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David Bowie

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Release date: 
November 14, 1969
Total Tracks: 
10
Audio Category: 
Label: 
Philips UK
Mercury US
Design: 
David Bowie/CML33 - Design concept
Vernon Dewhurst - Front cover photograph and artwork based on 'CTA 25 Neg™' by Victor Vasarely
George Underwood: Back cover illustration Width Of A Circle
Producer: 
Tony Visconti, except Space Oddity
Gus Dudgeon, Space Oddity only

    David Bowie

    • Design David Bowie/CML33 - Design concept
    • Design Vernon Dewhurst - Front cover photograph and artwork based on 'CTA 25 Neg™' by Victor Vasarely
    • Design George Underwood: Back cover illustration Width Of A Circle
    Released November 1969
    Label Philips UK, Mercury US
    Producers Tony Visconti, except Space Oddity, Gus Dudgeon, Space Oddity only

    This album was released as Man Of Words/Man Of Music on Mercury in the US omitting the track Don't Sit Down.
    It was reissued worldwide on RCA as Space Oddity in 1972 with a Ziggy-era sleeve.
    Scroll the images to see George Underwood’s painting Width Of A Circle and the Mercury and RCA versions of this album.

  • 1
    Space Oddity

    Ground Control to Major Tom,
    Ground Control to Major Tom,
    Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.

    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Commencing countdown, engines on
    Check ignition and may God's love be with you.

    Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five,
    Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff

    This is Ground Control to Major Tom,
    You've really made the grade
    And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear.
    Now it's time to leave the capsule if you dare.

    "This is Major Tom to Ground Control,
    I'm stepping through the door
    And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
    And the stars look very different today.

    For here
    Am I sitting in a tin can.
    Far above the world,
    Planet Earth is blue
    And there's nothing I can do.

    Though I'm past one hundred thousand miles,
    I'm feeling very still,
    And I think my spaceship knows which way to go.
    Tell my wife I love her very much she knows."

    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Your circuits dead, there's something wrong.
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you...

    "Here I am floating round my tin can,
    Far above the Moon,
    Plant Earth is blue
    And there's nothing I can do."

  • 2
    Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed

    Spy, spy, pretty girl,
    I see you see me through your window.
    Don't turn your nose up,
    Well, you can if you need to, you won't be the first or the last.
    It must strain you to look down so far from your father's
    house,
    And I know what a louse like me in his house could do for
    you.
    I'm the Cream
    Of the Great Utopia Dream.
    And you're the gleam
    In the depths of your banker's spleen.

    I'm a phallus in pigtails
    And there's blood on my nose,
    And my tissue is rotting
    Where the rats chew my bones,
    And my eye sockets empty
    See nothing but pain,.
    I keep having this brainstorm
    About twelve times a day.
    So now, you could spend the morning walking with me,
    quite amazed.
    As I'm Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed.

    I got eyes in my backside
    That see electric tomatoes
    On credit card rye bread.
    There are children in washrooms
    Holding hands with a queen.
    And my heads full of murders
    Where only killers scream.
    So now you could spend the morning talking with me
    quite amazed
    Look out, I'm raving mad and Somewhat Slightly Dazed.

    Now you run from your window
    To the porcelain bowl.
    And you're sick from your ears
    To the red parquet floor.
    And the Braque on the wall
    Slides down from front
    And eats through your belly.
    It's very catching.
    So now, you should spend the mornings lying to your father quite amazed
    About the strange Unwashed and Happily Slightly Dazed.

  • 3
    (Don't Sit Down)
  • 4
    Letter To Hermione

    The hand that wrote this letter
    sweeps the pillow clean.
    So rest your head and read a treasured dream.
    I care for no one else but you.
    I tear my soul to cease the pain.
    I think maybe you feel the same.
    What can we do?
    I’m not quite sure what we are supposed to do.
    So I’ve been writing just for you.

    They say your life is going very well.
    They say you sparkle like a different girl.
    But something tells me that you hide
    When all the world is warm and tired.
    You cry a little in the dark,
    Well so do I.
    I’m not quite sure what you are supposed to say.
    But I can see it’s not okay.

    He makes you laugh.
    He brings you out in style.
    He treats you well
    And makes you up real fine.
    And when he’s strong,
    He’s strong for you.
    And when you kiss.
    It’s something new.
    But did you ever call my name
    Just by mistake?
    I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do.
    So I’ll just write some love to you.

  • 5
    Cygnet Committee

    I bless you madly
    Sadly as I tie my shoes.
    I love you badly
    Just in time, at times, I guess.
    Because of you I need to rest,
    Because it's you that sets the test.

    So much has gone and little is new
    And as the sparrow sings
    Dawn chorus for
    Someone else to hear,
    The Thinker sits alone growing older
    And so bitter.

    "I gave Them life,
    I gave Them all.
    They drained my very soul dry.
    I crushed my heart to ease Their pains
    No thought for me remains there.
    Nothing can They spare.
    What of me?
    Who praised Their efforts to be free?
    Words of strength and care and sympathy.
    I opened doors that would have blocked Their
    way.
    I braved Their cause to guide, for little pay.
    I ravaged at my finance just for Those,
    Those whose claims were steeped in peace,
    tranquillity.
    Those who said a new world, new ways ever free.
    Those whose promises stretched in hope and grace for me."

    I bless you madly,
    Sadly as I tie my shoes.
    I love you badly
    Just in time, at times, I guess.
    Because of You I need to rest, oh yes,
    Because it's You that sets the test.

    So much has gone and little is new
    And as the sunrise stream
    Flickers on me,
    My friends talk
    Of glory untold dream, where all is God and God is just a word.

    "We had a friend, a talking man
    Who spoke of many powers that he had.
    Not of the best of men, but Ours.
    We're used to him.
    We let him use his powers.
    We let him fill Our needs.
    Now We are strong.

    And the road is coming to its end.
    Now the damned have no time to make amends.
    No purse of token fortunes stands in Our way.
    The silent guns of love will blast the sky.

    We broke the ruptured structure built of age.
    Our weapons were the tongues of crying rage.
    Where money stood
    We planted seeds of rebirth
    And stabbed the backs of fathers,
    Sons of dirt.

    Infiltrated business cesspools,
    Hating through Our sleeves,
    Yea, and We slit the Catholic throat
    Stoned the poor on slogans such as

    'Wish You Could Hear,'
    'Love Is All We Need,'
    'Kick Out The Jams,'
    'Kick Out Your Mother,'
    'Cut Up Your Friend,'
    'Screw Up Your Brother or He'll Get You In the End.'

    And We Know the Flag of Love is from Above.
    And We Can Force You to Believe."

    And I close my eyes and tighten up my brain,
    For I once read a book in which the lovers were slain,
    For they knew not the words of the Free States' refrain,
    It said:

    "I believe in the Power of Good.
    I Believe in the State of Love.
    I Will Fight For the Right to be Right.
    I Will Kill for the Good of the Fight for the Right to be Right."

    And I opened my eyes to look around,
    And I see a child laid slain on the ground.
    As a love machine lumbers through desolation rows,
    Ploughing down man, woman, listening to its command.
    But not hearing anymore-
    Not hearing anymore,
    Just the shrieks from the old rich.

    And I Want to Believe
    In the madness that calls 'Now.'
    And I want to Believe
    That a light's shining through,
    Somehow.

    And I Want to Believe
    And You Want to Believe
    And We Want to Believe
    And We Want to Live
    Oh, We Want to Live

    We Want to Live
    We Want to Live
    We Want to Live
    We Want to Live
    We Want to Live

  • 6
    Janine

    Oh my love, Janine
    I'm helpless for your smile.
    Like a Polish wanderer,
    I travel ever onwards to your land.
    And were it not just for the jewels I'd close your hand.

    Your strange demand
    To 'collocate' my mind
    Scares me into gloom.
    You're too intense,
    I'll have to keep you in your place.
    I've no defence.
    I've got to keep my veil on my face.

    Janine, Janine, you'd like to know me well,
    But I've got things inside my head
    That even I can't face.

    Janine, Janine, you'd like to crash my walls,
    But if you take an axe to me
    You'll kill another man
    Not me at all.

    You're fey, Janine,
    A tripper to the last.
    But if I catch you standing on my toes
    I'll have a right to shout you down.
    For you're a lazy stream
    In which my thoughts would drown.

    So stay, Janine,
    And we can glide along.
    I've caught your wings for laughs,
    I'm not obliged to read you statements of the year.
    So take your glasses off
    And don't act so sincere.

    Janine, Janine, you'd like to know me well,
    But I've got things inside my head
    That even I can't face.

    Janine, Janine, you'd like to crash my walls,
    But if you take an axe to me
    You'll kill another man
    Not me at all.

  • 7
    An Occasional Dream

    I recall how we lived
    On the corner of a bed
    And we'd speak of a Swedish room
    Of hessian and wood.
    And we'd talk with our eyes
    Of the sweetness in our lives
    And tomorrows of rich surprise...
    Some things we could do.

    In our madness
    We burnt one hundred days,
    Time takes time to pass
    And I still hold some ashes to me,
    An Occasional Dream.

    And we'd sleep, oh so close,
    But not really close our eyes
    'Tween the sheets of summer bathed in blue...
    Gently weeping nights.
    It was long, long ago
    And I can't touch your name.

    For the days of fate were strong for you...
    Danced you far from me.

    In my madness
    I see your face in mine.
    I keep a photograph
    It burns my wall with time.
    Time,
    An Occasional Dream
    Of mine.
    An Occasional Dream
    Of mine.
    An Occasional Dream
    Of mine.

  • 8
    Wild Eyed Boy From FreeCloud

    Solemn faced,
    The village settles down,
    Undetected by the stars,
    And the hangman plays the mandolin before he goes to
    sleep.
    And the last thing on his mind
    Is the Wild Eyed Boy imprisoned
    'Neath the covered wooden shaft.
    Folds the rope
    Into its bag.
    Blows his pipe of smolders,
    Blankets smoke into the room.
    And the day will end for some
    As the night begins for one.

    Staring through the message in his eyes
    Lies a solitary son
    From the mountain called Freecloud
    Where the eagle dare not fly.
    And the patience in his sigh
    Gives no indication
    For the townsmen to decide.
    So the village Dreadful yawns
    Pronouncing gross diversion
    As the label for the dog.
    Oh "It's the madness in his eyes"
    As he breaks the night to cry:
    "It's really Me.
    Really You
    And really Me.
    It's so hard for us to really be
    Really You
    And really Me.
    You'll lose me though I'm always really free."

    And the mountain moved its eyes
    To the world of realize
    Where the snow had saved a place
    For the Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud.

    And the village Dreadful cried
    As the rope began to rise
    For the smile stayed on the face
    Of the Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud.

    And the women once proud,
    Clutched the heart of the crowd
    As the boulders smashed down from the mountain's
    hand.
    And the Magic in the stare
    Of the Wild Eyed Boy said:
    "Stop, Freecloud
    They won't think to cut me down."
    But the cottages fell
    Like a playing card hell
    And the tears of the face
    Of the Wise Boy
    Came trembling down
    To the rumbling ground
    And the missionary mystic of peace/love
    They won't think to cut me down."
    But the cottages fell
    Like a playing card hell
    And the tears of the face
    Of the Wise Boy
    Came trembling down
    To the rumbling ground
    And the missionary mystic of peace/love
    Stumbled back to cry among the clouds,
    Kicking back the pebbles
    From the Freecloud mountain
    Track.

  • 9
    God Knows I'm Good

    I was walking through the counters of a national concern
    And a cash machine was spitting by my shoulder.
    And I saw the multitude of faces, honest, rich and clean
    As the merchandise exchanged and money roared.
    And a woman hot with worry slyly slipped a tin of
    stewing steak
    Into the paper bag at her side.
    And her face was white with fear in case her actions were
    observed
    So she closed her eyes to keep her conscience blind.

    Crying
    "God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God may look the other way today.

    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God may look the other way today."

    Then she moved toward the exit clutching tightly at her
    paper bag,
    Perspiration trickled down her forehead.
    And her heart it leapt inside her as the hand laid on her
    shoulder,
    She was led away bewildered and amazed.
    Through her deafened ears the cash machines were
    shrieking on the counter

    As her escort asked her softly for her name.
    And a crowd of honest people rushed to help a tired old
    lady
    Who had fainted to the whirling wooden floor.

    Crying
    "God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    Surely God won't look the other way.

    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    God knows I'm good,
    Surely God won't look the other way."

  • 10
    Memory Of A Free Festival

    The Children of the summer's end
    Gathered in the dampened grass,
    We played Our songs and felt the London sky
    Resting on our hands.
    It was God's land.
    It was ragged and naive.
    It was Heaven.

    Touch, We touched the very soul
    Of holding each and every life.
    We claimed the very source of joy ran through.
    It didn't, but it seemed that way.
    I kissed a lot of people that day.

    Oh, to capture just one drop of all the ecstasy that swept
    that afternoon,
    To paint that love upon a white balloon,
    And fly it from the topest top of all the tops that man has
    pushed beyond his brain.
    Satori must be something just the same.

    We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw
    machines of every shape and size.
    We talked with tall Venusians passing through.
    And Peter tried to climb aboard but the Captain shook
    his head
    And away they soared,
    Climbing through the ivory vibrant cloud.
    Someone passed some bliss among the crowd.
    And We walked back to the road, unchained.

    "The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna
    Have a Party."
    "The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna
    Have a Party."
    "The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna
    Have a Party."
    "The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna
    Have a Party."
    "The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna
    Have a Party."