Conversation Piece box set (2019)Recorded: 1968–1969
Producers: David Bowie, Tony Visconti, Gus Dudgeon

Released: 15 November 2019

  • David Bowie: vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar, Stylophone, kalimba, Rosedale electric chord organ
  • John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson: vocals, guitar
  • Hermione Farthingale: vocals
  • Mick Wayne, Keith Christmas: guitar
  • Mick Ronson: guitar, handclaps
  • Tony Visconti, Herbie Flowers, John ‘Honk’ Lodge: bass guitar
  • John Cambridge, Terry Cox: drums
  • Tim Renwick: electric guitar, flute, recorder
  • Rick Wakeman: Mellotron, electric harpsichord
  • Benny Marshall and Friends: harmonica
  • Marc Bolan, Bob Harris, Sue Harris, Tony Woollcott, Girl: backing vocals
Disc one:

  • ‘April’s Tooth Of Gold’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘The Reverend Raymond Brown (Attends The Garden Fete On Thatchwick Green)’ [Home Demo]
  • ‘When I’m Five’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Mother Grey’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe’ [Home Demo]
  • ‘Love All Around’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘London Bye, Ta-Ta’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Angel, Angel, Grubby Face’ (Home Demo Version 1)
  • ‘Angel, Angel, Grubby Face’ (Home Demo Version 2)
  • ‘Animal Farm’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (Solo Home Demo Fragment)
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (Home Demo Version 1)
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (Home Demo Version 2)
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (Home Demo Version 3) [2019 Remaster]
  • ‘Lover To The Dawn’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Ching-a-Ling’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘An Occasional Dream’ (Home Demo) [2019 Remaster]
  • ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Life Is A Circus’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Conversation Piece’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Jerusalem’ (Home Demo)
  • ‘Hole In The Ground’ (Home Demo)
Disc two:

  • ‘Space Oddity’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Janine’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘An Occasional Dream’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Conversation Piece’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Ching-a-Ling’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘I’m Not Quite’ (aka ‘Letter To Hermione’) [with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson] [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Lover To The Dawn’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Love Song’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘When I’m Five’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
  • ‘Life Is A Circus’ (with John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson) [‘Mercury’ Demo]
Disc three:

  • ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ (Decca Mono Version)
  • ‘London Bye, Ta-Ta’ (Decca Alternative Version)
  • ‘In the Heat Of The Morning’ (John Peel – Top Gear) [Recorded 13.5.68]
  • ‘London Bye, Ta-Ta’ (John Peel – Top Gear) [Recorded 13.5.68]
  • ‘Karma Man’ (John Peel – Top Gear) [Recorded 13.5.68]
  • ‘When I’m Five’ (John Peel – Top Gear) [Recorded 13.5.68]
  • ‘Silly Boy Blue’ (John Peel – Top Gear) [Recorded 13.5.68]
  • ‘Ching-a-Ling’ (Mono)
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (Morgan Studios) [Alternative Take]
  • ‘Space Oddity’ (UK Mono Single Edit) [2015 Remaster]
  • ‘Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud’ (Mono) [Single B-Side] [2015 Remaster]
  • ‘Janine’ (Mono Version) [2015 Remaster]
  • ‘Conversation Piece’ (Mono Version) [2015 Remaster]
  • ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’ (BBC Radio Session D.L.T Show)
  • ‘Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed’ (BBC Radio Session D.L.T. Show)
  • ‘Janine’ (BBC Radio Session D.L.T Show)
Disc four:

Disc five:

Conversation Piece was a box set released in November 2019, containing David Bowie’s home demos, BBC radio sessions and studio recordings from 1968 and 1969.

The set collated recordings previously released in the vinyl 7″ single box sets Spying Through A Keyhole, Clareville Grove Demos, and The ‘Mercury’ Demos.

There were also 12 previously-unreleased recordings from the late 1960s, the 2009 remaster of Bowie’s second album (often known as Space Oddity), and a new mix of the album by producer Tony Visconti. The remixed version also includes the song ‘Conversation Piece’, which was omitted from earlier editions due to time constraints, and which was originally released as the b-side of ‘The Prettiest Star’.

It was so much fun to find hidden gems of musicianship with more time to mix the second time around, a guitar twiddle here, a trombone blast there, Marc Bolan’s voice in a group choir and more detail in general that we overlooked all those years ago when the label gave us a week at the most to mix this album. And in the details you will find 22 year old David Bowie, who would soon take the world by storm.
Tony Visconti

The set also contained a 120-page hardback book and sleeve notes by Mark Adams, Tris Penna and Kevin Cann, with further contributions from George Underwood, Tony Visconti, Vernon Dewhurst, Dana Gillespie and John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.

The book contains previously-unreleased photographs from Bowie’s archive, images of memorabilia from the collection of Bowie’s then-manager Ken Pitt, and more stills by Ray Stevenson, Vernon Dewhurst, David Bebbington, Ken Pitt, Alec Byrne, Tony Visconti, and Jojanneke Claasen.

Visconti’s 2019 remix of Bowie’s second album was also released separately on coloured vinyl, black vinyl, digital download, streaming services, and compact disc. The coloured vinyl was randomly distributed, with 1,969 numbered copies on silver vinyl, and just 50 copies, numbered 1,970 to 2,019, on gold vinyl.

Here’s the original press release for the Conversation Piece box set, published on 4 September 2019:

DAVID BOWIE CONVERSATION PIECE – 5 CD AND DIGITAL BOX SET RELEASED ON 15TH NOVEMBER, 2019

INCLUDES 12 EXCLUSIVE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS AND BRAND NEW MIX OF SPACE ODDITY ALBUM BY TONY VISCONTI

SPACE ODDITY (2019 MIX) ALBUM ALSO AVAILABLE SEPARATELY ON CD, STANDARD DIGITAL, 96/24 DIGITAL AND RANDOMISED BLACK, EXTREMELY LIMITED NUMBERED SILVER AND GOLD VINYL SINGLE RUN PRESSINGS.

‘CONVERSATION PIECE’ (2019 MIX) AVAILABLE NOW AS A STREAMING ONLY SINGLE.

4th September 2019 London

Parlophone Records is proud to announce DAVID BOWIE CONVERSATION PIECE, a five CD box set and digital equivalent tracking David’s early development throughout 1968 and 1969, via his home demos, BBC radio sessions, studio recordings with guitarist John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson and the experimental music and mime group, Feathers. The collection also celebrates the 50th anniversaries of the release of the ‘Space Oddity’ single and David’s second album, David Bowie (aka Space Oddity).

DAVID BOWIE CONVERSATION PIECE contains twelve previously unreleased tracks/demos from the period as well as a brand new mix of the Space Oddity (aka David Bowie) album by long-time Bowie producer/collaborator Tony Visconti.

The new mix of the album now features the title track of the boxset ‘Conversation Piece’ restored to the tracklisting in its initially intended position, before it was originally dropped due to time constraints of vinyl.

Of the 2019 Space Oddity album mix Visconti says “It was so much fun to find hidden gems of musicianship with more time to mix the second time around, a guitar twiddle here, a trombone blast there, Marc Bolan’s voice in a group choir and more detail in general that we overlooked all those years ago when the label gave us a week at the most to mix this album. And in the details you will find 22 year old David Bowie, who would soon take the world by storm.”

The 120 page hardback book accompanying the box features exclusive memorabilia from the personal collection of David’s former manager, the late Ken Pitt, as well as from the David Bowie Archive®, and includes photos by Ray Stevenson, Vernon Dewhurst, David Bebbington, Ken Pitt, Alec Byrne, Tony Visconti and Jojanneke Claasen.

The sleeve notes have been written for the release by Bowie experts Mark Adams, Tris Penna and Kevin Cann along with contributions from David’s lifelong friend George Underwood, Tony Visconti, Vernon Dewhurst, Dana Gillespie and John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson.

The 2019 mix of the Space Oddity album will also be released separately and individually on CD, standard digital, 96/24 digital and vinyl. The various vinyl configurations will be randomly distributed worldwide with a mixture of hand-numbered labels; numbers 1 to 1969 on silver vinyl numbers and 1970 to 2019 on gold vinyl, with the remainder being black vinyl.