Posted: January 10, 2023 in MUSIC
David Bowie Toy artwork

It was the months of July through October 2000 when David Bowie worked on a passion project that came to be known as “TOY” . The plan was to hit a recording studio with his touring band at the time (which included guitarist Earl Slick, bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, pianist Mike Garson and drummer Sterling Campbell) and knock out an entire album as fast as possible for a “surprise” release. Hoping to get the LP out by March 2001, the entire project was shelved by the label, leading Bowie to jump ship to a new label and craft what became his 23rd studio album, “Heathen”. As for “TOY”, various tracks from the record surfaced over the years, but it wasn’t until 2021 when “TOY” was officially released; first as part of the “Brilliant Adventure (1999-2001)” box set, then later as a deluxe edition in January 2022.

The urgency and spontaneous energy of tunes like “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving” permeates the inspired and truly brilliant posthumous release. Give it a spin to recognize Bowie’s heavenly birthdate of January 8th.

Between his early masterpieces like “Hunky Dory” and his 26th and final album “Blackstar”it shouldn’t come as a surprise that David Bowie made plenty of music that fell through the cracks or never saw a proper release. But Ziggy Stardust devotees will be happy to know that “Toy”, Bowie’s elusive 2001 album, has finally received its proper commercial release today.

“Toy” arrived as part of an archival box set titled Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001). Bowie recorded it in 2001, in the aftermath of his 2000 Glastonbury performance. His intent with “Toy” was to reimagine some of his earlier recordings with a full band and then surprise-release the record, but when his label EMI/Virgin squashed those plans, Bowie then signed to Columbia, ditched “Toy” altogether, and moved along to making his 2002 album “Heathen”. Some of the “Heathen” tracks were originally intended for “Toy”which was eventually leaked in 2011, but today marks the album’s first official release.

“Toy” is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy,” said Bowie producer Mark Plati in a statement. “It’s the sound of people happy to be playing music. David revisited and re-examined his work from decades prior through prisms of experience and fresh perspective — a parallel not lost on me as I now revisit it twenty years later. From time to time, he used to say ‘Mark, this is our album’ — I think because he knew I was so deeply in the trenches with him on that journey. I’m happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us.”

Following its inclusion in the archival box set, “Brilliant Adventure (1992 – 2001)”, “Toy” will receive a standalone release as a multi-disc set called “TOY:BOX” on January 7th.

In more Bowie news, the iconic musician will be further memorialized in a forthcoming documentary by filmmaker Brett Morgen, who pored over thousands of hours of unseen concert footage for the project.

Toy Tracklist:
01. I Dig Everything
02. You’ve Got a Habit Of Leaving
03. The London Boys
04. Karma Man
05. Conversation Piece
06. Shadow Man
07. Let Me Sleep Beside You
08. Hole In the Ground
09. Baby Loves That Way
10. Can’t Help Thinking About Me
11. Silly Boy Blue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.