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TAKE IT IN RIGHT see CAN YOU HEAR ME

TAKE IT WITH SOUL

Nothing is known of this Bowie composition, included in The Buzz's repertoire in late 1966 and registered with David's publisher Sparta in the same year.

TAKE MY TIP

  • B-Side: March 1965

  • Compilation: The Manish Boys/Davy Jones and the Lower Third/Early On (1964-1966)

The B-side of The Manish Boys' only single has the distinction of being the first self-penned Bowie composition to be released. It has a more rootsy R&B feel than the A-side, with guest guitarist Jimmy Page providing a nifty rhythm guitar, while the fast-talking lyric and some of the melodic phrases owe a clear debt to Georgie Fame's "Yeh Yeh" (the UK number one in the week that the song was recorded), as well as anticipating David's 1971 out-take "Sweet Head". "Take My Tip" was also the earliest Bowie song to be covered: by the time The Manish Boys' single was released a version had already been recorded by Kenny Miller and released on the Stateside label as the B-side of his single "Restless".

     As with "I Pity The Fool", two different versions of "Take My Tip" were recorded by The Manish Boys on January 15th 1965. Organist Bob Solly told Record Collector in 2000 that "Davie fluffs his own line on that song. What should have been "spider who possesses the sky" came out as "bider who possesses the sky"! It didn't really matter; the lyrics were secondary in those days." The released (and fluffed) version later appeared on The Manish Boys/Davy Jones And The Lower Third and was reissued as a download in 2007, while the previously unreleased take appears on Early On. "Take My Tip" was also included on, and gave its name to, a Various Artists compilation of 1960s Mod tracks released in 2007.

THE TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE see MOVE ON

TEENAGE WILDLIFE

  • Album: Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)

The sublime opening track on the less familiar second side of Scary Monsters was originally entitled "It Happens Every Day". Recording began in New York, but the final touches were put to the song at Good Earth Studios in London, where assistant engineer Chris Porter joined Tony Visconti and Lynn Maitland in providing what Visconti later described as the "Ronettes-type" backing vocals: "David directed us from the control room and the parts were made up on the fly."

     Robert Fripp's serene guitar line is reminiscent of his work on "Heroes" - a song with which "Teenage Wildlife" is often compared - but the dramatic progression here is something quite new. On one level it's a critique of slavish fashion victims, a long-time preoccupation particularly prevalent on Scary Monsters, and the lyric is often glossed as an attack on the herd of Bowie imitators who rose to prominence at the end of the 1970s: Gary Numan believed he was one of the song's subjects, telling David Buckley that he was "quite proud about it at the time". As it unwinds, the long and complex lyric becomes increasingly introspective, ruthlessly picking apart Bowie's own status as a trend-setting benchmark of style. "I feel like a group of one," he complains, archly dismissing "the new wave boys" as the "same old thing in brand new drag", and renouncing the unwanted status of role model for a new generation: "You'll take me aside and say, 'David, what shall I do, they wait for me in the hallway?', and I'll say, 'Don't ask me, I don't know any hallways'".

     There is, however, more to "Teenage Wildlife" than taking pot-shots at Gary Numan; Bowie has bigger fish to fry. The song confronts those who, throughout the 1970s, had wanted him to stand still and repeat his last success - and on a wider scale, those who believe that they know what is best for any of us. In 1980 he explained that "if I had my kind of mythical younger brother, I think it might have been addressed to him. It's for somebody who's not mentally armed [for] the shell-shock of actually trying to assert yourself in society and your newly found values. I guess the younger brother is my adolescent self." Of the lyric's ominous "midwives to history" who "put on their bloody robes", he added: "I have my own personal bloody midwives. We all have them. Mine shall remain nameless. For the sake of the song they're symbolic; they're the ones who would not have you be fulfilled."

     The phrase "bloody robes" would crop up once again in the lyric of 1995's "No Control". Interestingly, after fifteen years of comparative obscurity "Teenage Wildlife" received its live debut on the same year's Outside tour, an excellent and entirely appropriate addition to a show that wilfully challenged the audience's traditional appetite for the over-familiar.

     In 2008, Bowie declared that "I'm still enamoured of this song and would give you two "Modern Loves" for it any time. It's also one that I find fulfilling to sing on stage. It has some nice interesting sections to it that can trip you up, always a good kind of obstacle to contend with live."

     A fine cover version by Ash was released as part of their A-Z singles project in October 2010, and was subsequently included on their album A-Z Vol. 2.

TELLING LIES

  • Download: September 1996

  • A-Side: November 1996

  • B-Side: January 1997

  • Album: Earthling

  • B-Side: April 1997

  • Live: liveandwell.com

  • Bonus: Earthling (2004)

The first Earthling track to be written was added to Bowie's live set for the 1996 Summer Festivals tour, making its debut in Nagoya on June 7th. "I put together this track on my own in Switzerland," he later told Mojo, "and used it as a blueprint of where I wanted the Earthling album to go...We just kept re-moulding it throughout the tour." He later explained that "Telling Lies" had begun life during the 1.Outside sessions, during which he had "changed the arrangement all the time; we must have tried out 20 different approaches for that song. Ultimately I found that hybridising a very aggressive rock sound with drum'n'bass worked best."

     "Telling Lies" offers an interesting bridge between the sonic landscapes of 1.Outside and Earthling, retaining some of the former's studio artifice and lacking some of the latter's spontaneity, setting atonal wheezes of guitar and synthesizer over a backing that revisits the rhythm track of "We Prick You". The cut-up lyric similarly stands at a crossroads between the two, fuelled by 1.Outside's pre-millennial messianism ("gasping for my resurrection...I'm your future, I'm tomorrow, I'm the end"), and Earthling's hesitant grasp at a new spirituality ("through the chromosomes of space and time...feels like something's going to happen this year"). Throughout the chorus Bowie juxtaposes "telling lies" with "starting fires," a tongue-in-cheek revision of the playground chant "Liar, liar, pants on fire", and also surely a flagrant reference to The Prodigy's March 1996 chartbuster which furnished "Little Wonder" with its backbeat and Earthling with much of its inspiration.

     Just as Bowie had been among the first musicians to appreciate the potential of such new frontiers as rock video and CD-ROM, so on September 11th 1996 he became the first major artist to release a track on the internet when Mark Plati's "Feelgood Mix" began clocking up a reported 250,000 hits - an impressive tally at the time. A conventional CD release came on November 4th, although its distribution was limited to 3500 copies available through a select list of small independent record shops. It's difficult to imagine any other mainstream artist coming up with a publicity stunt that involves ensuring that their latest single is almost impossible to find.

     Two of the three single mixes were included on subsequent releases and as bonus tracks on the 2004 reissue of Earthling, where the variant titles caused some confusion: the "Paradox Mix" is in fact the same as the "A Guy Called Gerald Mix", while the "Bowie Mix" is the "Feelgood Mix". The Earthling version is a different mix altogether, and was David's personal favourite: "It's not so dance-oriented," he said at the time. "It has a very dark atmosphere to it. It's actually, I think, one of the strongest pieces on the album." "Telling Lies" was performed at the fiftieth birthday concert and throughout the Earthling tour, from which a version recorded in Amsterdam on June 10th 1997 later appeared on liveandwell.com.

THAT'S A PROMISE see BABY THAT'S A PROMISE

THAT'S MOTIVATION

  • Soundtrack: Absolute Beginners

  • Download: May 2007

With a backing track based on the opening bars of the title song, Bowie's second major contribution to Absolute Beginners is nowhere near as successful. The melody is nonexistent and the result is a meandering anti-climax. It works better with the visuals: "That's Motivation" is Bowie's big number in the film, allowing him to tap-dance on the keys of a giant typewriter as his repulsive ad-man introduces the hero to "the world of your dreams...where you can commit horrible sins and get away with it," and urges him to "learn to fall in love with yourself".

THAT'S WHERE MY HEART IS

  • Compilation: Early On (1964-1966)

In all its crackling acoustic frailty, this mid-1965 demo of an unremarkable love lyric speaks volumes about the developing vocal style of the young Davy Jones. Interspersed with elements of Gene Pitney there are tentative inroads into the crooning baritone and the aggressive mock-cockney that would later become Bowie staples.

THERE IS A HAPPY LAND

  • Album: David Bowie

Recorded on November 24th 1966, this sentimental number locates childhood innocence in a timeless paradise symbolically removed from the impending darkness of adulthood: there are echoes of William Blake's Songs Of Innocence and Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, but the primary influence is laid bare in the song's title. Many years later, Bowie would cite the Yorkshire-born author Keith Waterhouse (now best remembered for his novel Billy Liar and his play Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell) as among his favoured reading matter during the Deram period. Taking its title from a popular nineteenth-century hymn, There Is A Happy Land is Waterhouse's 1957 debut novel, a haunting tale of childhood set in England's industrial north and narrated by a young boy whose friends use a secret language to mask their conversations from grown-ups. The "rhubarb fields" mentioned in Bowie's lyric feature prominently, as does a calamitous fire-starting incident, and there's one little boy who is younger than the others and tags along with the gang (thus Bowie's "he's so small we don't notice him, he gets in the way, but we always let him play with us"). Another principal character in the novel is a boy called Raymond, a name that becomes a regular fixture in David's lyrics at around this time (here we have "he put the blame on me and Ray", and elsewhere there's "The Reverend Raymond Brown" and "When I'm Five", in which "Raymond kicked my shin").

     Waterhouse's novel rears its head elsewhere in Bowie's work of the period: an eccentric middle-aged recluse with learning difficulties is nicknamed "Uncle Mad" and suspected by the adults of being a child-molester (a tick in the box there for both "Uncle Arthur" and "Little Bombardier"), and there's a young girl called Marion, another favourite Bowie name, calling to mind not only "the Gospel according to Marion Brent" but also - and if you don't want the climax of Waterhouse's novel spoiled, look away now - the line "Mary Ann was only ten and full of life and oh so gay, and I was the wicked man..." On a happier note, it's gratifying to report that the book also features a boy called Peggo.

     An early take from the album session reveals the song still taking shape, with a more boisterous drum part from John Eager and a couple of minor lyric differences: "We've built a gap in the rhubarb fields underneath the leaves", and "Tiny Tim sings songs and hymns". At one point David fluffs a line and carries on singing: "David Bowie forgot his words and now he can't finish the song..."

     "There Is A Happy Land" became the B-side of the American "Rubber Band" single after Deram's US division rejected "The London Boys". A labelling error saw the song appearing as the A-side of the French "London Boys" single, but this was swiftly withdrawn. In 1967 the song was unsuccessfully offered to Judy Collins and to Peter, Paul and Mary, whose famous flower-power rendering of "Puff The Magic Dragon" covers similar territory. In 1968 the song was among those performed by David during the London run of Lindsay Kemp's mime production Pierrot In Turquoise.

THINGS TO DO

This Bowie composition was recorded by The Astronettes in 1973 and eventually released on 1995's People From Bad Homes, later appearing on the 2006 compilation Oh! You Pretty Things. A brief snippet of David's speaking can be heard at the beginning of the track. The arrangement is akin to the more uptempo soul recordings from the Young Americans sessions, prefiguring the rhythmic patterns of the out-take "After Today". The love-song lyric is undemanding, the only point of note being a proliferation of soul-by-numbers religious references, including a line from the 23rd Psalm ("the Lord is my shepherd"). It would be another couple of years before Bowie began peppering his own recordings with overt Biblical motifs on Station To Station.

THIS BOY (Lennon/McCartney)

The Beatles classic, originally a 1963 B-side, was an occasional addition to the Ziggy Stardust repertoire in the summer and autumn of 1972, including shows in Bristol on August 27th, Stoke on September 7th, and a couple of the subsequent US concerts. The most commonly available recording of "This Boy" has appeared on numerous bootlegs, but in the absence of reliable confirmation its exact provenance remains uncertain. It is often said to hail from the Friars, Aylesbury on July 15th, but the evidence points more compellingly to the Bristol gig of August 27th.

THIS IS MY DAY see ERNIE JOHNSON

THIS IS NOT AMERICA (Bowie/Metheny/Mays)

  • A-Side: February 1985

  • Compilation: The Singles Collection/Best Of Bowie/Club Bowie/The Best Of David Bowie 1980/1987

  • Bonus: Tonight

  • Live: Bowie At The Beeb (Bonus Disc)

  • Soundtrack: Training Day

Recorded in late 1984, the theme song for John Schlesinger's The Falcon And The Snowman is sleek, smooth and ever so slightly dull, adopting the smoochy jazz-fusion style then being popularised by acts like Sade and Shakatak. It's hardly Bowie's finest lyric ("Snowman melting from the inside, Falcon spirals to the ground", ahem), but "This Is Not America" did reasonable business in Britain and America (where it made number 32), and in common with many of Bowie's 1980s film themes it became a huge hit in Germany. A seven-minute extended edit appeared on a various artists 12" on the American DJ subscription label Disconet.

     As early as September 1984 David spoke enthusiastically of the movie: "It's the story of two young American guys who sell secrets to the Russians. It's Tim Hutton and Sean Penn giving the performances of their lives, but I don't know how it will be received in the States given the current political climate. It's very objective, though one feels great sympathy for the two boys. It's a magnificent piece of film-making, the best Schlesinger movie I've seen in years." Bowie does not feature in the accompanying video, which was constructed from clips of the movie.

     Fifteen years on, "This Is Not America" received its live premiere on the summer 2000 dates, with a fine version recorded on June 27th appearing on the Bowie At The Beeb live bonus disc. July 2001 found Bowie collaborating with rapper P Diddy on a radical hip-hop re-recording at Daddy's House Studio in New York, for use in the soundtrack of the film Training Day. The result was retitled "American Dream" and credited to P Diddy and The Bad Boy Family featuring David Bowie. "I'm in the studio recording with Sean," explained Bowie at the time. "We're doing live vocals. It's not really so much like a sampling kind of affair...This version's definitely got a menace. The beats will be very interesting because it's definitely moved on from what you'd expect. There's a fast techno flavour to it. It's got an aggression to it that really reflects the movie."

     A remix of the original "This Is Not America" by The Scumfrog later appeared on Club Bowie, while the Ahn Trio included a "classical" cover version, played on violin, piano and cello, on their 2001 album Ahn-Plugged. The song was among those performed in the musical Lazarus.

THREEPENNY JOE

Kenneth Pitt cites this as a discarded 1968 Bowie composition.

THREEPENNY PIERROT

  • Video: The Looking Glass Murders (included on the Love You Till Tuesday DVD)

Written and recorded by David for Lindsay Kemp's 1970 television production Pierrot In Turquoise, or The Looking Glass Murders, "Threepenny Pierrot" offers a jaunty introduction to the "comical hero" and his relationship with the commedia dell'arte archetypes Harlequin and Columbine. The melody, bashed out on a tinkling vaudeville piano by Kemp's regular accompanist Michael Garrett, is lifted wholesale from Bowie's earlier composition "London Bye Ta-Ta". After David's death, "Threepenny Pierrot" became one of the more unusual songs performed in his memory: a delightful recital by Ernesto Tomasini opened an all-star tribute evening at London's Ace Hotel in May 2016 headlined by Marc Almond and Lindsay Kemp.

THRU' THESE ARCHITECTS EYES (Bowie/Gabrels)

  • Album: 1.Outside

This splendid, grandiose number in the Lodger/Scary Monsters vein was cut in New York in 1995 as a late addition to 1.Outside, and despite being ascribed to the Leon Blank character it seems to bear little relation to the linking narrative. It's blessed with a superb Mike Garson solo and a chugging backbeat of guitars and drums, but the real treasure is the absurdly bombastic lyric. Only Bowie could namecheck Phillip Johnson and Richard Rogers and still make it sound thrilling, and who else would have the gall to attempt a metaphor built around the word "concrete"?: "All the majesty of a city landscape / All the soaring days of our lives / All the concrete dreams in my mind's eye..." The song occasionally appeared on the US leg of the Outside tour.

THRUST (Bowie/Gabrels)

An instrumental track recorded by Bowie with Reeves Gabrels in 1999 for exclusive use in the Omikron computer game.

THURSDAY'S CHILD (Bowie/Gabrels)

  • A-Side: September 1999

  • Album: 'hours...'

  • B-Side: January 2000

  • Bonus: 'hours...' (2004)

  • Live: VH1 Storytellers

  • Video: Best Of Bowie

  • Live Video: VH1 Storytellers

With its acoustic guitars, synth backings and fragile vocal, "Thursday's Child" revives a wistful ballad style seldom heard in Bowie's work since the 1980s; in fact, the chords and arrangement are curiously reminiscent of The Cars' global 1984 hit "Drive". The song's nearest antecedents in the Bowie canon are perhaps "Buddha Of Suburbia" and the undervalued "As The World Falls Down", although the addition of some fashionable soul-diva backing vocals brings the track firmly into 1999. According to Reeves Gabrels, "David originally wanted TLC to sing on "Thursday's Child", which I wasn't really into at all. Through a stroke of good fortune I managed to get Holly Palmer, who is a friend I used to write songs with in Boston." Holly Palmer would go on to become one of Bowie's regular backing vocalists.

     "It's a title not imbued with arcane knowledge, as you might think," David explained during his VH1 Storytellers concert in 1999. "It was prompted by the memory of the autobiography of Eartha Kitt...it was called Thursday's Child, and that stayed with me since I was fourteen, I don't know why...but it just kind of bubbled up the other month when we wrote this. This song, I might point out, is not actually about Eartha Kitt!" Interestingly, what Bowie didn't mention was that "Thursday's Child" was also the title of a ballad written by Elisse Boyd and Murray Grand, recorded by Eartha Kitt in 1956 and performed live on countless occasions, with a dolorous tempo and a strikingly similar lyric of melancholic retrospection ("I never know which way I'm bound / Heartbreak hangs around for Thursday's child / I'll always be blamed for what I was named / But still I'm not ashamed I'm Thursday's Child"). It's possible that Bowie was unaware of the song, but this seems highly unlikely given his familiarity with other Eartha Kitt recordings like "The Day That The Circus Left Town" and "Just An Old Fashioned Girl".

     Speculation inevitably arose that the song's title might also refer to David's own birthday, but January 8th 1947 was in fact a Wednesday. According to the nineteenth-century nursery rhyme, which Bowie often recited on stage during the 1999 tour, "Wednesday's child is full of woe", while "Thursday's child has far to go." Another probable spark is a line from The Velvet Underground's classic "All Tomorrow's Parties": "Thursday's child is Sunday's clown." And, as David confirmed, the arrangement recalls yet another nursery rhyme - the "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday" underscore echoes the "two and two are four" backdrop of "Inchworm", Danny Kaye's song from the 1952 film musical Hans Christian Andersen, which Bowie often cited as a childhood influence: "I love the effect of two melodies together. That nursery rhyme feeling shows itself in a lot of the songs I've written, like "Ashes To Ashes" and..."Thursday's Child"."

     The lyric establishes the introspective mood of the 'hours...' album. "I guess Thursday's Child is somebody that maybe felt that he'd achieved anything that he was ever going to achieve in his life," said Bowie, "and that the way forward looked as bleak as much of his past had done...until it was changed by meeting this particular person that he falls in love with. So it's like a glimmer of salvation in his own life." Although Bowie advised against autobiographical interpretations of the 'hours...' material, it's difficult to dissociate this analysis from his own redemptive happiness after years of social alienation ("Something about me stood apart...Maybe I'm born right out of my time") and the ambivalent relationship with "tomorrow" that had infused so much of his early writing. In place of the spiritual anguish of The Man Who Sold The World or Diamond Dogs, the narrator of "Thursday's Child" is approaching an inner peace, redeemed by love and content to relinquish "my past" without regret, and to reach for "tomorrow" without trepidation.

     Another line in the lyric, "Lucky old sun is in my sky", recalls Ray Charles's "That Lucky Old Sun" (a US hit in 1964, when The Manish Boys covered several Charles numbers) and also paraphrases "Busy old fool, unruly sun", the opening line of John Donne's The Sun Rising - another celebration of love's invincibility in the face of time and circumstance which includes the remarkably comparable line: "Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clime / Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time."

     The "Thursday's Child" video was directed by Bowie newcomer Walter Stern, whose previous credits included The Prodigy's "Firestarter" and Madonna's "Drowned World". Shot in August 1999 at Broadway Stages Studio in New York, it was described by David as "a strange and slow-moving piece that wanders between a present and a past in a bewildering fashion." One of the most low-key and sombre videos in the Bowie collection, it eschews the fast cutting and distorted images of his previous 1990s work to capture him in reflective mood - literally. Gazing at himself in a bathroom mirror, he travels back in time as his reflection changes into that of a young man, while the image of his partner, removing her contact lenses, undergoes a similar transformation. Reflection and reality interact as Bowie and his alter ego muse on what is, what was and what might have been.

     Excerpts from three different mixes were previewed on BowieNet in August 1999, with the chosen favourite destined to appear on single formats. The first disc of the two-CD set featured the standard single edit, while the other substituted the so-called "Rock Mix". Released on September 20th, "Thursday's Child" entered the UK chart at its number 16 peak, later receiving a Grammy nomination for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance". The song featured throughout the 'hours...' tour, during which numerous performances appeared on American, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Swedish television shows. The Top Of The Pops appearance on September 24th was pre-recorded in New York the previous month. The second CD single included a PC-playable version of the video, although some CD2 mis-pressings erroneously played the CD1 tracks, making them instant collectors' items fetching handsome sums. In addition to the performance later released on VH1 Storytellers, a live version recorded in Paris on October 14th 1999 became a B-side, and a further so-called "Easy Listening" version (marginally slower, but otherwise similar to the 'hours...' cut) appeared in Omikron: The Nomad Soul and as a bonus track alongside the "Rock Mix" on the 2004 reissue of 'hours...'. "Thursday's Child" made its final appearance on the first of the summer 2000 dates.

TIME

  • Album: Aladdin Sane

  • Live: Ziggy Stardust : The Motion Picture/RarestOneBowie/Glass Spider (2007 CD/DVD Release)

  • Bonus: David Live/David Live (Expanded 2005 Reissue)/Aladdin Sane (2003)/Re:Call 1

  • Live Video: Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars/Glass Spider

Like Aladdin Sane's title track, "Time" is a showcase for new arrival Mike Garson, whose 1920s New Orleans stride piano dominates the track. "It was an almost swing or Dixieland style," Garson told the Gillmans, "and [David] liked my concept on that because it had to do with time, and I was playing in another time-zone, and he was talking about time." Mick Ronson lifts and explores Garson's riff on guitar, at one point quoting from Beethoven's ninth symphony, from which The Spiders' pre-show music originated. Bowie, meanwhile, howls his way through a lyric of existential ennui and galloping mortality, reviving the dread of time already witnessed in lyrics like "C'est La Vie", "An Occasional Dream" and "Changes". His palpable disillusion ("I had so many dreams, I had so many breakthroughs...but all I have to give is guilt for dreaming") catches Bowie responding to his first flush of success with unmitigated bleakness, while the anguished and simultaneously suggestive burst of heavy breathing during the break in the second verse introduces a positively Brechtian sense of theatricality.

     As in so many Aladdin Sane lyrics, there are veiled references to figures significant to David at the time. Billy Murcia, the New York Dolls' original drummer and sometime liaison of Angela Bowie, drowned in his bath on November 6th 1972, probably as a result of an overdose of Mandrax and alcohol. David had socialised with the band after their New York gig in October, hence his image of the Grim Reaper, "in Quaaludes and red wine, demanding Billy Dolls and other friends of mine". The lyric was written in New Orleans on November 14th, within days of Murcia's death. Interestingly, David's old friend George Underwood later revealed that he sang the lead vocal on an earlier demo of the song. This version, entitled "We Should Be On By Now", featured quite different lyrics and was recorded with Bowie and Ronson in the summer of 1971 at around the same time as Underwood's demo of "Song For Bob Dylan". Given David's penchant for performing Chuck Berry numbers like "Round And Round" and "Almost Grown" in the same period, it shouldn't be surprising that the line "Well I look at my watch, it says 9.25" is a steal from Berry's 1958 B-side "Reelin' & Rockin'".

     In January 1973 David spoke, as he often did at this stage, about his lyrics acquiring a life of their own: "I've written a new song on the new album which is just called "Time", and I thought it was about time, and I wrote very heavily about time, and the way I felt about time - at times! - and I played it back after we recorded it and, my God, it was a gay song! And I'd no intention of writing anything at all gay. When I listened to it back I just could not believe it."

     "Time" is inevitably notorious for its barefaced use of the word "wanking" which, coming from a dandified middle-class pop singer still being marketed very much at a young teen audience, gave Aladdin Sane terrific parent-shocking power. The BBC banned the song from its playlist and David later altered the word to "swanking" for NBC's The 1980 Floor Show (although the dancers behind him left little doubt as to what the line should have been). Fans of great comedy will recall Stephen Fry's apoplectic headmaster attempting to unravel schoolboy Hugh Laurie's prize-winning poem: "Time fell wanking to the floor? Is this just put in to shock, or is there something personal you wish to discuss with me?...A quotation? What from? It isn't Milton, and I'm pretty sure it can't be Wordsworth..." Stateside ignorance of this peculiarly British profanity meant that the offending word remained intact in the edited 3'38" US single, released in April 1973 in place of the UK's "Drive-In Saturday". Ken Scott, who nominated "Time" as his favourite track on Aladdin Sane, would later remark upon the curious fact that American radio stations were prone to censor the word "Quaaludes" but would happily allow the "wanking" to proceed unchecked.

     "Time" was added to Bowie's live repertoire in 1973, and reappeared for the Diamond Dogs and Glass Spider tours. On the Earthling tour Mike Garson would occasionally play the song's opening piano chords at the tail-end of "Battle For Britain", as can be heard on liveandwell.com. The 1980 Floor Show version, recorded on October 19th 1973, later appeared on RarestOneBowie, while the single mix was included on 2003's Aladdin Sane reissue and Re:Call 1. The original studio version was among the tracks heard in the 1993 BBC serial The Buddha Of Suburbia. In 2005 the actress Karen Black performed "Time" in her one-woman stage show A View Of The Heart, directed by erstwhile Bowie choreographer Toni Basil.

TIME WILL CRAWL

  • Album: Never Let Me Down

  • A-Side: June 1987

  • Download: May 2007

  • Compilation: iSelectBowie

  • Live: Glass Spider (2007 CD/DVD Release)

  • Video: The Video Collection/Best Of Bowie

Never Let Me Down's second track is in many estimations the album's finest moment. Bowie forsakes his mid-1980s croon in favour of the cockney theatrics of yore, and an admirably restrained guitar break - another rarity on this album - allows room instead for a hauntingly effective trumpet solo. The lyric, too, is among the album's best, a pleasing return to a non-linear approach that paints a desolate landscape of poisoned rivers, nuclear devastation and genetic mutation reminiscent of Diamond Dogs. Bowie explained that the lyric was about "science and humanity, basically, the idea of the bright kid who turns into a demonic scientist and creates this catastrophe." Only fleetingly are there suggestions that he might be grasping at straws, with a rather cheesy topical reference to "a Top Gun pilot" and an unwelcome hint of preachiness ("We'll give every life for the crackpot notion"), but without doubt "Time Will Crawl" is among his strongest mid-1980s work.

     "I guess it deals with the idea that somebody in one's own community could turn out to be the man who's responsible for blowing up the world," Bowie elaborated in 1987, "and it was just this kid on the block, you know." Many years later, he recalled that the song was also partially inspired by the notorious global catastrophe that coincided with the early stages of Iggy Pop's Blah-Blah-Blah sessions: "One Saturday afternoon in April 1986, along with some other musicians, I was taking a break from recording at Montreux Studios in Switzerland," he wrote in 2008. "It was a beautiful day and we were outside on a small piece of lawn facing the Alps and the lake. Our engineer, who had been listening to the radio, shot out of the studio and shouted: "There's a whole lot of shit going on in Russia." The Swiss news had picked up on a Norwegian radio station that was screaming - to anyone who would listen - that huge billowing clouds were moving over from the Motherland and they weren't rain clouds. This was the first news in Europe of the satanic Chernobyl." Bowie would reference Russia's nuclear disaster directly in the lyric of "Shining Star (Makin' My Love)", and less directly in "Time Will Crawl": "Over the next couple of months a complicated crucible of impressions collected in my head prompted by this insanity, any one of which could have become a song. I stuck them all in "Time Will Crawl"."

     As the album's second single, "Time Will Crawl" failed to deliver a hit, stalling at a paltry 33. Things might have been different had the BBC opted to show the Top Of The Pops performance, Bowie's first in ten years, which was pre-recorded in June during the UK leg of the Glass Spider tour. At the time Top Of The Pops adhered to the precept of never featuring songs on their way down the chart, and when "Time Will Crawl" dropped from the top 40 in the week of its intended transmission, the clip was pulled. A minute-long glimpse of this otherwise unscreened performance - showcasing David with a dummy guitar and sporting a transparent PVC jacket stuffed with pages from newspapers (apparently a political comment about pornographic pin-ups) - was included in BBC2's retrospective Eighties, transmitted on New Year's Eve 1989. The full-length clip has since found its way online.

     Meanwhile the official "Time Will Crawl" video was directed by Tim Pope, a newcomer to the Bowie stable whose reputation rested primarily on a superb run of promos for The Cure. Masquerading as a fly-on-the-wall rehearsal film, the video was a taster for the Glass Spider tour's extravagant stage choreography, featuring Bowie and his backing troupe working through the elaborate stage routines which would accompany "Fashion", "Loving The Alien" and "Sons Of The Silent Age". Although tour guitarist Peter Frampton doesn't play on the studio track, he appears in the video to mime to Sid McGinnis's solo, which he recreated for the Glass Spider tour.

     The 12" formats of "Time Will Crawl" included various extended mixes, which were reissued as downloads in 2007. A year later Bowie oversaw an elaborate new remix of "Time Will Crawl" as a centrepiece of 2008's iSelectBowie compilation. Built around the original vocal, and stripping away the percussion so that the opening minute consists purely of voice, guitar, keyboard and strings, the "MM Remix" was recorded and mixed by Mario J McNulty, and boasted fresh overdubs by drummer Sterling Campbell and a string quartet consisting of Martha Mooke, Krista Bennion Feeney, Robert Chausow and Matthew Goeke. The new string arrangements were by Gregor Kitzis who, along with Martha Mooke, was a veteran of the Heathen sessions and Bowie's Tibet House Benefit performances. David was enthusiastic about the new version: "I've replaced the drum machine with true drums and added some crickety strings and remixed," he explained. "I'm very fond of this new version with its Neil Young of Shortlands accents. Oh, to redo the rest of that album."

TIN MACHINE (Bowie/T.Sales/H.Sales/Gabrels)

  • Album: Tin Machine

  • A-Side: September 1989

  • Download: May 2007

  • Video Download: May 2007

The signature tune of Bowie's much-reviled rock outfit is actually one of their better offerings, a Scary Monsters retread laying a series of violent images over a furious guitar riff. The fragmented protest lyric offers an early taste of the album's didactic tone, as Bowie rails against "humping Tories, spittle on their chins, carving up my children's future"; the only promise of escape from "this psycho time-bomb planet" is to "make some new computer thing that puts me on the moon". There's a reminiscent hint of the room-retreats of "Sound And Vision" and "All The Madmen", a song Bowie had recently been performing live: "Burning in my room...I'm not exactly well" is remarkably close to "talking to my wall, I'm not quite right at all". Sadly the track is marred by Bowie's decision to affect a rather silly American rock'n'roll accent, perhaps to match the momentary invocation of "Blue Suede Shoes".

     The album cut was released as a double A-side with "Maggie's Farm". Julien Temple's Tin Machine promo film includes a stage-managed "live" performance in which fans storm the stage, Bowie spitting blood in the ensuing riot; this 1'12" sequence was released as a download in 2007. The song was performed live throughout the first Tin Machine tour, and occasionally on the second.

TINY GIRLS (Pop/Bowie)

Produced and co-written by David for Iggy Pop's The Idiot, "Tiny Girls" is worthy of attention for one of Bowie's finest saxophone performances.

TINY TIM see ERNIE JOHNSON

TIRED OF MY LIFE

Probably taped at Haddon Hall around May 1970, this frail three-minute demo features Bowie and his acoustic guitar supported by some raucous backing vocals - possibly Mick Ronson - and is the fascinating prototype for "It's No Game", a song that would not be recorded until ten years later. The opening lines ("I don't know why, but I'm tired of my mind / Pain is over me, overloading / I don't know why, but you're trying to be kind") indicate the depressive introspection of the same period's "Conversation Piece", but we soon reach the familiar "Throw a rock against the road and it breaks into pieces...Put a bullet in my brain, and I make all the papers."

     Several sources have claimed that "Tired Of My Life" was composed in 1963, but it should be noted that the only corroboration of this is a comment once made by Tony Visconti that David wrote "It's No Game" at the age of sixteen.

'TIS A PITY SHE WAS A WHORE

  • B-Side: November 2014

  • Album: Blackstar

Released as the B-side of "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)", the original version of "'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore" is that rare thing, a track on which every instrument is played by Bowie himself. He recorded it in the summer of 2014 as a home demo which Tony Visconti described as "just kick-ass"; David's own evaluation was "If Vorticists wrote rock music, it might have sounded like this." Saxophonist Donny McCaslin, who would later play on the album version, paid tribute to Bowie's work on the demo: "That was him on sax," McCaslin told the Observer. "I really loved his sax playing on that song, it was really soulful."

     On January 5th 2015, Bowie and his band recorded an entirely new cut for inclusion on the Blackstar album. "The groove on the demo was a driving one-bar loop," recalled drummer Mark Guiliana. "The challenge was to play this repetitive part but stay in the moment and keep pushing the intensity. Fortunately we were all in the same room playing together for every take, including David. He was singing with incredible energy, providing great inspiration and musical direction." The loose, shuffling drumbeat and squealing, skittering saxophones recall some of the jazzier tracks of the Black Tie White Noise period, but the joyously unrestrained freedom of the band's playing is something quite new. "This track has a very live spirit that could've only been captured if we were all in the same room, reacting to each other's musical decision's," remarked Guiliana.

     Aspects of the new recording drew on the atmosphere of Donny McCaslin's 2012 album Casting For Gravity, with which Bowie had acquainted himself after the "Sue" sessions; the album featured all four of the quartet who formed the core band on Blackstar. According to McCaslin, Bowie "said he imagined the solo section as being something like "Alpha And Omega", which is the Boards Of Canada track we covered, or maybe talk about the intensity we have on "Praia Grande"."

     "I think it's a really, really good sign for music how out there that song is," bassist Tim Lefebvre told the Observer. "He's like, 'I don't care. This is what I'm hearing.' And you can hear him on the track how excited about it he is; he even yells at the end of it!" Indeed, from the sniffs and inhalations which open the album version, through the elegantly crooned verses, to the unrestrained mania of his whoops and shouts at the end, Bowie's vocal is a thing of wonder; like most of the Blackstar vocals it was re-recorded after the tracking sessions, on April 20th and 22nd 2015.

     It's not just the music that is out there; the words aren't exactly quotidian either. The title is an obvious riff on John Ford's play 'Tis A Pity She's A Whore, published in 1633, but there the similarities appear to end: Ford's play is a passionate tale of incestuous love. obsession and vengeance, but Bowie's darkly violent lyric appears to be taking its cue from a different source altogether. The tongue-in-cheek opening gambit, "Man, she punched me like a dude," sounds like pure slapstick - but like many of Bowie's late-period lyrics, the frivolity masks a darker centre. A press release accompanying the original B-side version claimed that "The song acknowledges the shocking rawness of the First World War," but there's scant evidence of this in the lyric. A more persuasive clue is the reiterated cry of "Hold your mad hands", which is the title and opening line of a sonnet by Robert Southey, published in 1797 in a sequence entitled Poems On The Slave Trade. Southey, who later became Poet Laureate, was a committed anti-slavery campaigner, and if his verses are sometimes a little overwrought for modern tastes ("Hold your mad hands! For ever on your plain / Must the gorged vulture clog his beak with blood?"), there's no faulting his sincerity. If Bowie's lyric is indeed concerned with dark tales of slavery, then it's tempting to read the song as a companion piece to "Sue", another regret-soaked testimonial by a thoroughly unlikeable character. The seemingly impenetrable line "Black struck the kiss, she kept my cock" recalls a memorably lurid sequence in another famous account of the horrors of slavery, Toni Morrison's Pulitzer-winning 1987 novel Beloved, as the chain-gang masters force slaves to fellate them: "Occasionally a kneeling man chose gunshot in his head as the price, maybe, of taking a bit of foreskin with him to Jesus." When Bowie recorded this song, a number of films about American slavery were riding high in the cultural consciousness. Is this Bowie's Django Unchained, his 12 Years A Slave? Is he adopting the role of a gang-master whose molestation of a female slave has had unexpectedly painful but well-deserved consequences? Is "She stole my purse" a euphemism? Might this even account for the near-falsetto voice into which Bowie slips towards the end of both versions? Mr Pegg adds: "Given that this is quite possibly as far out on a limb as this book has ever gone, I think we'll leave it there.

TO KNOW HIM IS TO LOVE HIM (Spector)

Midway through the Diamond Dogs sessions in December 1973, Bowie was invited to Morgan Studios in Willesden to record a guest saxophone solo for Steeleye Span, the folk-rock combo who were then enjoying their first taste of chart success with the a cappella Christmas hit "Gaudete". Steeleye Span, whose bassist Rick Kemp had played in one of Mick Ronson's early bands and had briefly been mooted as bass player for the Hunky Dory sessions, were now nearing the completion of their sixth album, appropriately entitled Now We Are Six. The record was being mixed by Jethro Tull's frontman Ian Anderson. "Against the odds David Bowie was around and agreed to come in and pay on the album," Anderson later explained. "He was a bit of a fan of Steeleye Span anyway, he quite liked the fact that it was from such a totally different walk of musical life to what he did. He turned up with his saxophone, but with an entourage of admirers, so with all of Steeleye Span hanging on too the studio was very crowded." According to Anderson, Bowie played his solo "quickly and efficiently", and never submitted an invoice for payment. "Many years later I bumped into him at a TV studio in Germany, and I said, 'I want to thank you for setting the goalposts for me, because I've since played on a lot of people's records myself and I never charge money for it. You were the guy that did that first time around for me and Steeleye Span and I want to say thanks for the gesture and the generosity and the example.' And he said, 'Whaaat? You mean my manager never sent you a bill?' He was horrified!" Bowie's dissonant alto sax break appears on the album's closing number, a cover of The Teddy Bears' 1958 hit, ending with a ragged dying honk remarkably similar to the one he would later employ on the "Heroes" track "Neukoln". David's guest appearance initiated a Steeleye Span tradition of enlisting unlikely stars to close their albums: the follow-up. Commoner's Crown, ended with the appearance of Peter Sellers on ukulele.

TONIGHT (Bowie/Pop)

  • Album: Tonight

  • A-Side: November 1984

  • Download: May 2007

  • Live Video: Tina Live - Private Dancer Tour (Tina Turner)

Premiered on the 1977 Iggy Pop tour, "Tonight" was subsequently recorded for Lust For Life, with co-writer/producer Bowie on piano and backing vocals. Iggy's version begins with a cod angelic chorus of backing vocals provided by David and the Sales brothers, over which the opening lyric establishes that the song is addressed to a dying lover of a heroin overdose: "I saw my baby, she was turning blue, I knew that soon her young life was through / And so I got down on my knees, down by her bed, And these are the words to her I said..."

     Needless to say, Bowie's decision to excise this prologue from his 1984 re-recording utterly changes the intention of the piece. "That was such an idiosyncratic thing of Jimmy's that it seemed not part of my vocabulary," he said at the time. "There was that consideration, and I was also doing it with Tina [Turner] - she's the other voice on it - and I didn't want to inflict it on her either. It's not necessarily something that she would particularly agree to sing or be part of. I guess we changed the whole sentiment around. It still has that same barren feeling though, but it's out of that specific area that I'm not at home in. I can't say that it's Iggy's world, but it's far more of Iggy's observation than mine."

     Bowie's reading of "Tonight", set to a lilting reggae arrangement and featuring special guest Tina Turner low in the mix, has come in for a lot of stick, although at the time Rolling Stone's Kurt Loder hailed it as "one of the most vibrantly beautiful tracks he's ever recorded," noting that it "displays Bowie's voice at its sweetest and most human." Like much of Bowie's mid-1980s work it's perfectly accomplished and difficult actively to dislike, but it's sorely lacking in bite. With no video to support it the single stiffed dramatically, climbing no higher than a shocking number 53 to make it the first chart indication that all was not well post-Let's Dance.

     Other than backing Iggy Pop on keyboards during the 1977 tour (from which versions can be heard on various Iggy releases), Bowie only twice performed "Tonight" live, as a duet with Tina Turner at her Birmingham concerts on March 23rd and 24th 1985; the first night's performance later appeared on Tina's 1988 album Live In Europe, and in the same year was released as a 12" single in various European countries, even topping the chart in the Netherlands. It was subsequently included on the 1994 CD/video box set Tina Live - Private Dancer Tour. On a couple of occasions on 1990's Sound + Vision tour, Bowie inserted a short snippet of the number into "The Jean Genie". In 2007 the extended "Vocal Dance Mix" and "Dub Mix" from the original 12" single were reissued as downloads.

TOO BAD see I'M NOT LOSING SLEEP

TOO DIZZY (Bowie/Kizilcay)

  • Album: Never Let Me Down

Never Let Me Down's penultimate track was deleted from the 1995 reissue, and at Bowie's behest it has remained absent from subsequent pressings. The precise reason is unclear but there are a couple of obvious possibilities: in the first place "Too Dizzy" is quite simply one of the feeblest tracks even on this album, a shabby mid-eighties pop rocker laying a tiresome guitar break and a yakkety-yak saxophone over a chord sequence almost identical to "Zeroes". It's tempting, however, to conjecture that the song's eradication might be down to justified embarrassment over its lyrical content. In a jealous harangue addressed to an imagined girlfriend, Bowie badly oversteps his usual boundary of playful sexism: "you're just pushing for a fight...I'm a shakin' in anger...I'm not letting you out of my sight...who's this guy I'm gonna blow away, what kind of love is he giving you?" From the one-time author of "Repetition", this is cause for concern.

     "It's a throwaway," said David in 1987, already sounding as if he wanted to disown the number. "I always thought it was better for Huey Lewis! I was unsettled with that song, but it's on the album anyway. It's one of the first songs that Erdal Kizilcay and I wrote together, a sort of try-out to see how we sparred together as writers. I thought a real fifties subject matter was either love or jealousy, so I thought I'd stick with jealousy because it's a lot more interesting!"

     In 1987 "Too Dizzy" was briefly mooted for single release, appearing as a US promo. Its inclusion 20 years later on the replica artwork of 2007's Japanese "mini vinyl" CD edition is misleading: as on every post-1987 reissue, the track is absent from the album. Its removal from Never Let Me Down has rendered it a latter-day collector's item, but few will feel impelled to hunt it down.

TOO FAT POLKA (MacLean/Richardson)

This legendary out-take, a cover of the 1947 Arthur Godfrey ditty also known by the outrageous subtitle "I Don't Want Her, You Can Have Her, She's Too Fat For Me" (it was later covered by the Andrews Sisters with an appropriate change of gender), was allegedly recorded during the Young Americans sessions. An apocryphal story has it that the master tape was ceremonially burned at the end of the sessions, but this is surely a myth.

TOY see YOUR TURN TO DRIVE

TOY SOLDIER

  • Compilation: The Last Chapter: Mods & Sods/The Toy Soldier EP (The Riot Squad)

This obscure out-take, recorded with The Riot Squad at Decca Studios on April 5th 1967, is a truly remarkable curio. Like the contemporaneous "Join The Gang" and "We Are Hungry Men" it climaxes in an anarchic medley of comic sound effects (explosions, coughing, nose-blowing, smashing glass, car horns and even the speaking clock), but jettisons David Bowie's serio-comic vignettes in favour of full-blown sexual fetishism. Bowie's manic vocal alternates between familiar Anthony Newley theatrics and a convincing attempt at Lou Reed's trademark snarl, as he tells the tale of a little girl who winds up her clockwork soldier every night so that he can whip her. The chorus lifts its melody and some of its lyrics ("Taste the whip, in love not given lightly / Taste the whip, now bleed for me") straight from The Velvet Underground's "Venus In Furs". Although the results are deliberately cartoonish the track is a turning-point of sorts, marking Bowie's first delve into a kinky netherworld that had been opened up by him by his recent discovery of bands like the Velvets.

     Producer Gus Dudgeon, who described the late-night session as "a bit hush-hush", enjoyed the opportunity to push further into the sonic experimentation heard on recent Bowie tracks like "The Laughing Gnome". "When we recorded it, the song originally finished on the line 'And he beat her to death'," Gudgeon recalled many years later. "One day I was playing around with the vast selection of sound effects at Decca, and added a final section." The much bootlegged 3'08" recording (referred to by some sources as "Sadie" or "Little Toy Soldier") is one of four takes from the session; an edited version appears on The Riot Squad's 2013 release The Toy Soldier EP and the previous year's The Last Chapter: Mods & Sods, which also includes one of the other takes.

TRAGIC MOMENTS see ZION

TRUTH (Goldie)

Bowie recorded lead vocals for this track on Saturnzreturn, the second album by drum'n'bass architect Goldie, during London rehearsals for the Earthling tour in May 1997. When the two were introduced at the time of the Outside tour, Bowie was already familiar with Goldie's early recordings and was impressed by his 1995 debut Timeless. "I liked his stuff," David said later. "I thought that was a nice first album." The following years Goldie's studio collaborator A Guy Called Gerald remixed "Telling Lies", and in June 1997 Goldie was present at London's Hanover Grand to witness the beginning of the Earthling tour. "I still think that Bowie can go a bit further with this music," he told Q after the first warm-up gig, "but it's up to him to experiment. He should take it somewhere it hasn't been before, outside the realm of linear drum'n'bass, so that no-one can judge it."

     Saturnzreturn, which also featured contributions from Noel Gallagher, was released in two different formats: "Truth" appears only on the full-length two-disc version. The album treads dark, intimate and unsettling territory not unlike some of Bowie's own early work, and its grandiosity and perceived self-indulgence were later credited with hastening the death of drum'n'bass. "Truth" is characteristic of the album, a protracted environment of sonic effects that make even the weirdest noises on Bowie's Berlin albums sound fairly conventional. David's echo-laden and barely comprehensible vocal resounds across a backing of phased and reversed synthesizers, layered whispers and echoing bass piano notes, creating a texture of sadness, foreboding and barely concealed panic that is replicated in various forms throughout the album. In 1998 Bowie co-starred with Goldie in the film Everybody Loves Sunshine, and contributed to the Channel 4 documentary When Saturn Returnz.

TRY SOME, BUY SOME (Harrison)

  • Album: Reality

  • Live Video: Reality (Tour Edition DVD)

"I love this song so much," Bowie told the Riverside Studios audience on September 8th 2003. "I hope I do it justice." For Reality's second cover version he had turned to a major British songwriter whose work, perhaps surprisingly, he had never recorded before. George Harrison originally wrote "Try Some, Buy Some" for the ex-Ronettes vocalist Ronnie Spector, whose version was released as a single in April 1971, inexplicably failing to chart on either side of the Atlantic. "At that time," Bowie recalled, "it was the only single by a solo artist that actually had all four Beatles on it. The Beatles had kind of disbanded, but they all loved Ronnie, and it was George Harrison producing it, so they all crept in at different times to put parts on it." Bowie had already paid tribute to the single many years earlier when he included it in the choice of records he played on BBC Radio 1's Star Special in 1979. On that occasion he described Ronnie Spector's recording as "absolutely incredible", remarking that it "made me fall in love with the singer...my heart went straight out to her." He also recalled that the track was co-produced by the singer's then husband Phil Spector: "I may be wrong but I think it's the last single he ever made, because he was so depressed that it didn't do anything, that nobody bought it." Some years later, on 1990's Sound + Vision tour, David would occasionally insert a snippet of the song into performances of "The Jean Genie".

     Bowie was keen to emphasise that it was Ronnie Spector who had originally drawn him to "Try Some, Buy Some" and that, despite Reality being the first album he had recorded since George Harrison's death in November 2001, the connection was purely coincidental: "It didn't really occur to me until I sat down to do the credits for the album that in fact it was a George Harrison song," he admitted, "and I thought, well, that's really lovely, cos it was kind of like doing a tribute to George, but unwittingly." Harrison had included his own version of "Try Some, Buy Some" on his 1973 album Living In The Material World, reusing the original 1971 backing track and replacing Ronnie Spector's vocals with his own. "We were pretty true to the original arrangement," David observed, "but the overall atmosphere is somewhat different. It's a dense piece."

     This is certainly true: the song's lilting 3/4 time and retro production style recall some of the stylistic experimentation of The Beatles' later work, and the multiple layers of synthesizers, drums and strumming mandolins create a richly textures soundscape against which Bowie delivers one of the album's most brilliant vocal performances, gradually building from frail beginnings to a full-blown, heroic finale. The retrospective, older-and-wiser lyric seems signally appropriate both to Reality and, in a broader sense, to Bowie himself: lines like "Through my life I've seen grey sky / Met big fry / Seen then die to get high" might have been tailor-made for him, while the sense of an erstwhile iceman's emotional redemption ("Not a thing did I feel / Not a thing did I know / Till I called on your love") covers much the same ground as many lyrics from David's later career. "When I first heard that song it had a very different narrative to it," he admitted in 2003. "Now my connection to the song is about leaving a way of life behind me and finding something new. It's overstated about most rock artists leaving drugs, it's such a bore to read about it. But when I first heard the song in '74 I was yet to go through my heavy drug period. And now it's about the consolation of having kicked all that and turning your life around.

     "Try Some, Buy Some" was one of the rarer numbers performed on A Reality Tour.

TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN (Dylan)

Recorded in 1998 and originally intended as a bonus track for the proposed Earthling tour live album, Bowie's rather pedestrian 4'58" cover of this song from Bob Dylan's 1997 album Time Out Of Mind was unofficially leaked to Spanish radio station DOS 84 in October 1999, and released as a download on the station's website. Otherwise, excepting its appearance on a very rare Virgin promo CD-R, the recording remains unavailable.