David Bowie (aka “Man of Words / Man of Music” then “Space Oddity”)

~ Release group by David Bowie

Annotation

Originally released untitled. Later reissues were given the title of the first track.

Annotation last modified on 2011-07-06 12:31 .

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
David Bowie 12" Vinyl 10 Philips SBL7912 [none]
Man of Words/Man of Music 12" Vinyl 10 Mercury Records (Universal Music Group) SR 61246
Space Oddity Vinyl 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) 461008
Space Oddity 12" Vinyl 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) LSP-4813 [none]
Space Oddity 12" Vinyl 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) RVP 6124 [none]
Space Oddity Vinyl 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) NL 37727
Space Oddity CD 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) PCD1-4813 078635481327
Space Oddity CD 9 RCA (RCA Records: simple ‘RCA’ or 'RCA' with lightning bolt in circle) PD84813 0035628481320
Space Oddity 12" Vinyl 13 Ryko Analogue RALP 0131-2 014431013119
Space Oddity CD 13 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) TOCP-6202 4988006644632
Space Oddity CD 13 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) CDEMC 3571, CDP 79 1835 2 0077779183524
Space Oddity CD 13 Rykodisc RCD 10131 014431013126
David Bowie CD 10 東芝EMI 株式会社 (record company, do not use as release label - check obi, back or disc for imprint! Ended 2007-06-29) TOCP-65305 4988006775237
Space Oddity Enhanced CD 10 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972), Virgin Records America (DO NOT USE! please refer to either “Virgin” or “Virgin America”) 7243 521898 0 9 724352189809
Space Oddity 12" Vinyl 10 Simply Vinyl SVLP 263 643346026312
Space Oddity (BMG Direct) Enhanced CD 10 Virgin (worldwide imprint of Virgin Records Ltd. and all its subsidiaries), BMG Direct Marketing, Inc. 7243 52189809, D 148376 [none]
Space Oddity CD 10 東芝EMI 株式会社 (record company, do not use as release label - check obi, back or disc for imprint! Ended 2007-06-29) TOCP-53540 4988006831919
Space Oddity CD 10 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) TOCP-70141 4988006849778
David Bowie 2×CD 9 + 15 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) 50999-307522-2-1, DBSOCD 40 5099930752221
David Bowie SHM-CD 10 EMI Music Japan Inc. (2007-06-30 to 2013-04-01 - record company, do NOT USE as release label - check the back cover or CD surface for the imprint) TOCP-95041 4988006875968
David Bowie 2×CD 9 + 15 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972), Virgin Records America (DO NOT USE! please refer to either “Virgin” or “Virgin America”) 50999-307522-2-1, DBSOCD 40 5099930752221
Space Oddity (40th aniv. ltd. edition) CD 9 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) 50999-307530-1-3 5099930753013
David Bowie (2015 remaster) CD 9 Parlophone 0825646283453 0825646283453
David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) (2015 remaster) Digital Media 9 Parlophone 825646286133
David Bowie (2015 remaster) CD 9 Parlophone RPR2-218988 825646283453
Promotion
Space Oddity (40th anniversary edition) 2×CD 9 + 15 EMI Music Catalogue Marketing (a division of EMI Music Germany GmbH & Co. KG) [none]

Relationships

included in: Five Years 1969–1973
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000251934 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/32337 [info]
Wikidata: Q1648283 [info]
Wikipedia: en: David Bowie (1969 album) [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/david_bowie/david_bowie_f2/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/nz25 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

There are 2 reviews on CritiqueBrainz. You can also write your own.

Most Recent

There has always been more to Bowie's second album than that prescient, if over-familiar, title song, as this two-disc re-mastered edition proves.

In 1969 it was released in the UK as David Bowie and in the US as Man of Words/Man of Music. Three years later, with Ziggy-mania abounding, it was re-issued with an even more pragmatic name, and soared to, um, number 17. Generations of Bowie fans have thus always perceived it as an afterthought, a pallid sibling to the golden run which followed, a runt which spawned one cosmic hit and was padded out with hippie folk songs.

How wrong you can be. It sounds extraordinary today, so flecked with genius that the wonder is not that Bowie broke big afterwards but that he didn't sooner. Perhaps the last great 60s album, with shades of prog and sprinkles of Sgt. Pepper's, it's an elegy to that decade's corroding ideals. The climactic Memory of a Free Festival perfectly captures the desire for escape from society's shackles that coloured the times yet also seems smart enough to mock itself, knowing that bliss is, as he puts it in another lovely ballad, An Occasional Dream. In this blend of abandonment and self-awareness lay Bowie's genius (a blend which later culminated in Young Americans, both completely fabricated and completely soulful). He never accepted that the textbook doesn't allow you to be simultaneously arch and angst-ridden, and his innate ambivalence fuelled songs which proudly endure.

Gus Dudgeon produced the title track; Tony Visconti, who tackled the rest, had rejected it as "gimmicky", then brought in a 50-piece orchestra for Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud. On Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed, bluesy rock hits places it didn't previously know existed. Bowie hadn't yet learned to self-edit, so you get guttural struts like "I'm a phallus in pigtails", but also yearning sighs of "don't turn your nose up / well you can if you want to, you won't be the first or last". There are inspired torch songs, then Cygnet Committee - a bold, ten-minute rant against Vietnam-era platitudes. It's a dark horse in the Bowie canon: a simmering contender for his masterpiece.

The second CD gives us demos and sessions: the wry, pithy Janine, alternate mixes of the epics, and an Italian version of Space Oddity (titled Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola) which coaxes awe from absurdity. His next trick was to wow the crowd, but this intricate, intriguing work should never again be underestimated.

Most Popular

Along with Marc Bolan, with whom he shared a producer, David Bowie is credited with spawning glam rock in the 70s. However, 1969's Space Oddity is fledgling Bowie - not a feather boa in sight - but a spider's web of influences. It shows a Bowie, not so much casting his own image, but in the shadow of others. Originally turned down by George Martin, this kaleidoscopic album is an amalgamation of Dave's obsessions - directors, musicians, poets and spirituality of a distinctly late-60s hue.

In this ever-shifting musical refraction there are glimpses of Stanley Kubrick (the title track - originally recorded in Bowie's bedroom -is inspired by the film 2001: A Space Odyssey), and Muddy Waters (the harmonica and blues rhythm in ''Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed'' - another song about being an outsider, or as Bowie himself puts it 'A phallus in pig-tails'). Dylan's influence looms in the social commentary ''God Knows I'm Good'' and the yearning ''Letter to Hermione'' - an ode to the girlfriend Bowie lost the very year the album was born; whilst the poetry of Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg appears in the aching ''Cygnet Committee'' ('I bless you madly, sadly as I tie my shoes').

The eponymous single was mistranslated into Italian 'Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola'. When Bowie found out, what the new lyrics meant, he just laughed; 'I've put in all that time singing some bloody love song about some tart in a blouse on a mountain!'.

There are two particularly mind-blowing tracks on this album, both of which come with an exquisite production by Tony Visconti (who shunned the title track as a cheap publicity stunt tying in with the Apollo 11 moon landings). The symphonic ''Wild Eyed Boy from Free Cloud'' and ''Memory of a Free Festival'', which celebrates his first appearance at Glastonbury festival, linger in your head long after they have stopped playing. Both show Bowie in the trippy hippy mode that he was in the early days and help Space Oddity to stand out in the cannon of this two-toned eyed musical genius.