BOWPROMO cover artworkRecorded: 1971
Producers: David Bowie, Ken Scott

Released: 22 April 2017


David Bowie: vocals, guitar, piano
Mick Ronson: guitar, Mellotron, vocals
Rick Wakeman: piano
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar, trumpet
Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey: drums


BOWPROMO was a promotional album created by David Bowie’s then-manager Tony Defries in August 1971, in an attempt to secure record deals for Bowie and fellow singer Dana Gillespie.

An estimated five hundred copies of the promo were made. The album featured seven early mixes of songs recorded for Hunky Dory on side A, and five recordings by Gillespie on the other.

Two songs – ‘It Ain’t Easy’ and ‘Bombers’ – were not included on Hunky Dory. ‘It Ain’t Easy’ was held over to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, while ‘Bombers’ remained officially unreleased until the 1990 Rykodisc reissue of Hunky Dory.

Gillespie’s recordings, meanwhile, included a version of Bowie’s song ‘Andy Warhol’, plus five of her own songs: ‘Mother’, ‘Don’t Be Frightened’, ‘Never Knew’, ‘All Cut Up On You’, and ‘Lavender Hill’.

The release had no official title, and had generic white outer and inner sleeves with no printed labels. The name BOWPROMO comes from the matrix numbers in the run-out grooves – BOWPROMO 1A-1 and 1B-1.

BOWPROMO – Record Store Day 2017 release

BOWPROMO was officially released on 22 April 2017 for Record Store Day, in a worldwide edition of 15,000.

The album was issued as a box set with five photographic prints of Bowie, and recording notes detailing the differences between the rough mixes and the final album versions.

The vinyl was single-sided, and omitted Gillespie’s songs. Bowie’s recordings are believed to be a needle drop copy of the original 1971 promo rather than from the original tapes.

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