Written by: David Bowie
Recorded: 7 March 1966
Producer: Tony Hatch
Released: 1 April 1966
David Bowie: vocals
John ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson: guitar, vocals
Derek ‘Dek’ Fearnley: bass guitar, vocals
Derek ‘Chow’ Boyes: organ, vocals
John ‘Ego’ Eager: drums, vocals
Tony Hatch: piano
‘Do Anything You Say’ was David Bowie’s second of three singles for the Pye label, and his first as a solo artist. It was recorded with his band The Buzz.
A demo of the song was recorded on 22 February 1966 at London’s Regent Sound Studios. In attendance was producer Tony Hatch, who had produced Bowie’s previous single ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’.
Hatch agreed that ‘Do Anything You Say’ should be Bowie’s next single. It was recorded on 7 March at Pye Studios in ATV House, 40 Bryanston Street, London.
Also recorded during the session was the single’s b-side, ‘Good Morning Girl’. The Buzz were each paid £10 for the session.
We took over from the Lower Third. David had to make a transition over to this sort of backing. I don’t think Tony Hatch – who produced it – got it, but he let us do our thing. It was all very fresh. We rehearsed, went on TV, and made the record. It was all very quick. I didn’t think about ’til afterwards.
I don’t think Tony Hatch knew how to shape us into his kind of record, so he let David do what he did. I do like the scat thing he did on ‘Good Morning Girl’ with Chow’s organ behind it – I thought what he did was great.
I remember Tony Hatch didn’t come out – he remained behind the glass. So I didn’t have any feeling about him, he was just there. He must have been doing what producers do: booking the session. I never saw the money for that, but I don’t doubt he paid the money to Ralph Horton, our manager.
There wasn’t any clever overdubbing, or ‘do that again’. It was straightforward, as we’d been playing them a lot. I think Pye looked at David as a work in progress. In general we’d bump into people, guys in the Who or Kinks, because he’d been about a while. David would say, ‘You’re doing well.’ ‘We’ve just got back from the States, man. How you doing?’ ‘Well, we’re hoping to get a gig next Saturday…’
He was very much the outsider – even if we were part of the Marquee club roster for a while. That was the only time when it felt he might be part of the London bands thing. David and his manager Ralph seemed very much outside of that. In a way he was still being rejected – and it felt like that.
David Bowie: Ultimate Record Collection (Uncut)
‘Do Anything You Say’ was released on 1 April 1966 in the UK, as Pye 7N 17079.
The day after its release, Dusty Springfield was the guest singles reviewer for the Melody Maker. Her verdict on ‘Do Anything You Say’ was: “I haven’t got a clue who this is either, but I can see the effort that has gone into this record. It’s nice. The sound is a bit messy.”
Sadly, Springfield’s words were not enough to entice the record-buying public. As with all Bowie’s pre-‘Space Oddity’ singles, ‘Do Anything You Say’ was not a commercial success.