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David Bowie Box Set to Include Unreleased Album, ‘The Gouster’


The first release of David Bowie‘s archive since his death in January is being prepared. A box set that covers the mid-’70s, called Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976), will be coming out and its main draw appears to be the original version of what became Young Americans, a seven-song album called The Gouster.

The news was announced on Bowie’s Facebook page, adding that full details, including the release date, will arrive next week. Who Can I Be Now? (1974 – 1976) is the sequel to last year’s 12-CD box, Five Years 1969-1973.

Co-producer Tony Visconti’s liner notes explains the title’s origin. “Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African American teens in the ‘60’s, in Chicago. But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut we were enamored of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude.”

As with the album it became, The Gouster grew out of Bowie’s love of soul music. “We were fans of the TV show Soul Train, he continued.” We weren’t ‘young, gifted and black’ but we sure as hell wanted to make a killer soul album, which was quite insane, but pioneers like the Righteous Brothers were there before us.”

By the time The Gouster became Young Americans, “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” “It’s Gonna Be Me” and “Who Can I Be Now?” were replaced with “Win,” “Fascination,” “Fame” and his cover of the Beatles‘ “Across the Universe.” While “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again),” a remake of his 1972 hit, “John, I’m Only Dancing,” was released as a single in 1979, the other two remain unreleased until they were included as bonus tracks on the 1991 reissue of Young Americans and also on its 2007 “Special Edition.” This new box set restores all those songs in the sequence (see below) in which they were initially intended.

David Bowie, ‘The Gouster’ Track Listing

Side 1

1. “John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)”
2. “Somebody Up There Likes Me ”
3. “It’s Gonna Be Me”

Side 2

1. “Who Can I Be Now?”
2. “Can You Hear Me”
3. “Young Americans”
4. “Right”

Every David Bowie Single Ranked

Next: David Bowie Year by Year in Photographs

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