David Bowie (1969 album)

1969 studio album by David Bowie / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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David Bowie (commonly known as Space Oddity)[lower-alpha 1] is the second studio album by English musician David Bowie. After the commercial failure of his 1967 self-titled debut album, Bowie acquired a new manager, Kenneth Pitt, who commissioned a promotional film in hopes of widening the artist's audience. For the film, Bowie wrote a new song, titled "Space Oddity", a tale about a fictional astronaut. The song earned Bowie a contract with Mercury Records, who agreed to finance production of a new album, with Pitt hiring Tony Visconti to produce. Due to his dislike of the song, Visconti appointed engineer Gus Dudgeon to produce a re-recording for release as a lead single, while he produced the rest of the album.

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David Bowie
1969 UK release
Studio album by
Released14 November 1969 (1969-11-14)
Recorded20 June, 16 July – 6 October 1969
StudioTrident, London
David Bowie chronology
David Bowie
David Bowie
The World of David Bowie
Singles from David Bowie
  1. "Space Oddity"
    Released: 11 July 1969

Recording for the new album began in June 1969 and continued until early October, at Trident Studios in London. It featured an array of collaborators, including Herbie Flowers, Rick Wakeman, Terry Cox and the band Junior's Eyes. Departing from the music hall style of Bowie's 1967 debut, David Bowie instead features folk rock and psychedelic rock songs. Lyrically, the songs contain themes that were influenced by events happening in Bowie's life at the time, including former relationships and festivals he attended. Released as a single in July 1969, "Space Oddity" peaked at number five in the UK later in the year, earning Bowie his first commercial hit.

David Bowie was released in the UK on 14 November 1969 through Mercury affiliate Philips Records. For the US release, Mercury retitled it Man of Words/Man of Music and used different artwork. Due to a lack of promotion, the album was a commercial failure, despite earning some positive reviews from music critics. Following Bowie's commercial breakthrough with his fifth studio album Ziggy Stardust in 1972, RCA Records reissued the album under the title of Space Oddity, and used a contemporary photo of Bowie as the artwork. The reissue charted in both the UK and the US.

Retrospectively, David Bowie has received mixed reviews from critics and biographers, many criticising the lack of cohesiveness. Bowie himself later stated that the album lacked musical direction. Debate continues as to whether it should stand as Bowie's first "proper" album. David Bowie has been reissued numerous times, with bonus tracks and variance on the inclusion of the hidden track "Don't Sit Down". Labels have used both David Bowie and Space Oddity as the title, with Space Oddity being used for its 2019 remix by Visconti.