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1967 - "David Bowie" (AUS/NZ)

1. Uncle Arthur
2. Sell Me a Coat
3. Rubber Band
4. Love You Till Tuesday
5. There Is a Happy Land
6. We Are Hungry Men
7. When I Live My Dream
8. Little Bombardier
9. Silly Boy Blue
10. Come and Buy My Toys
11. Join the Gang
12. She's Got Medals
13. Maid of Bond Street
14. Please Mr. Gravedigger

Like overseas, the first part of David Bowie's career in Australia and New Zealand was distinctly absent of hit albums and singles.

ue to low sales and the subsequent classic status of these first albums, the original issues are now highly prized among collectors.
The history surrounding David Bowie's debut album begins in late 1966 as Bowie commenced recording sessions in London.

At this time, Bowie's manager Ken Pitt traveled to Australia to accompany Decca label mate Crispian St Peters on tour. He took this opportunity to distribute Bowie's records and promos in person to our local radio and TV stations.

Bowie's 14 track debut appeared locally the following year but like all his pre-1972 LPs, it sold few copies and is now a valuable rarity.

In particular is the New Zealand issue which recently came to light as the rarest of all known formats of the LP.
According to Record Collector, the suggested UK price tag is in excess of £450.
Promo Postcard - November 1966. Image from The Pitt Report by Kenneth Pitt

The NZ issue of David Bowie (1967).
According to Record Collector, the differences from the UK edition are subtle. These include a considerably darker cover picture and a reduced back image to make room for the copyright warning and both "His Masters Voice (NZ) Ltd" and Deram script.

Early Singles

Singles were locally issued by Deram but with the exception of the 1973 issue of 'The Laughing Gnome', there is no particular evidence of these charting.

NZ issue of 'Love You Till Tuesday' dated 1967.

Australian issues of 'The Laughing Gnome' backed by 'The Gospel According to Tony Day'. These contain the familiar Deram label and are dated 1967 - a bit deceiving because these are actually 1973 reissues.

Considered a novelty song, 'The Laughing Gnome' caused a bit of drama in the following decade. After Bowie had found an audience as a more 'serious' musician, the song was reissued without his approval. In New Zealand, it climbed to number 3 in 1973 - actually his highest NZ chart single at that point of time - even out-doing 'Space Oddity'!

'The Laughing Gnome' was not the first or last of Bowie's early material to be reissued on 7 inch. The New Zealand single below is a re-issue of 'Do Anything You Say' dated 1972.

NZ issue of 'Do Anything You Say' dated 1972.

The following year (1968), David Bowie engaged in a variety of multimedia projects. On August 1, he found himself on the same bill as Melbourne band The Groop (featuring Brian Cadd) who were starting to make an impact both nationally and overseas. The gig took place at London's Marquee Club.

Queue outside The Marquee Club, London 1968.


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