And I Say To Myself single – United KingdomWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: December 1965
Producers: Tony Hatch

Released: 14 January 1966

Personnel

1965:
David Bowie: vocals
Denis ‘Tea-Cup’ Taylor: guitar, vocals
Graham Rivens: bass guitar
Phil Lancaster: drums, vocals

‘And I Say To Myself’ was the b-side of the ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ single, credited to David Bowie with the Lower Third.

It was the band’s second and final single, and Bowie’s first after changing his stage name from Davy Jones. Shortly after its release in January 1966 Bowie left the group and formed The Buzz.

In the studio

Both sides of the single were recorded in December 1965, at Pye Studios in ATV House, 40 Bryanston Street, London. The session was produced by Tony Hatch, who in 1964 had scored an international hit with Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’.

Tony Hatch was a very big producer at the time, and he’d just had a big hit called ‘Downtown’. And he really believed in me, really believed in my songs, but every one he produced always ended up sounding like ‘Downtown’. I said, ‘Can I have a loud electric guitar?’ ‘No, no, no, you don’t want to do that…’
David Bowie
BBC Radio Theatre, 27 June 2000

For me this was more prestigious. Tony Hatch was completely different to Shel Talmy, because with Tony you’re coming out of the Searchers, theme tunes to TV shows and mega success with Petula Clark, ‘Downtown’ and all that sort of stuff. I thought, ‘This is amazing’ – and he played the piano on the session. He was very businesslike – he was pulling us up on the quality of the backing vocals. He came over on the talkback and said, ‘You sound like you’re down at the Old Bull & Bush.’

Tony Hatch says he had to teach us harmonies. I don’t remember that but I do remember him swearing at us through the glass. He was very hands-on and he didn’t stand any nonsense. [Bowie’s new manager] Ralph Horton used to work with the Moody Blues, was well connected, and got us that contract.

He had found a guy who was going to invest in the band – in David really. And he’d come along to see what he was getting. He was sitting up in the control room listening to the playback and started throwing in his two penn’orth about how he thought David could sing it differently. Tony Hatch really laid into him, poor bugger.

It was a huge disappointment that it wasn’t a hit. The first one didn’t do much and this one we hoped would do better – though it did get into the lower reaches of one of the charts.

David was fronting the band and leading it, but Ralph wanted to separate him so the Lower Third would be his backing band. But we saw ourselves as a four-piece band who were all going to get on in the business.

Phil Lancaster
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

The release

‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ was released as a single in the UK on Friday 14 January 1966, with ‘And I Say To Myself’ on the b-side. The catalogue number was Pye 7N 17020.

A launch party for the single was held on 6 January 1966 at the Gaiety Bar in Bayswater, London. The event was attended by label staff and music journalists, and was paid for with a loan from businessman Raymond Cook. Among those attending was John Lennon’s father Alf, who was also signed to Pye.

Despite high hopes for the single, it was yet another commercial failure for Bowie – his fourth in a row.

It was a huge disappointment that it wasn’t a hit. The first one didn’t do much and this one we hoped would do better – though it did get into the lower reaches of one of the charts.

David was fronting the band and leading it, but Ralph wanted to separate him so the Lower Third would be his backing band. But we saw ourselves as a four-piece band who were all going to get on in the business.

Phil Lancaster
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)

In May 1966 ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ became the first David Bowie release in the USA, after it was picked up by Warner Bros. ‘And I Say To Myself’ was again on the b-side.

Previous song: ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’
Next song: ‘Do Anything You Say’