David Bowie recorded four songs for his 1967 debut album on 8 and 9 December 1966: ‘Little Bombardier’, ‘Maid Of Bond Street’, ‘Sell Me A Coat’, and ‘Silly Boy Blue’.
All four songs were completed within these two sessions, which took place at at Decca’s Studio 2 in north London. Mike Vernon was the producer, with Gus Dudgeon engineering.
‘Silly Boy Blue’ was unusual for containing backing vocals. Most of the songs on the album featured Bowie alone on vocals. The additional singers included Dek Fearnley and John Eager from Bowie’s band the Buzz, and Marion Constable – a friend of Fearnley who was a great-granddaughter of the celebrated landscape painter John Constable.
Session musician James George Tomkins, better known as Big Jim Sullivan, played sitar and acoustic guitar on ‘Maid Of Bond Street’. Tomkins also performed on ‘Join The Gang’, and on Bowie’s later song ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’.
New vocals for ‘Sell Me A Coat’ were recorded on 25 January 1969 by Bowie, Hermione Farthingale, and John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson for the soundtrack of the TV film Love You Till Tuesday.
Seven instrumental versions of ‘Silly Boy Blue’ were recorded by Bowie and the Riot Squad at Decca on 5 April 1967. Bowie revisited the song again in 2000 for the much-delayed Toy album.
Also on this day...
- 1972: Recording: Aladdin Sane
Want more? Visit the David Bowie history section.