The early years of David Bowie’s career is the focus of the five-disc Conversation Piece. The box set collects the singer’s 1968 and 1969 works, from home recordings to his work with guitarist John “Hutch” Hutchinson and the mime group Feathers to Space Oddity.
In addition to Mercury Demos, Conversation Piece features 12 previously unreleased Bowie recordings, ranging from a handful of unheard home demos (“Animal Farm,” “April’s Tooth of Gold”) to early mixes of Space Oddity songs. The set also promises higher quality versions of tracks from Bowie’s pre-Space Oddity Deram Records career.
The set’s fifth disc boasts producer Tony Visconti’s new 2019 mix of Space Oddity that restores the box set’s title track, “Conversation Piece,” on the track list; the song was initially removed from Space Oddity due to time constraints.
“It was so much fun to find hidden gems of musicianship with more time to mix the second time around, a guitar twiddle here, a trombone blast there, Marc Bolan’s voice in a group choir and more detail in general that we overlooked all those years ago when the label gave us a week at the most to mix this album,” Visconti said of the 2019 mix. “And in the details, you will find 22-year-old David Bowie, who would soon take the world by storm.”
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