David Bowie – “I Can’t Read ’97”

Some new material is making its way out of the David Bowie archives. Last week, we found out about a pair of releases featuring some unreleased and alternative versions of songs.

One, ChangesNowBowie, will be out on Record Store Day (4/18) and will highlight a mostly acoustic performance done in November 1996 during rehearsals for his 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden. The other one, Is It Any Wonder?, is an EP consisting of six tracks and will be released one song at a time over the next few weeks.

Today, we’re getting a new take of “I Can’t Read, which was originally written by Bowie and Reeves Gabrels for their 1989 debut album as Tin Machine. Bowie recorded a solo version of the track in 1997 for the great Ang Lee film The Ice Storm. It turns out that was actually the second attempt at doing the track on his own, though. It was also recorded during the sessions for Earthling and was included on a mastered version of the album, but scrapped in favor of “The Last Thing You Should Do.” Per a press release, the version of “I Can’t Read” being released today was Bowie’s preferred solo version.

You can hear it alongside a video that puts together footage that Tim Pope shot in Hartford, CT during some 1997 rehearsals.

Tags: David Bowie