David Bowie’s ‘Toy’ album ‘Lost’ is ready for official release
Twenty years after its initial proposed release, David Bowie’s 2001 album Toy, which has never been officially released, will be available on January 7th.
After his performance at the Glastonbury Festival in 2000, Bowie returned to the studio with his band to record reworked versions of songs he first recorded between 1964 and 1971. At the time, the idea was to recording the tracks live, choosing the best takes and releasing a “surprise” album as quickly as possible – a promotional concept that, like many things Bowie did, was several years ahead of its time.
After some arguments between Bowie and his label, the album, Toy, was later shelved, although pirated copies were leaked online in 2011.
Toy will now be included in the next Era Five: Brilliant Adventure box – the fifth installment in the late singer’s career collectible set series, due out on November 26 this year. Time Five will cover the years 1992-2001 and will include newly remastered versions of Black tie White Noise, The Buddha of the suburbs, 1. Outside, Earthman and ‘Hours … ‘, plus an extended live album, BBC Radio Theater, London, June 27, 2000 and Re: Call 5, a collection of off-album songs, alternate versions, B-sides and soundtracks.
An 84-page book will include rare photos, as well as technical notes on albums by producers and engineers Brian Eno, Nile Rodgers, Reeves Gabrels and Mark Plati.
You can hear one of the tracks from Toy, “You used to leave”, below. Bowie first released the song as a single in 1965 under the name Davy Jones with his then-band Lower Third.
In addition to the full Toy album, the set also includes a second CD of mixes and alternate releases, including featured B-sides, subsequent mixes by Tony Visconti and more. A third CD includes Unplugged and slightly electric mixtures of 13 Toy tracks.
“While we were recording the basic tracks, [guitarist] Earl Slick suggested that he and I layer acoustic guitars on all of the songs, ”Plati said of the Unplugged and slightly electric tracks in a statement.
“He said it was a Keith Richards thing, sometimes those guitars were part of the song, and other times they were more subliminal. Later, during the mixing, David heard one of the songs break down into vocals and acoustic guitars; it gave him the idea that we should do stripped down mixes like that and that one day they might be useful. Once we got a few more stuff in the pot, I had felt like it could be a whole different record. I was only too happy to end this thought about two decades after the fact “.
Toy ends with a new song, “Toy (Your Turn to Drive)”, which was built from a jam that took place at the end of one of the live takes of “I Dig Everything”. The track features rearranged sections of Sterling Campbell’s drums, Gail Ann Dorsey’s bass, and Mike Garson’s piano looped with a sampled guitar line from Slick. “Since it was taken from ‘I Dig Everything’ it makes sense to end the album with this track,” said Plati. “It is also an appropriate postscript to the Toy time.”
David Bowie Albums Ranked
David Bowie isn’t just rock’s greatest chameleon; he is also one of the most imaginative conceptual artists in music.