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Unreleased David Bowie Album, 'Toy', Set For Official Release
Christian Eede , September 30th, 2021 20:01

The 2001 album's original release was shelved amid troubles with Bowie's label

David Bowie's 2001 album Toy, which was never officially released due to problems with his record label, is to get its first official release in November.

A mix of new songs and re-recordings of lesser-known tracks dating between 1964 and 1971, Toy was recorded live in the studio shortly after Bowie's headline performance at Glastonbury in 2000. He planned to surprise release the album as soon as it was finished, but his label, EMI/Virgin, stalled on the project, which it's been speculated may have led to Bowie's eventual switch to Columbia Records.

The album was later leaked online in 2011, but never officially released until now, with the release coming as part of a reissue campaign of Bowie's work. You can listen to the re-recording of early single 'You've Got A Habit Of Learning', from Toy, above.

"Toy is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy," says co-producer Mark Plati of the album. "It's the sound of people happy to be playing music. David revisited and re-examined his work from decades prior through prisms of experience and fresh perspective — a parallel not lost on me as I now revisit it twenty years later. From time to time, he used to say, 'Mark, this is our album' — I think because he knew I was so deeply in the trenches with him on that journey. I'm happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us."

The album will be released in a box set, which will feature alternative versions, proposed B-sides, and the 'Tibet Version' of 'Silly Boy Blue', which was recorded in 2001 with Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar. A third disc in the set, Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric, takes in alternate mixes of 13 Toy tracks, while the package also features previously unseen photos.

Parlophone will release Toy:Box on November 26, 2021.