In the years between 1974 and 1976, David Bowie went on an absolutely ridiculous creative streak, one that took him from the sci-fi glam-rock theatrics of Diamond Dogs through the Philly soul pastiche of Young Americans and the art-rock squalor of Station To Station. In three years! And in between Aladdin Sane and Young Americans, Bowie recorded a full album called The Gouster, which he never released. The songs he recorded for the album ended up forming the skeleton of Young Americans, so it presents a fascinating picture of an artist in transition.
Today, we get the release of Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976), a new box set that covers everything Bowie did during those years. And that set includes the first-ever release of The Gouster, which starts with a soul-disco version of the Ziggy Stardust nugget “John, I’m Only Dancing” that went unreleased until 1979. The album also has alternate versions of songs like “Young Americans” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” Versions of all the songs on The Gouster eventually came out, which is a bit frustrating for people who were hoping to hear never-released songs from that era, like “I Am A Lazer” and “Shilling The Rubes.” Still, this is the first time the world has gotten to hear The Gouster all together. Check it out below; it’s the fourth disc in the box-set Spotify stream, and it starts with “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” track 50 in the embed below.
Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1977) is out now, and you can find all the details on Bowie’s site.