Bowie fans will instantly know the names of Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey, bassist and drummer respectively for the Thin White Duke himself.
On September 22 last year, together with Holy Holy with Glenn Gregory, and Steve Norman, the duo recorded a live gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. It was a very special show – comprising covers of Bowie’s entire, “The Man Who Sold The World” album (which Visconti produced), as well as other classic songs from the Bowie back catalogue circa 1970-1973.
Featuring special guest performances by Marc Almond, and Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, this recording will be released on 1 June, via Manicsquat Records.
An unusually (for Bowie) sonically heavy and dystopian album, “The Man Who Sold The World” included lyrical themes including annihilation and a totalitarian machine. Futurist synth sounds blended seamlessly with riff-laden heavy rock, making it the perfect showcase for Visconti’s innovative production techniques.
Sadly missing from this recording (apart from Bowie himself – the vocals of Glenn Gregory are in themselves rich and brilliant) was the distinct and robust guitar of Mick Ronson, who died in 1993. His daughter Lisa and niece Hannah nevertheless represent Ronson ably on the album.
“I am thrilled how well this new album represents the live show we did last September. I always wanted to have a fresh go at playing The Man Who Sold The World album live as it was never played live ever! Woody Woodmansey and I, two of the original musicians who recorded this dark masterpiece, are still ready, willing and able (and I might add, FIT) are joined by Glenn Gregory, not stepping into Mr Bowie’s shoes, but making this music his very own. So to say I’m in HEAVEN when I’m playing with this band is understating how satisfying it is to revisit something I’ve been wanting to do all these years.” – Tony Visconti
“In September last year Tony and I had the pleasure of joining forces as a rhythm section for the first time since 1970 when we recorded The Man Who Sold The World album with David Bowie and Mick Ronson. At the time we were all looking forward to presenting it to audiences in a live situation as we felt it would be exciting for them and us. Unfortunately this never came to pass…until September last year. From the first song in rehearsals, which was ‘Width Of A Circle’, it was obvious that we were right about our earlier excitement. With Glenn Gregory on lead vocals, Steve Norman and the rest of the band, each song had its own special magic, as Bowie songs do. We stayed true to the spirit and essence of the songs whilst adding a contemporary edge to them”. – Woody Woodmansey
“Singing those iconic songs live on stage with such amazing musicians was, I think one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. And fuck me I’m going to do it again… yeehaaaa.” – Glenn Gregory
The recording retains all that is evocative of the original album, and Bowie fans will not be disappointed.