Parlophone Records have announced the release of an intriguing David Bowie album project to coincide with Record Store Day this year. The album, titled Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth), is taken from the Trident Studios 1/4” stereo tapes dated 15th December 1971, which were created for the then provisional tracklisting for what would become The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars.

The tracklisting runs differently from the Ziggy Stardust album and also features four songs that didn’t make the final album. On side 1, in place of ‘Starman’ is ‘Round And Round’, a Chuck Berry cover. Closing side 2 is Bowie’s version of Jacques Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’ (which would later appear as the B-side to 1973 single ‘Sorrow’).

Side 2 features two long-time non-LP fan favourites, ‘Holy Holy’ and ‘Velvet Goldmine’. The former is a re-recording with The Spiders of a Bowie single originally released in 1971. ‘Velvet Goldmine’ is considered by many to be a lost Ziggy-era classic, one Bowie often referred to as ‘He’s A Goldmine’ or ‘She’s A Goldmine’ in his notebooks and interviews. The track was recorded during the Ziggy sessions but was not released until 26th September 1975, alongside ‘Changes’, backing the re-released album version of ‘Space Oddity’, which peaked at No. 1 in the UK singles chart in November 1975.

The cover sleeve of Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) features a photo of David taken at an early Ziggy Stardust period session by Brian Ward, and the two sides of the inner bags are the fronts of the two Trident Studios tape boxes. The album’s title comes from the lyrics of ‘Starman’ which, along with ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide’ and ‘Suffragette City’, had not yet been recorded when this variation of the album was compiled.

Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) was cut on a customised late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original Trident Studios master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed vinyl cut was by engineer John Webber at AIR Studios, London.

Side 1
Five Years
Soul Love
Moonage Daydream
Round And Round

Side 2
Hang On To Yourself
Ziggy Stardust
Velvet Goldmine
Holy Holy
Lady Stardust

Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth) is released by Parlophone exclusively for Record Store Day 20th April 2024.