Mitch Schneider/Lathum Nelson
July 28, 2000
On September 26, Virgin Records will release of a very special limited edition 3CD set BOWIE AT THE BEEB encompassing two CDs featuring rock legend David Bowie's sessions at the BBC from 1968 to 1972 plus a bonus CD of live songs from his BBC show in August of this year.
In a groundbreaking online first, Bowie has also announced that a track from this new BBC sessions package will be mixed with the help of his fans in a real-time event broadcast over the Internet. On Monday, July 31 fans can log onto BowieNet (www.davidbowie.com) to select their favorite version of a track that will appear on the album.
The first two CDs in the 3CD set, taken from BBC shows from 1968 to 1972, include rare performances of classics such as "Ziggy Stardust," "Starman" and "Space Oddity." The third CD in this limited package, will exclusively feature classic tracks and live favorites performed at the already legendary BBC Radio Theatre show this Summer following BOWIE's triumphant return to this year's Glastonbury Festival where he undoubtedly stole the show.
Later in the year, a 2 CD package to replace the 3CD set will be released comprising only the 1968 to 1972 sessions which will also be available as a 4 LP vinyl limited edition set including two bonus tracks not included on any of the CD's.
The limited edition 3CD set includes tracks taken from such BBC shows as "Top Gear," "Sounds Of The 70's" (presented by Bob Harris) and "In Concert" (presented by John Peel).
The tracks from the 1968 "Top Gear" session have not been heard or even bootlegged since the day they were first broadcast--one track was never even aired! The tape for this particular session was supplied by BOWIE himself as the BBC had lost the original masters.
The "Sunday Show" tracks have been the subject of legendary bootlegging but always in very poor quality. This session was historic for the fact that it was the first time that David and Mick Ronson performed live together having literally met only days before.
The "Sounds Of The 70's" session tapes also include the first, and only, early Bowie BBC session recordings in stereo. It is also a valuable historical record because of the rare performances by Bowie, just accompanied by Mick Ronson.
The "In Concert" session (recorded June 1971) features many of Bowie's friends and on the track "It Ain't Easy," Bowie shares the vocal duties with old school friends George Underwood (the man responsible for several of Bowie's early album covers) and Warren Peace.
The cover of the album has been compiled and treated by Guy Peellaert who was responsible for the Diamond Dogs sleeve.
The exclusive third CD was recorded at the BBC Radio Theatre on June 27, 2000 to an audience of specially invited fans and guests. It includes such classics as "Ashes To Ashes," "Fame," "Cracked Actor" and "Let's Dance" alongside rarely performed fan favorites such as "Wild Is The Wind," "This Is Not America," "Always Crashing In The Same Car" and "I'm Afraid Of Americans."
**EXCLUSIVE ON-LINE ANNOUNCEMENT**
In yet another move to solidify his reputation as an Internet pioneer, David Bowie has announced that a track from this new BBC sessions package will be mixed with the help of his fans. In a real time event broadcast over the Internet directly from the recording studio, David and producer Mark Plati will enlist the help of fans to choose different versions of one song. On Monday night July 24, David Bowie performed at the Yahoo Internet Life Online Awards, where his web-based community BowieNet (www.davidbowie.com) won the "Best Artist Site" award. He also received the "Online Pioneer" award.