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31 May 2024

David Bowie, ‘I Can’t Explain’: Previously Unheard Who Cover Released: Listen

David Bowie Rock'n'Roll packshot
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The latest track from the forthcoming box set David Bowie Rock’n’Roll Star! has been released. Listen to Bowie’s cover of The Who’s I Can’t Explain (Trident Studios Version – Take 2) below.

pre-order David Bowie Rock’n’Roll Star! here

The 5CD+Blu-ray box set – out 14 June and available to pre-order now – explores David Bowie’s journey from February 1971 through the creation of Ziggy Stardust, and the recording of the iconic The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album. Highlights from the set will also be available as a half-speed mastered LP.

Rock’n’Roll Star! features 29 unreleased tracks, including early songwriting demos, recordings from David’s band, The Arnold Corns, rehearsals at Bowie’s then-home, Haddon Hall, BBC sessions, singles, live performances, plus outtakes and alternative versions from the album recording sessions, which have been newly mixed by original co-producer, Ken Scott.

I Can’t Explain’ (Trident Studios Version – Take 2) is a cover of The Who’s classic 1965 debut single. It was produced by David and recorded at Trident Studios in Soho, London, on 24 June 1972. This high energy version of the track has remained undiscovered for over 50 years. Bowie would record the song again, at a much slower tempo, a year later with co-producer Ken Scott for his Pin-Ups album. Other unreleased highlights on Rock’n’Roll Star!, include an unheard version of the deep-cut classic Shadow Man and Lady Stardust (Alternative Version – Take 1) performed in a much lower register to the released version.

The audio-only Blu-Ray disc features the definitive 2012 remaster of the original Ziggy Stardust album in 96kHz/24bit PCM stereo, plus the album and additional mixes from 2003 in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as well as the singles, outtakes and alternative versions in 96kHz/24 bit PCM stereo.

Rock’n’Roll Star! also contains two books. The first is an extensive 112-page book with detailed liner notes, memorabilia, contemporary reviews and articles, rare photographs from Barrie Wentzel, Michael Putland, Mick Rock, Sukita and Alec Byrne, as well as brand-new notes and interviews with Ken Scott, Mark Carr Pritchett and David’s plugger from the time, Anya Wilson. Accompanying the main book is a 36-page compiled reproduction of David’s personal Ziggy Stardust-era notebooks.


Disc 1
1. So Long 60s (San Francisco Hotel recording) *
2. Hang On To Yourself (early demo) *
3. Lady Stardust (demo)
4. Ziggy Stardust (demo)
5. Star (Aka Stars) (demo) *
6. Soul Love (demo and DB spoken notes) *
7. Starman (demo 1 excerpt) *
8. Starman (demo 2) *
9. Moonage Daydream (The Arnold Corns version)
10. Hang On To Yourself (The Arnold Corns version)
11. Looking For A Friend (The Arnold Corns version – rough mix) *
12. Haddon Hall Rehearsals Segue: Ziggy Stardust / Holy Holy / Soul Love *
13. Star (Aka Stars) (Haddon Hall rehearsal) *
14. Sweet Head (Haddon Hall rehearsal) *

Disc 2
Sounds Of The 70s: John Peel
Session recorded on 11th January, 1972 and broadcast on 28th January, 1972
1. Ziggy Stardust *
2. Queen Bitch *
3. Waiting For The Man *
4. Lady Stardust *

Sounds Of The 70s: Bob Harris
Session recorded on 18th January, 1972 and broadcast on 7th February, 1972
5. Hang On To Yourself
6. Ziggy Stardust
7. Queen Bitch
8. Waiting For The Man
9. Five Years

Old Grey Whistle Test Performance
Filmed on 7th February, 1972 and broadcast on 8th February, 1972
except ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ which was not broadcast until 1982.
10. Oh! You Pretty Things (take 1)
11. Queen Bitch
12. Five Years

Disc 3
Sounds Of The 70s: John Peel
Session recorded on 16th May, 1972 and broadcast on 23rd May, 1972
1. White Light/White Heat
2. Moonage Daydream
3. Hang On To Yourself
4. Suffragette City
5. Ziggy Stardust

Johnnie Walker Lunchtime Show
Session recorded on 22nd May, 1972 and broadcast from 5th – 9th June, 1972
6. Starman
7. Space Oddity
8. Changes
9. Oh! You Pretty Things

Sounds Of The 70s: Bob Harris
Session recorded on 23rd May, 1972 and broadcast On 19th June, 1972
10. Andy Warhol
11. Lady Stardust
12. White Light/White Heat
13. Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide

Top Of The Pops Performance
Filmed on 5th July, 1972 and broadcast on 6th July, 1972
14. Starman

Disc 4
1. Round And Round
2. The Supermen (Ziggy session version)
3. Holy Holy (Ziggy session version)
4. Velvet Goldmine (Ziggy session outtake)
5. Starman (original single mix)
6. John, I’m Only Dancing (original single version)

Recorded Live At The Music Hall, Boston.
Recorded on 1st October, 1972
7. The Supermen
8. Changes
9. Life On Mars?
10. My Death *
11. John, I’m Only Dancing

Disc 5
1. Looking For A Friend (The Arnold Corns version 2022 mix) *
2. Hang On To Yourself (early Ziggy session take) *
3. Star (take 5 alternative version) *
4. Lady Stardust (take 1 alternative version) *
5. Shadow Man (Ziggy session version) *
6. The Supermen (Ziggy session version 2023 Mix) *
7. Holy Holy (Ziggy session version alternative mix) *
8. Round And Round (alternative mix)
9. It’s Gonna Rain Again (Ziggy session outtake) *
10. Looking For A Friend (Ziggy session version) *
11. Velvet Goldmine (Ziggy sessions outtake 2022 mix) *
12. Sweet Head (Ziggy sessions outtake 2022 mix) *
13. Starman (Top Of The Pops version 2022 mix)
14. John, I’m Only Dancing (alternative Trident Studios version) *
15. I Can’t Explain (Trident Studios version) *
Bonus Mix
16. Moonage Daydream (2003 instrumental mix)

Blu Ray Audio
Original album mix (96khz/24bit Stereo)

2003 5.1 Mixes (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – 96khz/24bit)

Early Ziggy Stardust album tracklisting – December 1971 (96khz/24bit PCM stereo)

(96khz/24bit PCM stereo)

(96khz/24bit PCM stereo)

pre-order David Bowie Rock’n’Roll Star! here

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