Waiting In The Sky (2024)Recorded: 1971
Producers: David Bowie, Ken Scott

Released: 20 April 2024


David Bowie: vocals, guitar, saxophone
Mick Ronson: guitar, piano, vocals
Trevor Bolder: bass guitar
Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey: drums


Rock ‘N’ Roll Star!

Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) is a compilation of studio outtakes released for Record Store Day 2024.

Limited to 8,000 copies worldwide, it contains tracks from the Trident Studios quarter-inch stereo tapes dated 15 December 1971, containing provisional tracklisting for what would become the 1972 album The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars. It includes four songs which didn’t make it onto the album.

Press release

Parlophone Records are proud to announce the release of a very special David Bowie limited vinyl LP, WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) which will be released on 20th April, 2024 for Record Store Day.

The album is taken from the Trident Studios 1/4” stereo tapes dated 15th December, 1971, which were created for the then provisional tracklisting for what would become THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS album.

The tracklisting for WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) runs differently from the ZIGGY STARDUST album and features four songs that didn’t make the final album.

On Side 1, in the place of ‘STARMAN’, one of the last three tracks recorded for the album in February 1972, is ‘ROUND AND ROUND’, a Chuck Berry cover. The track was finally released on a single as the B-side to ‘DRIVE-IN SATURDAY’ on 6th April, 1973. Initially, closing Side 1 of the album was Bowie’s version of Jacques Brel’s ‘AMSTERDAM’, which would later appear as the B-side of ‘SORROW’ on 12th October, 1973.

Side 2 of the 15th December, 1971 tracklisting features two long-time non-LP fan favourites, ‘HOLY HOLY’ and ‘VELVET GOLDMINE’. The former is a re-recording with The Spiders of David’s 1971 single. Again, this version of the track had to wait several years before surfacing as the B-side of ‘DIAMOND DOGS’ on 14th June, 1974.

‘VELVET GOLDMINE’ is considered by many to be a lost Ziggy era classic, one Bowie often referred to as ‘He’s A Goldmine’ or ‘She’s A Goldmine’ in his notebooks and interviews. The track was recorded during the Ziggy sessions but was not released until 26th September, 1975, alongside ‘CHANGES’ backing the re-released album version of ‘SPACE ODDITY’, which peaked at no. 1 in the U.K. singles chart in November 1975.

The cover of WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) features a photo of David taken at an early Ziggy Stardust period session by Brian Ward, and the two sides of the inner bags are the fronts of the two Trident Studios tape boxes. The album’s title comes from the lyrics of ‘STARMAN’, which, along with ‘ROCK ’N’ ROLL SUICIDE’ and ‘SUFFRAGETTE CITY’, had not yet been recorded when this variation of the album was compiled.

WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) was cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original Trident Studios master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed vinyl cut was by engineer John Webber at AIR Studios, London.

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