise album” and its technology did not yet exist, which made the release of “Toy”, as the album was now called, impossible for the fans as instantly as Bowie wanted.
Therefore, Bowie did what he did best: he launched another project, which started with some of the new songs recorded in the “Toy” sessions and crystallized in the album “Heathen”, which was released in 2002 and is considered one of his. best records.
Moment of Joy, Focus, and Energy
Now, 20 years after the planned release date, Bowie co-producer Mark Plati says: “Toy” is like a moment captured in joy, fire, and energy. It’s the sound of people happy to be playing. David has revisited and re-examined his work from decades ago through the prisms of experience and new perspectives – a parallel I realized as I revisited them now, 20 years later. Every now and then he would say to me, “Mark, this is our album” – I think he knew I was as involved in that trip as he was. I’m happy to be able to say that it is now the album for all of us».
“Toy (Toy: Box)”, available in 3CD or 6 vinyl out of 10 formats”, is a special edition of the album “Toy”. The approach to capturing the moment of the recording sessions extends to the cover design, conceived by Bowie, with a photo of him as a baby, but with a contemporary face. The set also includes a 16-page color book with unpublished photos by Frank Ockenfels 3.
The first seeds for “Toy” were planted in 1999, during the production of an episode of VH-1 Storytellers. David wanted to interpret something from his pre-Space Oddity discography. He then went back to 1966 and dusted off the theme “Can’t Help Thinking About Me,” the first time in 30 years. The song remained on the concert setlist for the short promotional tour of the album “Hours…” with such good results that in early 2000 Bowie and producer Mark Plati drew up a list of some of Bowie’s first songs to be re-recorded.
“Toy” ends with a new song that gives the album its name, “Toy (Your Turn To Drive)”, built from a jam recorded at the end of one of the live recordings of “I Dig Everything”. The theme is based on re-arranged sections of drums by Sterling Campbell and bass by Gail Ann Dorsey, and sections of piano by Mike Garson that have been repeated and overlaid with an Earl Slick guitar line which, in turn, it was sampled, stretched in time and used as a repetitive harmony.
Some of the parts sung by Holly and Emm on “Dig Everything” were cut and remixed. According to producer Mark Plati, “Since this theme was taken from “I Dig Everything”, it makes sense to end the album with this track – it’s also a post scriptum fit for the “Toy” era.”
“Toy:Box” includes a second CD or set of 10″s with mixes and alternate versions, including B sides (versions of Bowie’s debut single, “Liza Jane” and “In The Heat Of The Morning” by 1967), later mixes by Tony Visconti and the “Tibet Version” of “Silly Boy Blue”, recorded at The Looking Glass Studio at the time of the concert at Tibet House, New York, in 2001, with Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar. The third CD or set of 10”s includes “Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric” mixes of 13 “Toy” tracks.
“Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001)” features the exclusive live album “BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000” and the compilation “Re: Call 5”. The first was recorded two days after the famous Glastonbury concert, in front of 500 lucky fans, at the BBC Theater in London. Parts of the concert constituted the third CD of a very limited 3-CD edition entitled “Bowie At The Beeb”, released in September 2000, but the full concert is now released for the first time on vinyl.
“Re: Call 5” includes 39 alternate versions and B sides not included in albums and soundtracks on 3 CDs and 4 LPs. “BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000” and “Re: Call 5” are editions only found in this box.
The accompanying book, 84 pages in LP format and 128 pages in CD format contain rare and previously unpublished photos by Frank W. Ockenfels 3, Nick Knight, John Scarisbrick, Nina Schultz Terner, and other photographers, as well as memorabilia, technical notes on the albums written by producers/sound engineers Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati, and a new interview with Erdal Kizilçay, a contributor to “The Buddha Of Suburbia”.
The 11-CD box includes faithfully reproduced mini-vinyl versions of the original albums (where applicable) and the CDs are gold instead of the traditional silver color. The 18 LP box has the same contents as the 180 g vinyl CD box.
In the meantime, you can watch the lyric video for the song “You’ve Got A Habit Of Leaving (Radio Edit)”, which serves as the digital single for the “Toy” album.