Released: 8 March 2013
David Bowie: guitar, keyboards, percussion
Zachary Alford: drums
The Next Day Extra
‘Plan’ was a bonus track on The Next Day Extra, the expanded version of David Bowie’s penultimate album.
The instrumental was first heard during the opening scenes of the video for ‘The Stars (Are Out Tonight)’ in February 2013. It was Bowie’s first instrumental since the 1999 hours… track ‘Brilliant Adventure’.
In the studio
Bowie recorded most of his lead and backing vocals for The Next Day, along with additional overdubs, at Human World Wide, the New York studio owned by Tony Visconti’s son Morgan.
The occasional overdub sessions lasted from September 2011 through to the new year. ‘Plan’ was recorded on 19 and 20 January, with Bowie handling all the instruments apart from drums, which were played by Zachary Alford. The drum parts were taken from ‘The Informer’, which had been recorded on 14 September 2011.
Bowie’s guitar parts were played on a sunburst Fender Stratocaster given to him by Marc Bolan in 1977, just weeks before Bolan’s death. Bowie had played the instrument when they duetted on the Marc show in September 1977, and it was also used on the Blackstar song ‘Lazarus’.
Twenty-nine songs were recorded for The Next Day. Fourteen were included on the album, with three others – ‘So She’, ‘Plan’, and ‘I’ll Take You There’ – on the deluxe edition. Both versions of the album were released on the same day.
The vinyl edition was a double-disc set. It was initially announced for release on 25 March 2013, but was delayed to 1 April. The vinyl edition contained the three additional songs.
The Next Day Extra was released on 4 November 2013. This box set contained two CDs and a DVD. The first CD was of the standard album, while the second disc contained the additional tracks ‘Atomica’, ‘Plan’, ‘The Informer’, ‘Like A Rocket Man’, ‘Born In A UFO’, ‘I’ll Take You There’, ‘God Bless The Girl’, and ‘So She’, as well as two remixes: ‘Love Is Lost (Hello Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA)’ and ‘I’d Rather Be High (Venetian Mix)’.
A digital EP was also released to coincide with the box set. This consisted of seven songs from the second CD, excluding ‘Plan’, ‘I’ll Take You There’, and ‘So She’.
‘Plan’ was also the b-side of the ‘Valentine’s Day’ single, released on 19 August 2013.