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Recording: In The Heat Of The Morning, London Bye Ta-Ta

David Bowie began recording two songs for a potential single on 12 March 1968: ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ and ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’.

The session took place at Decca Studios in north London. Tony Visconti produced both songs and also scored the string arrangements.

The songs took an unusually long time to record – four sessions, with overdubs recorded on 29 March and 10 and 18 April.

Despite the efforts, Decca declined to release the single. These were Bowie’s final sessions for the label, and the rejection marked the end of his involvement with the label.

I was already planning promotion for the next single, which we expected to be ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’, and had arranged for David to perform the work on another Top Gear broadcast, when the news came through that the Decca selection panel had found that song and ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’ unsuitable for release. I immediately telephoned Hugh Mendl [Decca’s Artists Manager], whom I found to be sympathetic and now even more embarrassed by the action of his colleagues. He said “I cannot blame you if you wish to leave us.”
Kenneth Pitt
The Pitt Report

‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ remained unreleased until 6 March 1970, when Pitt selected the stereo mix for inclusion on the Decca compilation The World Of David Bowie. It was also released on the triple-CD version of the 2014 compilation Nothing Has Changed.

The master tape of ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’ is believed lost, but an alternative Decca version was released in the 2019 box set Conversation Piece.

Last updated: 16 March 2023
Stage: Pierrot In Turquoise, Mercury Theatre, London
Stage: Pierrot In Turquoise, Mercury Theatre, London
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