Early on in the recording process, Bowie decided that Low would contain two sides of contrasting styles. The album’s working title was New Music: Night And Day, which remained in place until shortly prior to its January 1977 release.
A new David Bowie album New Music: Night And Day is scheduled by RCA in January. The album – the first Bowie studio record since the highly-acclaimed Station To Station came out at the start of this year – has been recorded at the Château d’Hérouville, France and also features Eno, Ricky Gardiner, Carlos Alomar, Roy Young and Dennis Davis. It is currently being mixed in Berlin, and Bowie is designing the cover himself. A spokesman for RCA told Melody Maker that one half of the record represents “a new departure” for Bowie. It is understood there are several instrumental tracks.
20 November 1976
The title New Music: Night And Day did appear on the labels of a cassette version prepared by RCA Canada, although it never went on sale as such.
Instead, Bowie opted for the title Low, which served two purposes: it reflected his often-melancholy mood during its creation, and provided a pun in conjunction with the cover image.
Really the reason was very corny. You see the album cover has a profile of me on it, and on the album itself I keep a very ‘low profile’. I was very disappointed no one picked up on that. I thought it would have been obvious.
Rock Australia Magazine, 3 June 1977
As with Station To Station, Low featured a photograph of Bowie taken by Steve Schapiro on the set of The Man Who Fell To Earth. The choice revealed how the character of Thomas Jerome Newton had remained with Bowie long after his work on the film concluded.
The Low photograph was heavily stylised, incorporating an apocalyptic orange backdrop giving the impression of Bowie passing by an inferno or explosion. The back of the album, meanwhile, was a flat orange colour, and featured little beyond a sticker containing the track listing, and some label small print at the bottom.