>Written by: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Recorded: 1998; February-June 1999
Producers: David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels
Engineer: Kevin Paul
Released: 4 October 1999
Reeves Gabrels: guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, drum programming
Mark Plati: bass guitar, keyboards
Sterling Campbell: drums
‘New Angels Of Promise’ is the eighth song on David Bowie’s 21st studio album, ‘hours…’.
The song recalls various aspects of ‘Sons Of The Silent Age’ from “Heroes”, from the lyrics (“We are the silent ones”) and Bowie’s delivery to its stately tempo and structure.
It appeared prominently in the computer game Omikron: The Nomad Soul. Bowie and guitarist Reeves Gabrels wrote a number of pieces of music for the game, several of which also became songs on ‘hours…’. ‘New Angels Of Promise’, which featured in the game’s introduction, originally had the word “Omikron” in the chorus. This was changed to “Suspicious minds” for the album version.
Indeed, ‘Omikron’ was a working title for the song, although it wasn’t the first. According to Gabrels, ‘Big John’ was its first working title, owing to its perceived similarity to Jimmy Dean’s 1961 hit ‘Big Bad John’.
New Angels Promise. An epic. Originally working-titled "Big John" (bevause it reminded us of country singer Jimmy Dean's 50s hit). Excellent drumming by Sterling Campbell. #TimsTwitterListeningParty #hourswithreeves
— reeves gabrels (@reevesgabrels) September 4, 2020
‘New Angels of Promise’ was one of four songs on ‘hours…’ never to be performed live by Bowie. The others were ‘What’s Really Happening?’, ‘Brilliant Adventure’, and ‘The Dreamers’.
‘hours…’ was reissued in September 2004 as a limited edition double CD set. The second disc contained numerous bonus tracks, including ‘New Angels Of Promise’ (Omikron: The Nomad Soul Version).
The Omikron version was also included on Re:Call 5, part of the 2021 box set Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001).