UK single release: Moonage Daydream by The Arnold Corns

David Bowie’s short-lived side project The Arnold Corns released their debut single on 7 May 1971.

It was ‘Moonage Daydream’, with ‘Hang On To Yourself’ on the b-side. Both songs would be re-recorded by Bowie for his fifth album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The Arnold Corns was nominally fronted by fashion designer Freddie Burretti, although he didn’t appear on their recordings. Bowie played guitar and sang, with backing from the band Rungk: guitarist Mark Pritchett, bassist Pete De Somogyl, and drummer Tim Broadbent.

The recordings were made on 25 February 1971 at Radio Luxembourg’s studio on Hertford Street, London, where Bowie had demoed ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ the previous month.

A second Arnold Corns single, ‘Looking For A Friend’, was planned but remained unreleased until 1985. On 11 August 1972 B&C Records issued ‘Hang On To Yourself’ with ‘Man In The Middle’ on the b-side.

What became Arnold Corns was a band called Rungk, which was me and two fellow students at Dulwich College. David was a neighbour. He lived across the street; I used to do stuff at his folk club – I probably had more equipment than he did. After The Man Who Sold The World flopped, David was having arguments with his label, and was writing all this stuff and wanted to get some of it down; he just wanted to get it out there around his current contracts.

After The Man Who Sold The World the band all left, but I was still there across the street. He thought, ‘I can do this with a load of public schoolboys’ – he loved it, and he wanted Freddie Buretti to front it up. Freddie had been around for a bit. I said to David, ‘Freddie can dance and he can pose, but he cannot sing.’ The first one, ‘Moonage Daydream’ and ‘Hang On To Yourself’, is Rungk, bass, drums and guitar – I play a bit of piano on it – and David singing. Freddie, also known as Rudi Valentino, he made the cosrumes but he didn’t have a great set of tonsils on him.

Mark Pritchett
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Last updated: 25 April 2023
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