November 30: According to a recent news item posted at StreetSound (and attributed to Allstar News), Bowie orchestrated a recall of the US version of Best of David Bowie: 1969-74, because "the liner notes weren't written by a sufficiently prominent scribe". As one reader pointed out, there are a large number of inaccuracies in the notes as well. No word yet on when there will be a rerelease.
November 24: A rumour posted over the weekend suggests that the 1980 Floor Show, a TV special from 1973 which was effectively the last time Ziggy and The Spiders performed together, will soon be released officially. Apparently, the company which now has the rights to all the Midnight Special shows, is intent on releasing them officially as TV classics. They have a web page listing their plans. You may want to email the company to see what their plans are with regard to Bowie's show.
November 24: As expected, Perfect Day debuted at #1 on the official UK singles charts, displacing Aqua's Barbie Girl. You can find the official UK charts uploaded every Sunday at 7 p.m. GMT at dotmusic.com.
November 22: The charity single Perfect Day (on which Bowie sings a couple of lines) has hit #1 in the Sky United Kingdom Top 40 charts. In nearly all cases, the Sky chart matches the official chart, which is due out tomorrow. You can see the video and hear the full song at this BBC site (using RealAudio 4.0).
November 21: A lot of people wrote to me about the vinyl release of Earthling mentioned below to point out that a vinyl release is already in existence, although in fairly limited numbers (one correspondent said 2,000 copies in the UK). However, there has been a rumour around for a while that there would be a double disc release for Christmas (with unrereleased tracks) - the German listing at BMG was interesting for this reason... while still on the topic of vinyl, Markus wrote to me from Germany to tell me that a UK record shop is stocking an EMI anniversary edition of Hunky DoryDAVID BOWIE Hunky Dory (New UK 180gm Virgin Vinyl EMI100 series reissue vinyl LP, glossy p/s + lyric insert LPCENT21) UK 14.99/$25.00...The suit mentioned earlier sold for $5,600 at auction (designed by David Chambers, autographed on the inner lapel, and worn on the 1990 Sound+Vision tour...The guitar auctioned for $1,200 and went to Daniele from Italy, who incidentally is running a Xmas Bowie contest... The Buddha Of Suburbia TV series has been announced as part of Australia's ABC lineup for next year... A Norwegian newspaper reported that Bowie was planning to go silent for a two year period, while he devotes his time more to art and to his "private life" (a baby, perhaps?)... Speaking of art, contrary to other published reports, the Milan art exhibition early next year is still on, according to the manager of the gallery in Milan...
November 21: As Patti pointed out to me a few weeks ago, there seems to be a hidden message in the I'm Afraid Of Americans single cover. If you rotate the stars in the flag 90 degrees anticlockwise, it appears that the stars are actually Roman letters, spelling out something...
November 21: I'm Afraid Of Americans moves from #81 last week up to #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (which measures both sales and airplay). Reports from the field indicate that the single is being stocked (at least in New York City) in reasonable numbers, although elsewhere it still seems to be spotty at best.
November 20: Los Angeles radio station KROQ confirmed this morning that Bowie will appear at their Almost Acoustic Christmas event to be held at Universal Amphitheater on December 6. A number of other high profile bands are also scheduled to appear. In past years, the main act has performed for about 30 minutes. The almost acoustic indicates that a number of bands have performed plugged-in in past years. Tickets are expected to be very difficult to come by.
November 19: I'm Afraid Of Americans seems to have garnered some support from all the MTV and radio play, debuting on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart at #81. This information is for the week ended 16 November in the USA. On a parenthetical note, both times I've been to my local Tower Records in the past week, I've been unable to find a single copy of I'm Afraid Of Americans on the shelves. Perhaps if stores would stock it, it would sell a bit better.
November 18: Reinhold from Germany reports that EMI has released Space Oddity, The Man Who Sold The World and Aladdin Sane as "mid-price" CDs, in conjunction with a heavy television advertising blitz for Best of David Bowie 69-74.
Reinhold notes that this will likely mean strong sales since anything which is advertised on TV must be good, right? Finally, as a little tidbit, if you go to the BMG Germany site, they are listing a vinyl Earthling release for Christmas Day. Hmmm....
November 18: This item definitely falls into the unsubstantiated rumour department. A source has informed me that Bowie may make an appearance in Los Angeles on December 6. This date would make sense given his commitment the following night in San Francisco for the Green Xmas concert. Any Los Angelenos who hear anything more, please email me.
November 18: In the UK, the BBC has released the "Perfect Day" single (with multiple artists, including Bowie, singing various lines from Lou Reed's composition). This is likely to be a fairly strong hit, given the BBC's weighty promotion. All proceeds go to Children In Need charity.
In the US, the Neil Young organised Bridge School Concerts Vol 1 is officially released today, and includes an acoustic version of "Heroes" recorded at last year's Bridge Benefit concert.
November 17: Although the press release doesn't explicitly mention it, a listener to Chicago's WXRT informs me the station is advertising a "signed David Bowie suit" as one of the items in their Christmas Is For Kids Rock 'N' Roll Charity Auction, to be held on November 20.
November 12: Live 105, a San Francisco radio station, announced this morning that Bowie will be the headline act at its annual Live105 Xmas Concert on December 7. Tickets for the event go on sale this Saturday (November 15) at 10 a.m.
November 12: Boston radio station WCBN together with the Boston Globe are sponsoring an auction of an autographed Fender guitar from David Bowie as part of their Click For A Cause program, with proceeds going to Save The Children. Ed: In spite of the title, it's not clear that this is actually a Ziggy-era guitar. The current bid is $1,000 as of today.
November 12: The acoustic version of Heroes from the upcoming The Bridge School Concerts - Vol. One, recorded at the 1996 Bridge Benefit concert has already been aired on Boston radio, according to one reader. The album is being released next Tuesday, and can be preordered from CD Unuiverse. It also includes other acoustic tracks from Pearl Jam, Patti Smith, Beck and many others.
For people interested in alternate acoustic versions, remember that the soundtrack to Ice Storm features an acoustic version of I Can't Read, with alternate lyrics. Bassman's site is reporting that this version will soon be released in Europe as a single.
November 9: We recently passed the 3,200 level for number of registered users on Teenage Wildlife, and the corresponding winner was Paul Wayman from Kent, England who chose David Live as his free CD.
In celebration of the tremendous support Teenage Wildlife has received over the Earthling tour, I have decided to switch to a lottery drawing every two months, starting December 1.
November 8: The new single I'm Afraid Of Americans entered the Canadian charts at #15, making it the first major Bowie Canadian chart appearance since Day-In Day-Out in 1987. No more word on the updated figures for this week in the USA, but it's doubtful it will make it higher up the charts, since the single seems to be unavailable in a lot of record stores. You can read the full text from Jam Music Charts.
In another bit of random trivia, the recently opened sci-fi feature Starship Troopers includes a bastardized version of I Have Not Been To Oxford Town; sung by a woman in a bar with lyrics changed to either Paradise or Paris Town.
November 4: Some random bits and pieces of Bowie news from the past week:
- Billboard Online reported that week that Reznor, Tricky and Reeves Gabrels would provide production work on Bowie's next album.
- Billboard also reported that Bowie and Gabrels were "planning an acoustic album of all-new material". The quote from Bowie was "We played a lot of acoustic songs while promoting `Earthling' on radio shows, and we got excited about writing just for acoustic guitars".
- Speaking of Gabrels, he took time out from the South American tour to fly to Los Angeles for a one-off concert with The Cure on October 28, and will be heard playing guitar on The Cure's upcoming single, Wrong Number
- In the unsubstantiated rumour department, a source reports reading that Siouxsie Sioux has recorded a duet with David Bowie for an upcoming duets album.