Hours album coverWritten by: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Recorded: 1998; February-June 1999
Producers: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Engineer: Kevin Paul

Released: 4 October 1999

Available on:
‘hours…’
All Saints

Personnel

David Bowie: vocals, keyboards, synthesizer
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, keyboards, synthesizer

The instrumental ‘Brilliant Adventure’ is the penultimate track on ‘hours…’, David Bowie’s 22nd studio album.

It was recorded by Bowie and Reeves Gabrels at Seaview Studios in Bermuda, where Bowie and Iman owned a holiday home.

This has been a very exciting recording period. Reeves and I started writing way early last year and unbelievably have produced well over three or four songs. Actually over 100 songs.

We’re recording most of the stuff ourselves and Reeves and I are playing most of the instruments and programming drums, etc. But I think you’ll be surprised at the actual intimacy of it all. I certainly was especially when it started taking my jacket off. By the time it got to my shirt, I had to give it a damn good slapping. Into it is not the word.

David Bowie
BowieNet live chat, 27 April 1999

Bowie played a koto synth sound on ‘Brilliant Adventure’. He had previously used the koto (箏) – a plucked zither instrument, and the national instrument of Japan – on the “Heroes” instrumental ‘Moss Garden’.

Host sailor says:
there is a track called Brilliant Adventure

Host sailor says:
Brill is a luverly instrumental, again with koto, that reeves and I did in the front room in Bermuda

David Bowie
davidbowie.com, 1999

‘Brilliant Adventure’ was one of four songs on ‘hours…’ which Bowie never performed live. The others were ‘What’s Really Happening?’, ‘New Angels of Promise’, and ‘The Dreamers’.

The track was included on the commercially-released version of the All Saints compilation in 2001.

At just 1:52, ‘Brilliant Adventure’ is by some distance the shortest track on ‘hours…’. Bowie never performed the piece live, so it was curious that his estate named both the series of posthumous live albums Brilliant Live Adventures (1995–1999) and the 2021 box set Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) after the song.

The small gem that is ‘Brilliant Adventure’ was added to the song list after David brought in the DAT of the instrumental interlude that we’d made playing around in London more than a year prior. We moved it straight onto the computer, added a little room reverb and a finger cymbal at the end – and it was clear it had to be on the album.
Reeves Gabrels, April 2021
Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001) book

Previous song: ‘New Angels Of Promise’
Next song: ‘The Dreamers’