David Bowie’s Unreleased Album Toy Set for Release
David Bowie’s 2001 album Toy, which was shelved amid problems with his record label, will receive its first official release as part of the late singer’s latest reissue campaign. A mix of new songs and re-recordings of lesser-known tracks from 1964-71, Toy was recorded live in the studio shortly after Bowie’s 2000 Glastonbury performance. He planned to surprise release it almost immediately, but EMI/Virgin stalled, which some say led to Bowie’s switch to Columbia Records. After a leak in 2011, Toy’s official release is set for November 26. Listen to the re-recording of his third single, “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving,” below.
“Toy is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy,” said co-producer Mark Plati of the album, which he recorded alongside Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Holly Palmer, Emm Gryner, Lisa Germano, Gerry Leonard, and Cuong Vu. “It’s the sound of people happy to be playing music. David revisited and re-examined his work from decades prior through prisms of experience and fresh perspective—a parallel not lost on me as I now revisit it twenty years later. From time to time, he used to say ‘Mark, this is our album’—I think because he knew I was so deeply in the trenches with him on that journey. I’m happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us.”
Bonus discs in a Toy box set will feature alternative versions, proposed B-sides, and the “Tibet Version” of “Silly Boy Blue” recorded in 2001 with Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar. A third disc comprises “Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric” mixes of 13 Toy tracks. Toy also features in a box set out the same day called David Bowie 5: Brilliant Adventure (1992–2001), alongside remasters of Black Tie White Noise, The Buddha of Suburbia, Outside, Earthling, Hours, the rarities compilation Re:Call 5, and a live album recorded at BBC Radio Theatre in 2000.
01 I Dig Everything
02 You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving
03 The London Boys
04 Karma Man
05 Conversation Piece
06 Shadow Man
07 Let Me Sleep Beside You
08 Hole in the Ground
09 Baby Loves That Way
10 Can’t Help Thinking About Me
11 Silly Boy Blue
12 Toy (Your Turn to Drive)