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Thursday, September 19, 2013

David Bowie "Space Oddity" Isolated Vocal

Here's one of the cooler isolated tracks if you're a David Bowie fan. It's the isolated vocal from his hit "Space Oddity."

As some of you might know, I co-wrote the memoir of Ken Scott (Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust), who engineered two Bowie records and engineer/produced 4 (include the seminal Ziggy Stardust)This is one that he didn't do however, because Bowie's producer at the time (Tony Visconti) hated the song and refused to work on it. Gus Dudgeon (who went on to fame producing early Elton John) stepped in and brought his own engineer.

Surprisingly, this song was a hit and brought Bowie to temporary prominence, but it also brought his career to a temporary halt, since "Space Oddity" was declared a "novelty." In fact, he quit the business for a short time afterwards, only to come back to record both Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust in quick succession with Ken.

Ken has said that Bowie might have been the best vocalist he's ever worked with, as 99% of the vocals on all the albums he worked on were first take! Here are some things to listen for.

1. Bowie doesn't begin to sing the verse until :32, but you can hear him making mouth noises before that.

2. There are a few flat parts, but these are mostly at the end of phrases as he drops his breath, not that it ever bothered anyone before as you can't hear them in the track. Still, these are things we would have fixed today.

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