David Bowie’s “lost” album ‘Toy’ officially released with tons of bonus material (listen)
Last fall, Rhino Records released the David Bowie box set Brilliant Adventure, which features all of the studio albums he released between 1992 and 2001, a live album, a compilation, and the "lost" album Toy, which was intended for release in 2001 but shelved. Some of its songs were re-recorded for 2002's Heathen, and other Toy recordings were included on the limited edition Heathen bonus disc and the 2014 compilation Nothing Has Changed, but this marked the album's first-ever proper release.
Today, one day before David Bowie would have turned 75, Toy has also been given a standalone release, including on streaming services. Along with the original album, there's also a second disc of alternate mixes and a third disc of "Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric" mixes. Here's more background on the album, via Bowie's site:
TOY was recorded following David's triumphant Glastonbury 2000 performance. Bowie entered the studio with his band, Mark Plati, Sterling Campbell, Gail Ann Dorsey, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Holly Palmer and Emm Gryner, to record new interpretations of songs he’d first recorded from 1964-1971. David planned to record the album ‘old school’ with the band playing live, choose the best takes and then release it as soon as humanly possible in a remarkably prescient manner. Unfortunately, in 2001 the concept of the ‘surprise drop’ album release and the technology to support it were still quite a few years off, making it impossible to release TOY, as the album was now named, out to fans as instantly as David wanted. In the interim, David did what he did best; he moved on to something new, which began with a handful of new songs from the same sessions and ultimately became the album HEATHEN, released in 2002 and now acknowledged as one of his finest moments.
The third CD/set of 10”s features 'Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric’ mixes of thirteen TOY tracks. Producer Mark Plati "While we were recording the basic tracks Earl Slick suggested that he and I overdub acoustic guitars on all the songs. He said this was a Keith Richards’ trick, sometimes these guitars would be a featured part of the track, and at other times they’d be more subliminal. Later while mixing, David heard one of the songs broken down to just vocals and acoustic guitars; this gave him the idea that we ought to do some stripped-down mixes like that and that maybe one day they'd be useful”.
Available in 3CD or 6x10” vinyl formats, TOY (TOY:BOX) is a special edition of the TOY album. The ‘capture the moment’ approach of the recording sessions are extended to the sleeve artwork designed by Bowie featuring a photo of him as a baby with a contemporary face. The package also contains a 16-page full-colour book featuring previously unseen photographs by Frank Ockenfels 3.
Included in TOY:BOX is a second CD/set of 10”s of alternative mixes and versions including proposed B-Sides (versions of David’s debut single ‘Liza Jane’ and 1967’s ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’), later mixes by Tony Visconti and the ‘Tibet Version’ of ‘Silly Boy Blue’ recorded at The Looking Glass Studio at the time of the 2001 Tibet House show in New York featuring Philip Glass on piano and Moby on guitar. The third CD/set of 10”s features the aforementioned 'Unplugged & Somewhat Slightly Electric’ mixes of thirteen TOY tracks.