This is a strange album – considered by many to be the first proper Bowie album, this was originally released as David Bowie in 1969, before being repackaged with a different title and released with a different cover in 1972. I have that version – the one with Bowie looking stoned with spiky orange hair on the cover.
I remember being taken to Rock Circus by my parents when I was 8 or 9. Rock Circus was a museum, in Picadilly Circus (hence the name), run by the same people who do Madame Tussauds. Alongside the usual eerie-looking waxworks was a room set up like a small theatre. We took our seats and the first act was Bowie himself doing Space Oddity. In a spacesuit. Revolving around the stage, going upside down and such. Obviously this was just a waxwork, but it looked pretty good – enough to forever stamp that song onto my brain. I think, if memory serves, that Bowie was then followed by The Beatles doing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and maybe With A Little Help From My Friends. Or maybe The Beatles opened for Bowie, I can’t quite remember.
This isn’t a fantastic album. There are flashes of brilliance, but overall it’s full of hippie nonsense and only a tentative sign of things to come.
Hit: Space Oddity
Hidden Gem: Memory Of A Free Festival