David Bowie – Conversation Piece box set artworkWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: early 1968

Released: 15 November 2019

Available on:
Conversation Piece

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums

‘April’s Tooth Of Gold’ is a demo recording by David Bowie dating from early 1968.

The song was a likely contender for Bowie’s second album, which never came to pass. Its lyrics suggest a more psychedelic direction for Bowie, with several acid-tinged phrases: “I can smell the spring in her mind”; “The pavement is a table for five”; and “Look at my friend with unusual eyes” – possibly a case of Bowie looking at himself looking in a mirror.

There is also a hint of the amphetamine-fuelled mod-scene in the line “Friends of mine are red and green”.

‘April’s Tooth Of Gold’ was most likely recorded at the flat owned by Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt at 39 Manchester Street, London, with Bowie playing all instruments.

‘April’s Tooth Of Gold’ became the subject of a copyright dispute in May 1973, when Essex Music International claimed that they owned the song, along with ‘Ching-A-Ling’ and ‘Mother Grey’, following a 1967 agreement. At the peak of his fame in the 1970s Bowie signed them over to Chrysalis, and Essex claimed that he was in breach of contract.

The song was first released in the 2019 box set Conversation Piece.

Lyrics

You ask me what I like about the people here and there and around me
I want to live and people are the nicest kind of folk to live with
See the child with hair of blue the one the boys are talking to
I can smell the spring in her mind
Friends of mine are red and green
I see you don’t know what I mean
And I’m sad

Look at the man with the pretty balloons, be dazzled by April’s tooth of gold
Look at the man with the pretty balloons, be dazzled by April’s tooth of gold

The can we call a motor car is 1905 but it’s groovy
We call the place the House of Lights, there are no boxes – things like that cost money
I like trips to seaside towns for tea cups in the rain
The pavement is a table for five
Would you like to hold my hand and wander through our beautiful land?
I’ll give you flowers

Look at my friend with unusual eyes, be hung up on April’s tooth of gold