Released: 26 November 2021
- Black Tie White Noise
- The Buddha Of Suburbia
- BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000
- Re:Call 5
Exclusive to the box set are BBC Radio Theatre, London, June 27, 2000, an expanded version of an album previously released with initial copies of Bowie At The Beeb, and Re:Call 5, which contains 39 non-album alternative cuts, b-sides and soundtrack songs.
The set was released on 26 November 2021 on vinyl, compact disc, and as a digital download, three years after the previous Bowie box set, Loving The Alien (1983-1988).
The vinyl box set contains 18 discs, and an 84-page book with rare and previously-unpublished photographs, plus technical notes by Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, Reeves Gabrels, and Mark Plati, plus a new an interview with Erdal Kızılçay.
Black Tie White Noise, The Buddha Of Suburbia, 1.Outside, Earthling, and Toy are all double-vinyl sets, although Earthling and Toy both have etchings on side four. The BBC live album has three discs, while Re:Call 5 is a four-LP set. ‘hours…’ is the only single-disc vinyl album.
The CD box contains eleven discs and a 128-page book. The BBC album is a double-disc set, while Re:Call 5 stretches to three.
Here’s the original press release for the box set, from 29 September 2021:
Parlophone Records/ISO Records are proud to announce two David Bowie landmarks: 26th November 2021 will see the release of DAVID BOWIE 5. BRILLIANT ADVENTURE (1992 – 2001), the fifth in a series of box sets chronicling his career from 1969 to the 21st century. Then on 7th January 2022, the day before David’s birthday, TOY (TOY:BOX) will receive its long awaited official release, finally making the legendary previously unreleased album available in three CD / six 10” vinyl versions.
The latest in an award-winning and critically acclaimed series of box sets including DAVID BOWIE 1. FIVE YEARS (1969 – 1973), DAVID BOWIE 2. WHO CAN I BE NOW? (1974 – 1976), DAVID BOWIE 3. A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (1977 – 1982) and DAVID BOWIE 4. LOVING THE ALIEN (1983-1988), DAVID BOWIE 5. BRILLIANT ADVENTURE (1992 – 2001) is an eleven CD box, eighteen-piece vinyl set and standard digital download box set. The collection is named after the Koto led instrumental penultimate track from the ‘hours…’ album. The box sets include newly remastered versions, with input from the original producers and collaborators, of some of Bowie’s most underrated and experimental material: BLACK TIE WHITE NOISE, THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA (available on vinyl for the first time in nearly 30 years), 1.OUTSIDE, EARTHLING and ‘hours…’ along with the expanded live album BBC RADIO THEATRE, LONDON, JUNE 27, 2000, the non-album / alternative version / B-sides and soundtrack music compilation RE:CALL 5 and the legendary previously unreleased TOY.
TOY was recorded following David’s triumphant Glastonbury 2000 performance. Bowie entered the studio with his band, Mark Plati, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Holly Palmer and Emm Gryner, to record new interpretations of songs he’d first recorded from 1964-1971. David planned to record the album ‘old school’ with the band playing live, choose the best takes and then release it as soon as humanly possible in a remarkably prescient manner. Unfortunately, in 2001 the concept of the ‘surprise drop’ album release and the technology to support it were still quite a few years off, making it impossible to release TOY, as the album was now named, out to fans as instantly as David wanted. In the interim, David did what he did best; he moved on to something new, which began with a handful of new songs from the same sessions and ultimately became the album HEATHEN, released in 2002 and now acknowledged as one of his finest moments.
Now twenty years after its originally planned release, David’s co-producer Mark Plati says, “Toy is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy. It’s the sound of people happy to be playing music. David revisited and re-examined his work from decades prior through prisms of experience and fresh perspective – a parallel not lost on me as I now revisit it twenty years later. From time to time, he used to say ‘Mark, this is our album’ – I think because he knew I was so deeply in the trenches with him on that journey. I’m happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us”.
Available in 3CD or 6×10” vinyl formats, TOY (TOY:BOX) is a special edition of the TOY album. The ‘capture the moment’ approach of the recording sessions are extended to the sleeve artwork designed by Bowie featuring a photo of him as a baby with a contemporary face. The package also contains a 16-page full-colour book featuring previously unseen photographs by Frank Ockenfels 3.
The seeds of TOY were first sown in 1999 during the making of an episode of VH-1 Storytellers. David wanted to perform something from his pre-‘Space Oddity’ career, so he reached back to 1966 and dusted off ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ for the first time in thirty years. The song remained in the setlist for the short promotional tour for the ‘hours…’ album, and in early 2000 David and producer Mark Plati compiled a list of some of Bowie’s earliest songs to re-record.
TOY finishes with a new song from which the album takes its title, ‘Toy (Your Turn To Drive)’ was constructed from a jam at the end of one of the live takes of ‘I Dig Everything’. The track is based around rearranged sections of Sterling Campbell’s drums, Gail Ann Dorsey’s bass and sections of Mike Garson’s piano were looped along with a guitar line of Earl Slick’s that was sampled, time stretched and used as a repeating figure. Lastly, some of Holly and Emm’s backing vocals from the body of ‘Dig Everything’ were cut up and reassembled. Producer Mark Plati “As it was culled from ‘I Dig Everything’ it makes sense to bookend the album with this track – it’s also a fitting postscript to the TOY era”.
Included in TOY:BOX is a second CD/set of 10”s of alternative mixes and versions including proposed B-Sides (versions of David’s debut single ‘Liza Jane’ and 1967’s ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’), later mixes by Tony Visconti and the ‘Tibet Version’ of ‘Silly Boy Blue’ recorded at The Looking Glass Studio time at the of the 2001 Tibet House show in New York featuring Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar.
The third CD/set of 10”s features ‘Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric’ mixes of thirteen TOY tracks. Producer Mark Plati “While we were recording the basic tracks Earl Slick suggested that he and I overdub acoustic guitars on all the songs. He said this was a Keith Richards’ trick, sometimes these guitars would be a featured part of the track, and at other times they’d be more subliminal. Later while mixing, David heard one of the songs broken down to just vocals and acoustic guitars; this gave him the idea that we ought to do some stripped-down mixes like that and that maybe one day they’d be useful. Once we put a couple of other elements in the pot, it felt like it could be a completely different record. I was only too happy to finish that thought some two decades after the fact”.
Exclusive to DAVID BOWIE 5. BRILLIANT ADVENTURE (1992 – 2001) box set are BBC RADIO THEATRE, LONDON, JUNE 27, 2000 and RE:CALL 5. The former was recorded two days after the famous Glastonbury performance in front of 500 lucky fans at the BBC’s art deco theatre in central London. Selections from the show were available as the third CD in a very limited 3CD edition of BOWIE AT THE BEEB in September 2000 but the full concert has never before been available on vinyl. RE:CALL 5 features 39 non-album / alternative version / b-sides and soundtrack songs over 3CDs and 4LPs.
The physical box set’s accompanying book, 84 pages in the CD box and 128 in the vinyl set [sic], will feature rarely seen and previously unpublished photos by photographers including Frank W. Ockenfels 3, Nick Knight, John Scarisbrick and Nina Schultz Terner and others, as well as memorabilia, technical notes about the albums from producers/engineers Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati as well as a new an interview with THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA collaborator Erdal Kizilçay.
The CD box set will include faithfully reproduced mini-vinyl versions of the original albums where applicable, and the CDs will be gold coloured rather than the usual silver. The vinyl box set has the same content as the CD set and is pressed on audiophile quality 180g vinyl.