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the man who sold the world   1971

1. Width Of A Circle
2. All The Madmen
3. Black Country Rock
4. After All
5. Running Gun Blues
6. Saviour Machine
7. She Shook Me Cold
8. The Man Who Sold The World
9. The Supermen
Bonus Tracks
10. Lightening Frightening
11. Holy Holy
12. Moonage Daydream
13. Hang Onto Yourself

B7C Review

Bowie's ultimate 'hard rock' album. High notes are the title track and a lengthy 'Width Of A Circle'.


One of Bowie's most 'hard-rock sounding' albums, TMWSTW, released in April of 1971, hit the charts at #26 (for 31 weeks) in the UK and at #105 in the US. 
Produced by Tony Visconti, all songs composed by Bowie. Only 'Width Of A Circle' was written before the recording sessions for this album commenced. The talent of Mick Ronson extended the originally three-minute song into an eight minute masterpiece with his
extravagant guitar playing.
The Man Who Sold The World originally had three different release album covers. The fact is that the record producers would not allow a man in a dress to be situated on an album cover. Bowie was obviously upset about this, but he soon won the case. In the meantime, an alternate cover had to be provided. There was an illustrated cover, and another black and white pose.
Most of the ideas on Bowie's part were 'contributed' during the last few days of recording, and the essence of each song and mixing were last-minute projects for Bowie, musicians and Visconti.

Holy Holy
(1970) This song was released as a single in January of 1971. In 1973, Bowie re-recorded the song during sessions for 'Aladdin Sane' and it was released about a year later as a B-side to the 'Diamond Dogs' single.
Lightning Frightening
(1970) Originally titled 'I've Got Lightning' (presumed), this song was recorded during the summer of which Bowie was at Haddon Hall.
Another song recorded/written at the same time was 'Rupert The Riley'. Bowie wrote this song about his Riley car - it had stalled unfortunately outside of the Lewisham Police Station, and Bowie left it in gear. He then turned up the engine and the car went forward, letting the starting handle sink into his leg [which barely missed an artery]. This accident left him in the hospital for about a week...
Moonage Daydream / Hang Onto Yourself
These versions of the song were heavily re-mastered for the Ziggy Stardust LP and were also released in 1971 as a single under the name Arnold Corns.

Mick Ronson (guitar)
Tony Visconti (bass)
Mick Woodmansey (drums)
Ralph Mace (synthesizer)
David Bowie (vocals and guitar)

Mercury 6338 041 (UK)   Mercury SR 61325 (US)
Re-released on Rykodisc CD: [1990] RCD 10132