David Bowie Estate Unveils The Man Who Sold the World Companion Album

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Sarah Grant
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Click here to read the full article on SPIN.

David Bowie’s third album — the follow-up to his breakout hit “Space Oddity” — was a commercial failure when it arrived in 1970. Its gothic, Nietzchean themes eluded the mainstream. But The Man Who Sold The World was a pivotal record, transitioning Bowie into his signature hard-rock era (Seventies albums like Ziggy Stardust, Hunky Dory, Diamond Dogs).

The album also laid the seeds for Bowie’s band, the Spiders from Mars, bringing in guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer Mick Woodmansey for the first time. Practically every band since have cited The Man Who Sold The World as a direct influence, from Black Sabbath to Nirvana, which re-immortalized the title track in its famous MTV Unplugged concert.

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In 2020, the David Bowie Estate marked this crucial album’s 50th anniversary by releasing Metrobolist, a reissue of The Man Who Sold the World, newly mixed by its original producer, Tony Visconti.

On May 31, the Bowie Estate will release a companion to Metrobolist, called The Width of A Circle (via Parlophone), after the original album’s opening track, an eight-minute prog-rock odyssey. The reissue is a two-CD set that features 21 unreleased tracks, including non-album singles, a BBC 1 Concert 1 Session, and music for a TV play. The set also features four non-album singles newly remixed by Visconti.

See the complete package details below.

The Width of A Circle Tracklisting

CD 1:

THE SUNDAY SHOW INTRODUCED BY JOHN PEEL
Recorded on February 5, 1970 and broadcast on February 8, 1970

1. “Amsterdam” *
2. “God Knows I’m Good” *
3. “Buzz The Fuzz”
4. “Karma Man”
5. “London Bye, Ta-Ta”
6. “An Occasional Dream”
7. “The Width Of A Circle” *
8. “Janine
9. “Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud”
10. “Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed” *
11. “Fill Your Heart”
12. “The Prettiest Star”
13. “Cygnet Committee” *
14. “Memory Of A Free Festival” *

Performed by David Bowie and The Tony Visconti Trio (a.k.a. The Hype)

CD 2:

THE LOOKING GLASS MURDERS AKA PIERROT IN TURQUOISE:
1. “When I Live My Dream”
2. “Columbine”
3. “The Mirror”
4. “Threepenny Pierrot”
5. “When I Live My Dream” (Reprise)

SINGLES

1. “The Prettiest Star” (Alternative Mix)
Single mix released on March 6, 1970 on Mercury Records MF 1135. This is the unreleased alternative mix created for promotion in the US market.

2. “London Bye, Ta-Ta” *
Originally recorded and rejected as the follow up single to “Space Oddity”. This mono mix was finally released on the Sound & Vision box set in 1989.

3. “London Bye, Ta-Ta” (1970 Stereo Mix)*
This stereo mix of the above remained unreleased until the reformatted reissue of the Sound & Vision box set in 2003, replacing the mono mix.

4. “Memory Of A Free Festival” (Single Version Part 1)*
5. “Memory Of A Free Festival” (Single Version Part 2)*
The re-recorded electric version of the closing track from the David Bowie (aka Space Oddity) album released as a single on Mercury Records 6052 026 on June 26, 1970.

6. “Holy Holy” *
This non-album single A side, backed by the album version of “Black Country Rock” from The Man Who Sold The World album, was released on Mercury Records 6052 049 on January 15, 1971.

SOUNDS OF THE 70’S: ANDY FERRIS SHOW
Recorded on March 25, 1970 and broadcast on the April 6, 1970

1. “Waiting For The Man”
2. “The Width Of A Circle”
3. “The Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud” *
4. “The Supermen (Bowie At The Beeb vinyl only)” *
Performed by David Bowie and The Hype

2020 MIXES
1. “The Prettiest Star” (2020 Mix)
2. “London Bye, Ta-Ta” (2020 Mix)
3. “Memory Of A Free Festival” (Single Version – 2020 Mix)
4. “All The Madmen” (Single Edit 2020 Mix)
5. “Holy Holy” (2020 Mix)

(*denotes previously released)

THE WIDTH OF A CIRCLE 10” SINGLE & 96/24 digital E.P.

Available only from the official David Bowie store.

Side 1
1. “The Prettiest Star” (2020 Mix)
2. “London Bye, Ta-Ta” (2020 Mix)

Side 2
1. “Memory Of A Free Festival” (2020 Mix)
2. “Holy Holy” (2020 Mix)

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