David Bowie – Space Oddity album coverWritten by: David Bowie
Recorded: June–September 1969
Producer: Tony Visconti
Engineers: Ken Scott, Malcolm Toft, Barry Sheffield

Released: 14 November 1969

  • David Bowie: vocals, guitar
  • Mick Wayne, Tim Renwick: guitar
  • John Lodge: bass guitar
  • John Cambridge: drums

Available on:
David Bowie (1969)
Five Years (1969-1973)
Conversation Piece

This 44-second snippet was recorded during a session for David Bowie’s Space Oddity album track ‘Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed’.

This was Junior’s Eyes backing David on a classic Bo Diddley beat… ‘Don’t Sit Down’ was an excerpt from an outtake of [‘Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed’]. Again, the exuberance and camaraderie are certainly obvious.
Tony Visconti, May 2015
Five Years (1969-1973) book

‘Don’t Sit Down’ was clearly intended as a throwaway, in much the same way as the Beatles had included ‘Can You Take Me Back?’ on the White Album the previous year. It was in keeping with the freewheeling, experimental nature of many late 1960s releases, which deliberately retained mistakes, offcuts and outtakes to provide intrigue and an air of studied unaffectedness.

The song was unlisted on initial copies of Bowie’s self-titled second album, making it a hidden track. It was left off RCA’s 1972 reissue of the album, but was restored by Rykodisc on the 1990 compact disc and listed as a separate track.

The 2009 and 2015 CD reissues, however, joined ‘Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed’ and ‘Don’t Sit Down’ as one, with the latter being once again unlisted. This gave ‘Unwashed’ a deceptively lengthy running time of 6:54, as opposed to its actual 6:20.

On some releases the song is listed in parentheses, as ‘(Don’t Sit Down)’, to indicate its throwaway nature.