Recording, mixing: The Man Who Sold The World

The 15th and final recording and mixing session for David Bowie’s third album The Man Who Sold The World took place on the evening of 22 May 1970.

It occurred at Advision Sound Studios on Gosfield Street, London, with Tony Visconti producing.

The last week of recording was quite tense for me, as David and Angie had taken a fancy to Art Deco and Art Nouveau and were often sneaking away to visit antique shops on the Old Kent Road. David had some pocket money from Space Oddity, but these shopping sprees were eating into his writing time. Once I got quite upset when I found Angie and David billing and cooing in the studio’s reception area when he should’ve been writing lyrics. When I softly chastised him for being away from the studio for so long he took ages to separate himself from Angie and get down to work. It took everything to hold back an explosion of Brooklyn wrath. On the very last day of the very last mix, the song we had up on the tape deck was ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. I tapped my fingers anxiously on the recording console as David feverishly finished the lyrics in the reception area. I didn’t even know the title of the song was ‘The Man Who Sold The World’. When he finished the lyric he sprang into the studio and sang the new song. Within an hour we were mixing it and the album was finished that night, just a few days over schedule.
Tony Visconti
Bowie, Bolan and the Brooklyn Boy
Last updated: 30 March 2023
Live: David Bowie and Hype, The Penthouse, Scarborough
Single release: Memory Of A Free Festival
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