Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Spying Through a Keyhole into a different, raw side of David Bowie offers exactly what fans would expect to hear from the industry innovator. Released on April 5 in a seven-inch vinyl boxset to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the 1969 album, David Bowie, Spying Through a Keyhole gives listeners a glimpse of what exactly went into producing some of Bowie’s greatest masterpieces.
The nine-track record features demos of previously released tracks, one of which being Bowie’s first major hit “Space Oddity” and other rare—perhaps unheard—songs from the late industry figure. The previously unreleased and almost uncut recordings of Bowie include “Mother Grey,” “Goodbye 3d (Threepenny) Joe,” “Love All Around,” and two different versions of “Angel Angel Grubby Face, ” ultimately giving fans a peek into Bowie’s recording process while writing songs for his second studio album in 1968.
One of the most notable parts of the 27-minute-long album is the rawness present in each track. Listeners can hear Bowie bashing around on an acoustic guitar while some of his most quintessential hits materialize out of thin air in the process. The release allows for fans, new and old, to cultivate a sort of intimacy with the artist that hasn’t been felt before.
At the start of the first demo for “Space Oddity,” which has become the most deliberated point of release, Bowie coos the archetypal lyrics, “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,” all the while an acoustic guitar harmonizes in the back. Distinctively antithetical to the original exemplar production of the song, the demo of “Space Oddity” and the rest of the record prove to bring a completely new side to not only the song but to Bowie himself.