TOY REVIEW: Quirks from Bowie’s Pre-Fame Past | Music | Entertainment

Bowie, who would have turned 75 tomorrow, mixed up new takes on little-known acts and a few new tracks, but the record was never released. He blamed his label, but it’s just as likely that David gave up on the idea.

He was, after all, an avowed “chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature” who constantly experimented with musical direction and his public image.

But Can’t Help Thinking About Me – a 1966 single from David Bowie and The Lower Third – arguably sounds better as a ’60s pop mod than on that overproduced 2001 makeover.

Ditto The London Boys, an evocative ballad about teenage mods that blow the pills in Soho.

Often hailed as Bowie’s first masterpiece, the haunting and unsettling song was produced by Tony ‘New Faces’ Hatch and released as the B-side of Rubber Band.

The re-recorded version is larger and livelier, and while still great, it lacks the youthful charm of the 1966 original.

Best of all is the slower, deeper Conversation Piece, which began life as the B-side of the 1970 single The Prettiest Star (which was an old London song Bye Ta-Ta rewritten about future wife Angie Barnett). We’re also getting a great reboot of Shadow Man, a never-before-seen issue from the Ziggy era.

The title track, Toy (Your Turn To Drive), was released in 2014 on Nothing Has Changed, and the entire album was released as part of an expensive 2021 box set.

This extended 3CD set isn’t his best work, but it’s a must-have for die-hard fans – and a reminder of Bowie’s remarkable songwriting talent before fame.

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