Bowie At The Beeb album coverRecorded: 13 May 1968 – 23 May 1972, 27 June 2000
Producers: Bernie Andrews, Paul Williams, Jeff Griffin, Pete Ritzema, John F Muir, Roger Pusey

Released: 26 September 2000


  • David Bowie: vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards
  • Mick Ronson: guitar, bass guitar, vocals
  • Mark Carr-Pritchard, Mick Wayne, Tim Renwick, John Mclaughlin: guitar
  • Trevor Bolder, John Lodge, Herbie Flowers: bass guitar
  • Tony Visconti: bass guitar, vocals
  • Nicky Graham: piano
  • Alan Hawkshaw: keyboards
  • Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey, John Cambridge, Barry Morgan: drums
  • Dana Gillespie, Geoff MacCormack, George Underwood, Steve Peregrine Took: vocals


Bowie At The Beeb brought together recordings taken from ten of David Bowie’s 12 BBC radio sessions in the 1960s and 1970s.

The collection came in the wake of the BeatlesLive At The BBC. Buoyed by the success of that album, in 1996 BBC Worldwide announced plans for a similar set for Bowie. That project was temporarily shelved due to issues surrounding the clearance of certain tracks, although the BBC did issue a promotional sampler, BBC Sessions 1969-1972.

The project was not fully abandoned, however, and once the rights issues were overcome, Bowie At The Beeb was issued in September 2000.

The sessions

See also: David Bowie’s BBC sessions – complete list.

David Bowie was one of many leading rock acts in the late 1960s and early Seventies who recorded radio sessions for the BBC. This was a chance to reach a wide audience with performances of new or forthcoming releases, and to road-test compositions and arrangements.

The earliest recordings on Bowie At The Beeb date from Bowie’s second session for the corporation, recorded for the Top Gear show on 13 May 1968. Four of the five songs he performed – ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’, ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’, ‘Karma Man’, ‘When I’m Five’ and ‘Silly Boy Blue’ – were included on the album, with only ‘When I’m Five’ failing to make the cut.

‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’ and ‘Janine’ dated from The Dave Lee Travis Show, recorded on 20 October 1969, while ‘Amsterdam’, ‘God Knows I’m Good’, ‘The Width Of A Circle’, ‘Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed’, ‘Cygnet Committee’, and ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’ all came from a 5 February 1970 recording for The Sunday Show.

‘Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud’ was taken from an episode of Sounds Of The 70s recorded on 25 March 1970, while ‘Bombers’, ‘Looking For A Friend’, ‘Almost Grown’, ‘Kooks’, and ‘It Ain’t Easy’ were from a 3 June 1971 edition of In Concert: John Peel.

‘The Supermen’ and ‘Eight Line Poem’ were recorded on 21 September 1971 for Sounds Of The 70s, and feature just Bowie and Mick Ronson. Another song from the sessions, ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’, was included on the Japanese edition of Bowie At The Beeb, and in the 2016 vinyl box set.

Two full sessions for Sounds Of The 70s, each with five tracks, were included on the album. These were recorded on 18 January 1972 (‘Hang On To Yourself’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Queen Bitch’, ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, ‘Five Years’), and 16 May 1972 (‘White Light/White Heat’, ‘Moonage Daydream’, ‘Hang On To Yourself’, ‘Suffragette City’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’)

‘Starman’, ‘Space Oddity’, ‘Changes’ and ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ were recorded for The Johnnie Walker Lunchtime Show on 22 May 1972, and present the entire session.

Bowie’s final 1970s BBC radio session was taped on 23 May 1972 for Sound Of The 70s. ‘Andy Warhol’, ‘Lady Stardust’, and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’ were all included on Bowie At The Beeb, with only ‘White Light/White Heat’ failing to make the cut.

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