Contributions
DAVID BOWIE:
Contributions and Apocrypha
Apocrypha

Introduction:

The main section of the collection comprises only three kinds of records:

- records with songs that were released under Bowie's name, including releases of the "featuring David Bowie" type, but ignoring bootlegs that only contain songs incorrectly credited to him,
- records with songs that were released under the name of one of his bands (such as, say, Tin Machine or The Manish Boys), but again ignoring incorrect credits, and
- records with songs on which he provided lead vocals (possibly as part of a duet or something like that).

Here is a list of records by other artists to which he contributed in some other way, for example by singing backing vocals, playing an instrument, or by producing or mixing them. If song-writing credits go to Bowie, this is mentioned, too. However, I have ignored any records whose sole relation to Bowie is that he wrote some of the songs on them (although I have made an exception for Mick Ronson's Slaughter on 10th Avenue). There are so many cover versions and even tribute albums that collecting them would be a tiresome task. Moreover, I have rarely been interested in cover versions - I prefer the original!
I do not collect Bowie's contributions to the work of other artists systematically. That is, I'm not interested in cover variations, different issues, etc. Furthermore, I don't claim that this list is exhaustive. I know there are some more (minor) contributions, and I might have overlooked something - what is listed here is just what happens to be in my collection.

At the end I have added a very brief list of "apocrypha", i.e. records and songs that are sometimes said to be related to Bowie, but certainly or probably aren't. The list of "apocryphical" recordings, which is presented in alphabetical order by the actual (or probable) artists, is far from exhaustive, too. I remember a book on rock musicians according to which Bowie must have played on almost every T. Rex album, a claim that has never been substantiated. I have only listed what has found its way onto my shelves (often on bootlegs from the main section of the collection, but excluding the albums of my T. Rex collection...). See Pegg for a more complete list of apocryphal tracks.


Top ↑
Contributions
Apocrypha ↓

Oscar:

Over the Wall We Go

(Reaction 591012; UK 01/1967)

Format: 7"

Release notes: mono

Tracks: Over the Wall We Go* // Every Day of My Life

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals, songwriter

Other notes: *recorded 01/1967

Collector's notes: Oscar (Beuselinck) is the real name of singer/actor Paul Nicholas, who found some fame in the 1970s. The Oscar version is very similar to Bowie's original demo, first released on the 1979 Excerpts from the Bowie Showboat bootleg 7". Oscar's version was re-issued under the pseudonym "Ivor Bird" in 1978 - again, without any success.


Peter Noone:

Oh! You Pretty Things

(Columbia 1C 006-92 533 M; Germany 1971)

Format: 7"

Release notes: PS

Tracks: Oh! You Pretty Things* // Together Forever

Bowie's contribution: *piano, backing vocals, songwriter

Other notes: *recorded at Kingsway Studios, 26/03/1971, mistitled Oh You Pretty Thing on cover and label

Collector's notes: Though it's hard to believe nowadays, the easiest way for Bowie to get a hit at the time was to have someone like former Herman's Hermits singer Peter Noone record his songs. And, in fact, Noone had a number 12 hit with this single in the UK, which, however, turned out to be his only hit as a solo artist. Unlike Bowie's, Noone's career was definitely on the decline.


Peter Noone:

Walnut Whirl

(RAK 121; UK 10/1971)

Format: 7"

Release notes: company cover

Tracks: Walnut Whirl // Right On Mother*

Bowie's contribution: *piano, backing vocals, songwriter

Other notes: *recorded at Kingsway Studios, 26/03/1971

Collector's notes: Unlike Noone's first version of a Bowie song, his version of Right On Mother went nowhere.


Mott the Hoople:

All the Young Dudes

(CBS S 65184; Netherlands 09/1972)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Sweet Jane / Momma's Little Jewel / All the Young Dudes* / Sucker / Jerkin' Crocus // One of the Boys / Soft Ground / Ready for Love/After Lights / Sea Diver

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with Mick Ronson), saxophone; *songwriter

Other notes: recorded at Olympic Studios and Trident Studios, London, 14/05-07/1972

Collector's notes: I don't want to re-tell the old "How-David-Bowie-saved-Mott-the-Hoople" story. Suffice it to say that All the Young Dudes became the glam rock anthem. Astonishingly, most of the rest of this album is rather boring. Later Mott albums like Mott and The Hoople were better.


Lou Reed:

Transformer

(RCA LSP 4807; Germany 12/1972)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Vicious / Andy's Chest / Perfect Day / Hangin' Round / Walk on the Wild Side // Make Up / Satellite of Love / Wagon Wheel / New York Telephone Conversation / I'm So Free / Goodnight Ladies

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with Mick Ronson), backing vocals

Other notes: recorded at Trident Studios, London, 08/1972

Collector's notes: Bowie had idolised Reed since late 1966, when his manager Ken Pitt had given him an advance copy of the Velvet Underground's way-breaking debut album. So it was no wonder that he now eagerly accepted the offer to produce Reed's album. The result speaks for itself: hailed as one of the greatest rock albums ever, Transformer was Reed's breakthrough as an international star. It was also his commercially most successful album, and Walk on the Wild Side has remained his best-known song.
Bowie's backing vocals are clearly audible on some songs, especially on Satellite of Love and Wagon Wheel, which is often said to have been written by Bowie - a claim that has never been substantiated in any serious way.



Iggy and the Stooges:

Raw Power

(CBS PC 32111; USA 05/1973)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Search and Destroy* / Gimme Danger / Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell (originally titled "Hard to Beat") / Penetration // Raw Power / I Need Somebody / Shake Appeal / Death Trip

Bowie's contribution: mixing, except: *

Other notes: recorded at CBS Studios, London, 10/09-06/10/1972

Collector's notes: Another way-breaking album Bowie was somehow involved in. Being a long-time admirer of The Stooges, he had secured them a deal with his management company MainMan. The result of the Raw Power sessions was a bit... er... chaotic, so Bowie was called in to mix the album (except for Search and Destroy, which was mixed by Iggy Pop himself). The result was the proto-punk classic, although it took years until the album was recognised as such.
Bowie's "tame" mix of the album has often been criticised, but after Iggy Pop had remixed the album himself in 1996 (yielding what is sometimes called "the loudest album ever"), even the original band members had to admit that Bowie's mix hadn't been that bad...



Lulu:

The Man Who Sold the World

(Polydor 2001 490; Germany 1974)

Format: 7"

Release notes: PS

Tracks: The Man Who Sold the World // Watch that Man

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with Mick Ronson), guitar, saxophone, backing vocals, songwriter

Other notes: recorded at Câteau d'Hérouville Studios, Hérouville, France, 16/07/1973, with saxophone overdubs recorded during the Diamond Dogs sessions, Olympic Studios, London, 12/1973

Collector's notes: This unlikely collaboration gave Lulu a number 3 hit in the UK.


Mick Ronson:

Slaughter on 10th Avenue

(RCA APL 1-0353; Germany 03/1974)

Format: LP

Release notes: white label promo, record made by Teldec, cover made by RCA Schallplatten

Tracks: Love Me Tender / Growing Up and I'm Fine* / Only after Dark / Music Is Lethal** // I'm the One / Pleasure Man/Hey Ma Get Papa** / Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Bowie's contribution: *songwriter; **co-writer

Other notes: recorded at Câteau d'Hérouville Studios, Hérouville, France, c. 08-09/1973

Collector's notes: Of all the records in this section, this is the one with the most dubious status, since Bowie did not actually contribute to the recording as such. However, he wrote or co-wrote three of the songs, he was even present at some of the sessions in 09/1973 (as Pegg writes), and Ronson used almost the same personnel as Bowie on his Pin Ups album. The result was an album that sounded more like Bowie than some in which he was actually involved (like, say, Steeleye Span's Now We Are Six).



Dana Gillespie:

Weren't Born a Man

(RCA APL 1-0354; Germany 03/1974)

Format: LP

Release notes: white label promo, insert, record made by Teldec, cover made by RCA Schallplatten

Tracks: Stardom Road Parts 1 & 2 / What Memories We Make / Dizzy Heights / Andy Warhol*° / Backed a Loser* // Weren't Born a Man / Mother, Don't Be Frightened* / All Cut Up on You / Eternal Showman / All Gone

Bowie's contribution: *co-production (with Mick Ronson); °songwriter

Other notes: recorded at Trident Studios, London, 1973 (or 1972), except: *c. 06/1971

Collector's notes: Gillespie, who had released a number of folk and teen pop records in the 1960s, was an old bedfellow... er... friend of Bowie's. In the early 1970s she was a MainMan artist like Bowie, who - together with Ronson - had produced a number of tracks for her in 1971. Some of them, like Andy Warhol, which had originally been written for Gillespie, had turned up on the legendary "Bowpromo" promo-only LP from 1971. Three of these recordings were dug up for this 1974 album. Note that the cover does not give production credits to Bowie and Ronson for Backed a Loser, although this song is even rumoured to be a Bowie composition (official songwriting credits go to Gillespie).



Steeleye Span:

Now We Are Six

(Chrysalis 6307 529 D; Germany 03/1974)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Thomas the Rhymer / Two Magicians / Edwin / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star / Seven Hundred Elves // The Mooncoin Jig / Drink Down the Moon / Long-A-Growing / Now We Are Six / To Know Him Is to Love Him*

Bowie's contribution: *alto saxophone

Other notes: recorded at Morgan Studios, London, 12/1973-01/1974; Bowie's contribution recorded 12/1973

Collector's notes: Another rather unlikely collaboration, which is said to have been the idea of Ian Anderson (of Jethro Tull fame), who produced the album. Anyway, it's a great album, although this is not due to Bowie's sax solo on the final track. Now We Are Six was a further step in Steeleye Span's development from an electric folk band into a full-blown folk rock group. They were certainly the best band of that kind in the 1970s, and thus paved the way for later bands like The Pogues or The Men They Couldn't Hang.


Mick Ronson:

Play Don't Worry

(RCA APL 1 0681; UK 02/1975)

Format: LP

Release notes: FOC

Tracks: Billy Porter / Angel No. 9 / This Is for You / White Light/White Heat* // Play Don't Worry / Hazy Days / Girl Can't Help It / Empty Bed (Io Me Ne Andrei) / Woman

Bowie's contribution: *co-production of backing track (with Ken Scott), guitar, saxophones, synthesizer

Other notes: recorded at Strawberry Studios, Juan La Pins, France, Trident Studios, London, and Scorpio Sound, London, 1974, except: *backing track recorded at Câteau d'Hérouville Studios, Hérouville, France, 08-31/07/1973

Collector's notes: For his second solo album Ronson had dusted off the old backing track of White Light/White Heat from the Pin Ups sessions. But that's as far as Bowie's contribution goes.



Iggy Pop:

The Idiot

(RCA PL 12275; Germany 03/1977)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Sister Midnight / Nightclubbing / Funtime / Baby / China Girl // Dum Dum Boys / Tiny Girls / Mass Production

Bowie's contribution: production, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, piano, saxophone, xylophone, backing vocals, co-writer of all songs

Other notes: recorded at Câteau d'Hérouville Studios, Hérouville, France, Musicland Studios, Munich, and Hansa Studio 1, Berlin, 06/1976-02/1977

Collector's notes: Bowie's second collaboration with Iggy Pop yielded an album that was almost a Bowie album and featured the first embryonic (and superior) version of China Girl.


Iggy Pop:

Lust for Life

(RCA PL 12488; Germany 08/1977)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Lust for Life* / Sixteen / Some Weird Sin* / The Passenger / Tonight* // Success* / Turn Blue* / Neighborhood Threat* / Fall in Love with Me*

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with Iggy Pop and Colin Thurston), keyboards, piano, backing vocals, *co-writer

Other notes: recorded at Hansa by the Wall Studio, Berlin, 04-06/1977

Collector's notes: This third Bowie/Pop collaboration yielded a more light-hearted album than its gloomy predecessor. Lust for Life has also remained Iggy's highest-charting album. Note that the album also marked the first collaboration of Bowie with Hunt and Tony Sales, so that three quarters of the future Tin Machine played on it.


Iggy Pop:

Iggy and Ziggy - Iggy Pop and David Bowie Live in Seattle 4/9/1977

(DBPOP; USA 1977)

Format: LP

Release notes: bootleg, plain white labels, yellow insert cover

Tracks: Raw Power / Medley: 1969/No Fun/96 Tears/Gimme Danger // Sister Midnight* / Search and Destroy / I Wanna Be Your Dog / China Girl*

Bowie's contribution: keyboards, backing vocals; *co-writer

Other notes: live, Paramount Theatre, Seattle, 09/04/1977

Collector's notes: This is one of the numerous bootlegs and semi-legal releases that feature material from Iggy's 1977 tour with Bowie on keyboards. On the web I have found the information that this album is actually from 1977, but I have no idea if this is correct. In any case it was one of the earliest LPs with such material.


Iggy Pop:

Stowaway D.O.A.

(IP 100(AB); ?? 19??)

Format: LP

Release notes: bootleg

Tracks: I Wanna Be Your Dog* / T.V. Eye* / Dirt* / Gimme Some Skin** // Funtime*° / Raw Power* / Turn Blue*° / I Got a Right**

Bowie's contribution: *keyboards, backing vocals; °co-writer

Other notes: *live, Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio, 21 or 22/03/1977; **recorded during the Raw Power sessions, 1972; cover has wrong venue and/or date for all tracks

Collector's notes: And another bootleg from Iggy's tour with Bowie. I don't know when it was released.


Iggy Pop:

TV Eye - 1977 Live

(RCA PL 12796; UK 05/1978)

Format: LP

Release notes: OIS

Tracks: T.V. Eye* / Funtime*° / Sixteen** / I Got a Right** // Lust for Life**° / Dirt* / Nightclubbing**° / I Wanna Be Your Dog***

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with Iggy Pop); */***keyboards, backing vocals, °co-writer

Other notes: *live, Agora, Cleveland, Ohio, 21-22/03/1977; **live, Uptown Theater, Kansas City, Missouri, 26/10/1977; ***live, Midnight Mantra Studios, Chicago, Illinois, 28/03/1977



Iggy Pop:

Soldier

(Arista 201 160; Germany 02/1980)

Format: LP

Release notes: -

Tracks: Loco Mosquito / Ambition / Take Care of Me / Get Up and Get Out / Play It Safe* / I'm a Conservative // Dog Food / I Need More / Knocking 'Em Down (in the City) / Mr. Dynamite / I Snub You

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals, co-writer

Other notes: recorded at Rockfield Studios, Wales, 08/1979

Collector's notes: Simple Minds, who had not yet reached stardom, also sang backing vocals on Play It Safe.


Various Artists:

John Davis: Ohne Titel, lebensgross - Fünf Figuren aus verschiedenen Materialien

(Eine Knall den Bebeck Produktion (A-6956 A/B-1 / 82 S II); Germany 02/1980)

Format: LP

Release notes: bootleg, individually silk-screened cover, insert, side 1: mock label, side 2: plain blue label, limited edition: 1.000

Tracks: The Iguanas: Mona / The Iguanas: I Don't Know Why / Iggy Pop: The Passenger* / Iggy Pop: On Every Other Street* / Roxy Music: Ladytron // Iggy Pop: That's How Strong My Love Is* / Iggy Pop: Fame*° / D.A.F.: Das ist eine Welle / D.A.F.: Ich und die Wirklichkeit / D.A.F.: Gewalt

Bowie's contribution: *keyboards, °co-writer

Other notes: *live, Berkeley Theater, San Francisco, 13/04/1977

Collector's notes: A very weird compilation bootleg. My copy is missing one insert, since there is no information on when and where the songs were recorded. However, some copies came with an additional insert giving the locations and dates of the recordings. If the information is correct, then the four Iggy Pop songs from San Francisco actually feature Bowie - playing keyboards on Iggy's cover version of his own song Fame.
There seems to be an enormous variation concerning the design of this record: the copy shown here has a printed cover on both sides. Other copies came with the insert on the back and have mock labels on both sides.



Iggy Pop (& Brian Eno, David Byrne):

The Laecherling

(Poptones LP 1010; ?? 1985?)

Format: LP

Release notes: bootleg, plain white labels, glossy cover

Tracks: Low* / Lodger* / Lodger II* / Dirt** // I Need Somebody** / Funtime**° / Shake Appeal*** / Search and Destroy*** / Raw Power*** / Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell (originally titled "Hard to Beat")***

Bowie's contribution: **keyboards, backing vocals; °co-writer

Other notes: *instrumentals credited to David Bowie/Brian Eno on the cover, no Bowie relation, in fact; **live 1977; ***alternative mixes from the sessions for the Iggy and the Stooges album Raw Power (1973)

Collector's notes: A very strange release that has puzzled a lot of people for quite a while. The three instrumentals at the beginning of side 1 are not by Bowie. See the entries for David Byrne and Brian Eno in the "Apocrypha" section. Dirt, I Need Somebody and Funtime are probably from a 1977 show with Bowie, maybe from the heavily bootlegged gig at Midnight Mantra Studios, Chicago, 28/03/1977. To me, the remaining tracks sound identical to the officially released recordings, but they are (sometimes radically) different mixes.



Iggy Pop:

Blah Blah Blah

(A&M LP 395145-1; Germany 10/1986)

Format: LP

Release notes: OIS

Tracks: Real Wild Child (Wild One) / Baby, It Can't Fall* / Shades* / Fire Girl / Isolation* // Cry for Love / Blah-Blah-Blah* / Hideaway* / Winners and Losers

Bowie's contribution: co-production (with David Richards); *co-writer

Other notes: recorded at Mountain Studios, Montreux, Switzerland, 04-??/1986

Collector's notes: Iggy's most unashamedly commercial album was also his most successful one and yielded his only top ten hit (Real Wild Child, in the UK).



Iggy Pop:

Garden of Evil

(Zaubertrank 8701 B; Germany 1986)

Format: LP

Release notes: bootleg, limited edition of 600

Tracks: Ig the Pig / Repo Man / Warrior Tribe / 96 Tears / Flesh & Blood / One for My Baby // Fire Engine / Fortune Teller / Search and Destroy* / Driftin' from Town to Town / From the Inside / Old Mule Skinner / Pretty Flamingo / Speak to Me / Puppet World

Bowie's contribution: *keyboards

Other notes: *live, Midnight Mantra Studios, Chicago, Illinois, 28/03/1977

Collector's notes: The cover lists the live track Flesh & Blood as The Idiot and says that the song "should have been the title track to the '77 Pop/Bowie collaboration". However, I don't believe this: the semi-legal Nuggets compilation of Iggy rarities gives the title Flesh & Blood and presents a live recording from 1981. Although this is a different recording, it sounds as if it came from the same tour as the take included here. Moreover, the song is completely different from the kind of music Iggy and Bowie used to make in 1976.
Be that as it may, this is a fantastic compilation of unreleased stuff by Iggy, mostly in excellent sound quality.



Ava Cherry and the Astronettes:

People from Bad Homes

(Golden Years GY 005; UK 1995)

Format: CD

Release notes: hidden track

Tracks: I Am Divine* / I Am a Laser* / Seven Days / God Only Knows / Having a Good Time / People from Bad Homes* / Highway Blues / Only Me** / Things to Do* / How Could I Be Such a Fool / I'm in the Mood for Love / Spirits in the Night

Bowie's contribution: production, backing vocals, various instruments; *songwriter; **possibly songwriter

Other notes: recorded at Olympic Studios, London, 12/1973, and Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, 07/1974

Collector's notes: Bowie's attempt to make his backing singers Geoffrey MacCormack (a.k.a. Warren Peace) and Ava Cherry (a.k.a. his girlfriend at the time) famous would have long been forgotten, hadn't MainMan released this album of the sessions in 1995. Maybe the stuff should have remained in the vaults... Anyway, I Am a Laser is an early blueprint for Because You're Young, I Am Divine (which is the hidden track and can only be found by using the "rewind" button of the CD-player) later became Somebody Up There Likes Me, and occasionally you can even hear Bowie faintly in the background. Of historical interest only.



Scarlett Johansson:

Falling Down

(Atco 0 081227 99282; UK 05/2008)

Format: 7"

Release notes: PS

Tracks: Falling Down* // Yesterday Is Here

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals

Other notes: recorded at Dockside Studios, Maurice, Louisiana, spring 2007; Bowie's vocals recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, 2007

Collector's notes: Another rather unlikely collaboration that worked nonetheless.



Scarlett Johansson:

Anywhere I Lay My Head

(Atco R1 454588; USA 05/2008)

Format: LP

Release notes: gimmicks-FOC, OIS

Tracks: Fawn / Town with No Cheer / Falling Down* / Anywhere I Lay My Head / Fannin Street* // Song for Jo / Green Grass / Wish I Was in New Orleans / I Don't Wanna Grow Up / No One Knows I'm Gone / Who Are You

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals

Other notes: recorded at Dockside Studios, Maurice, Louisiana, spring 2007; Bowie's vocals recorded at Avatar Studios, New York, 2007

Collector's notes: An actress who recorded an album of Tom Waits covers... For some people on the internet discussion boards, Bowie's participation in this project was something like his most embarrassing move since he had recorded The Laughing Gnome. But it's not that bad! The presence of TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek as the producer prevents the worst, and her voice is quite nice. But not surprisingly, the two tracks featuring Bowie are the most remarkable ones on the album.
The inner of the cover has little windows, which can be opened to show different photos of Scarlett Johansson, so that it resembles an Advent calendar.




The Reflektors:

Reflektor

(Sonovox/Merge MRG484; Canada 10/2013)

Format: 12"

Release notes: metallic gimmicks cover with sticker, download card, limited edition

Tracks: Reflektor* // Reflektor (instrumental)

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals

Other notes: "The Reflektors" is a pseudonym of Canada's Arcade Fire. The correct song titles are neither on the labels nor on the cover. Instead, there is a list of fantasy titles that refer to parts of the song and create the impression of an album.

Collector's notes: Bowie had played live with Arcade Fire before. His contribution to this song are just a few lines in the backing vocals.
The cover of this record might look different on other photos or scans. The colour is metallic silver, which yields different colour effects, depending on the position of the light source.



Arcade Fire:

Reflektor

(Sonovox 3752119; EU 10/2013)

Format: 2LP

Release notes: FOC, metallic gimmicks cover with sticker, 2 OIS, download card

Tracks: Reflektor* / Flashbulb Light / Here Comes the Night Time // We Exist / Normal Persons / You Already Know / Joan of Arc // Here Comes the Night Time II / Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice) / It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus) // Porno / Afterlife / Supersymmetry / Untitled**

Bowie's contribution: *backing vocals

Other notes: **not listed on cover

Collector's notes: The parent album to the above 12", released, of course, under the band's true name.
To save space, I've changed the usual order of pictures here. They show the front, the inside and the back of the cover, then the front and back of the two inner sleeves, and, finally, all the labels. As in the case of the 12" single with the title song, the cover and parts of the inner sleeves are metallic silver, which yields different colours if you hold the cover against the light (or put it on a scanner).





Contributions ↑
Apocrypha
Top ↑

The Buzz

You're Holding Me Down / I've Gotta Buzz

You're Holding Me Down was released as a Bowie track on the bootlegs To Meet Bowie and Chameleon Chronicles Vol. 1. There was even a bootleg single called El Zumbido with this song and I've Gotta Buzz on the B-side.
In fact, the songs have nothing to do with Bowie. You're Holding Me Down is a track by a band called The Buzz, released as a single (with I've Gotta Buzz on the B-side, Columbia DB 7887, UK, 1966). The reason for the confusion is probably that Bowie once had a backing band actually called The Buzz, but the band that recorded You're Holding Me Down were a totally different outfit - they came from Edinburgh. Hoggard added to the confusion by crediting the tracks to The King Bees and even giving a different catalogue number, Coral 62492 (in both issues of his book David Bowie - The Illustrated Discography). I have no idea where he got that number from, and why he associated the songs with The King Bees. But the myth of a second King Bees single has since found its way into other books on Bowie.
Be that as it may, You're Holding Me Down (a fine track, by the way) and its B-side are neither by Bowie's Buzz nor by The King Bees.


David Byrne

"Lodger I" / "Lodger II"

These two instrumental tracks are credited to David Bowie and Brian Eno on the bootleg The Laecherling. However, they simply seem to have confused some Davids here. The instrumentals also turn up on David Byrne's album The Catherine Wheel, which also happens to feature... Brian Eno. But note that the versions are not identical, so they might be early demos or something like this. In any case, there is no Bowie relation.


Dib Cochran & the Earwigs

Dib Cochran & the Earwigs: Oh Baby / The Earwigs: Universal Love

In August 1970 a single (Bell BLL 1121) was released in the UK that has caused confusion ever since. It was by "Dib Cochran & the Earwigs", a pseudonym for (at least) Tony Visconti (vocals, bass), Marc Bolan (guitar, backing vocals), Rick Wakeman (piano) and John Cambridge (percussion). All these guys also played with Bowie at the time, so it's no wonder that rumour has it that Bowie was also present on that record (backing vocals and saxophone). Not only is this what some Bowie books claim (for instance Carr & Murray), but the rumour that Bowie sang on this record has also been spread by at least one official release:

Marc Bolan:

Cosmic Dancer - The Greatest Songs

(Teldec 6.626600 BU; Germany 1987)

Format: LP

Release notes: FOC, OIS

Tracks: The Wizard* / Desdemona** / Child Star*** / Oh Baby° / Ride a White Swan / Hot Love / Get It On (1987 Tony Visconti remix) / Jeepster // Life's a Gas / Cosmic Dancer / The Slider / Telegram Sam / Metal Guru / Children of the Revolution / Truck On (Tyke) (demo) / I Love to Boogie

Other notes: all tracks by T. Rex, except: *Marc Bolan; **John's Children; ***Tyrannosaurus Rex; °Dib Cochran & the Earwigs

Collector's notes: Bowie is listed as a vocalist on Oh Baby on the inner sleeve - see third picture.


The lead vocalist on Oh Baby is definitely neither Bowie nor Bolan, so I guess it must be Visconti. The backing vocals are doubtlessly by Bolan, but Bowie can't be heard anywhere. Furthermore, I can't hear a saxophone, either. Universal Love, the B-side of the original single, is a rather boring instrumental. Again, I can't detect a saxophone. Pegg also insists that Bowie wasn't present at the session.
So Oh Baby actually is a highly collectible rarity, but one for Bolan aficionados, rather than for Bowie fans. But be that as it may, it's a great song, and it's a pity that it went nowhere!


Czar

Oh Darlin'

This track has been distributed on Bowie bootlegs under the title Don't Be Afraid (for example on Stardust from the 70's). It was assumed to be a Hunky Dory outtake. In fact, it's a demo called Oh Darlin' by the English prog-rock band Czar, who released one mega-rare album in 1970. The track was officially released as a bonus track on the 2007 re-issue of their only LP.


Brian Eno

"Low"

According to the Illustrated db Discography, this instrumental track from the bootleg The Laecherling is a collage of music by Eno alone. No Bowie relation.


The Kon-Rads / The Konrads

various tracks

The Kon-Rads (or Konrads, as they also used to spell themselves) were Bowie's first band, to which he contributed backing vocals and saxophone. In 1963 the band recorded four songs for Decca, including a track that was called I Never Dreamed, but no releases followed. After Bowie had left the group in December 1963, they soldiered on, even releasing a single in 1965 (Baby It's Too Late Now // I'm Over You, CBS 201812, UK). It's clear that these tracks had nothing to do with Bowie - nor had the song Mocking Bird, which was produced by the legendary Joe Meek and which turned up in 2008. Bowie himself has denied that he has ever met Meek. But confusion is caused by a second single that was discovered in 2001:

The Konrads:

I Didn't Know How Much

(Decca 32060; USA 12/1966)

Format: 7"

Release notes: mono, promo, company cover

Tracks: I Didn't Know How Much // I Thought of You Last Night

Collector's notes: By comparing catalogue numbers it becomes obvious that the most likely release date of this record is December 1966. Even the former band members didn't know about the existence of an American single on Decca, since they had never been signed to that company. The decisive question is: were these tracks recorded in 1963 during the UK Decca sessions (in which case they would feature Bowie), or were they recorded at some later date (after Bowie's departure)? In the former case, they would be Bowie's earliest known recordings that have been officially released, and in the latter case, they would be just another vaguely Bowie-related oddity.
At present, there is no clear answer to this question. The record was on Decca USA (and Canada), which was not the same record company as Decca UK, but which often co-operated with its British counterpart. Furthermore, it wouldn't have been unusual that a several-year-old recording was released as a "new" single, especially of a British group - in 1966 America was still under the influence of the "British Invasion", and everything British was eagerly issued. However, in the 2000s an entire tape of Konrads songs turned up, including The Better I Know, Now I'm on My Way, Judgement Day plus the four tracks from the two singles. It was said to be a "rehearsal tape", but at least the two songs from the American single are identical to the "rehearsal takes". So, on the one hand, the presence of songs that were definitely recorded after Bowie's departure (namely the ones from the UK single) casts doubt on the assumption that Bowie was involved in the tracks on the US single (because they are on the same tape). But, on the other hand, the identity of the released tracks and the "rehearsal tracks" makes the nature of the entire tape a bit dubious: it seems to be a compilation, rather than a rehearsal tape. No questions answered...
The songs on the single as such are not helpful at all. The lead voice is certainly not Bowie. Whether or not he's in the backing vocals... who knows? So, for the time being, the single is best placed under "Apocrypha".




Tony Steven

Penny Lane / A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You

Ever since these two tracks have been released on the Chameleon Chronicles Vol. 2 bootleg, they have been the subject of much debate. The songs are taken from a British cover versions collection with uncredited singers:

Various Artists:

Hits '67

(MFP 1089; UK 04/1967)

Format: LP

Release notes: mono, "12'6" cover

Tracks: Edelweiss / Penny Lane / Simon Smith and His Amazing Dancing Bear / A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You / Peek-a-Boo / Memories Are Made of This // Release Me / I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman / This Is My Song / I've Been a Bad Bad Boy / Green, Green Grass of Home / Sitting in the Park

Other notes: all tracks by uncredited artists

Collector's notes: There are two different pressings of this album. The other variant has a different (higher) price on the cover. Hits '67 was the first UK album of anonymous recordings of popular artists' hits, and maybe even the first album of that kind worldwide. For the next ten years or so, such albums became very popular and sold in large quantities. That's all that would have to be said about this record, if...

... there wasn't this rumour that Bowie sang on two tracks. It wasn't unusual for aspiring young singers to earn some extra money by contributing to such low budget compilations - Elton John sang on many albums of this kind. The singer on the rumoured Bowie tracks actually sounds a bit like the young Bowie, but it's not him. Bowie has always denied having sung on such records, and, as Pegg points out, Bowie's manager Kenneth Pitt would certainly have mentioned such activities in his accurate book The Pitt Report. Pitt hasn't shied away from mentioning more embarrassing things.
But if it isn't Bowie, who is it, then? Several names can be found on the web: for example, Alan Johnson (whoever that might be) and Tony Stevens (later in Savoy Brown and Foghat). But Stevens wasn't a singer in the first place - he's a bassist. The "Stevens" theory might be due to a simple confusion of names: according to the Hot Hits website, which is dedicated to such albums, the singer was the seasoned British session singer Tony Steven (without an "s" at the end). Steven, who is probably best known for singing the theme of the animated UK childrens' TV series Jamie and His Magic Torch from the 1970s, had a very versatile voice and was in the session singer business from the late 1950s until the 1970s. And in an article in the Record Collector magazine from February 2013, Tony Steven finally confirmed that it was actually him who sang Penny Lane and A Little Bit Me. So the puzzle is solved.




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