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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:12 am
User avatarSite AdminPosts: 1308Location: AmsterdamJoined: 5th Dec, 2007
Over on the BWW messageboard doc discovered a digital download of a Riot Squad compilation called The Last Chapter: Mods & Sods.

This compilation contains several tracks featuring Bowie, most unheard before versions:
- Waiting for My Man
- Silver Tree Top Jam
- Silver Tree Top - School for Boy's
- Toy Soldier - Little Sadie
- Toy Soldier
- Silly Boy Blues

From here:
Quote:
13th March: At The Swan in Tottenham, the band rehearse with David on vocals, performing 'Little Toy Soldier, 'Silly Boy Blue' and 'Silver Tree Top School For Boys'. The band were known for their flamboyant use of face paint and theatrical stage show.


I guess these tracks (except Waiting For The Man) might be recordings from those rehearsals?

It is available from at least Itunes, Amazon and cdbaby (does anyone know which offers the best quality files?). I haven't been able to find a physical release.

The amazing thing is that this has been online since May, and noone has noticed it before now!

Image


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:51 am
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Site AdminPosts: 911Location: UitgeestJoined: 28th Dec, 2006
Something went wrong with the promo department obviously, what a find! Here's an excerpt from the album notes:
Quote:
In 17th March 1967, at Bob’s invitation, they were joined by David Bowie, who, up until then, had had record releases, but no hits. It is believed that even during his time with the Riot Squad, he was still recording material for an album (maybe even for ‘Space Oddity’). The group then consisted of six members: Bowie (lead vocalist, mouth-harp and guitar) Rod Davies (guitar), ‘Croke’ Prebble (bass), Bob Evans (tenor-saxophone/vocasl, flute), ‘Butch’ Davis (keyboards) and ‘Del’ Roll (drums). Evans recalls that before a gig at Tiles club in Oxford Street (London) David had produced a hand-made sandwich board, promoting the event and had walked up and down outside the club, wearing it. This incarnation went on to record several tracks with David. They include a cover of The Velvet Underground's ‘I'm Waiting for the Man’ (Disc 1 track 8 ), the Velvet-influenced Bowie original ‘Little Toy Soldier’ (Disc 2 tracks 2 and 3) and his own original - ‘Silver Treetop for Boys’ (Disc 1 tracks 10 and 11 were the Bowie directed rehearsal tape) He introduced Croak to the Vocals.
Bob Evans: "David fronted the Riot Squad for over twenty gigs and during this period, we recorded with him privately and with him at Decca studios for his album ‘The World of David Bowie’. - some titles have been bootlegged over the decades.”
Bowie stayed just long enough to get the beginning of a solo career off the ground - it seems to have always been understood that he was working on plans of his own, in between gigs with the band.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:55 pm
User avatarPosts: 375Location: Hobart, TasmaniaJoined: 28th Dec, 2007
Great find.

From the itunes samples. Little Toy Soldier sounds like the known version as does Waiting For The Man.

The Sadie demo (CD1 track 9) is legit, i've downloaded that. Is this a previously unknown version of this track?
Obviously previously uncirculated and not publicly known but any word in private circles does anyone know?

The two Silver Treetops have no Bowie singing but that is just the clips. The liner notes do say Bowie directed rehearsal so maybe he pops up in the full track. I'm now enduring nine minutes of it as I type.

Silly Boy Blue is a great solo demo that i don't think i've heard before. Damn i love this song. An early demo i'd say. Again, has this ever been talked about before?

Clutching at straws on the other tracks, Old Black Car has Bowiesque backing vocals. at a push.

Morning Dew sounds very Deram era Bowie but it's an instrumental so who cares i guess.

In the clip of the song Party Political Broadcast, following the line "You'll get a better deal from Mr Pompidou" it's either Bowie or the best impersonator ever. Anyone know about this song?

Made it to the end of the Tree Top rehearsal. I want my money back. Guess i've lost the nine minutes.


Last edited by attfield on Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:31 pm
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Posts: 145Joined: 13th May, 2009
The Riot Squad incl. Bowie material was auctioned in 2004:

Publicity poster designed by Bowie:

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/11386/lot/305/

Rehearsel tape:

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/11386/lot/304/


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:30 pm
User avatarSite AdminPosts: 1308Location: AmsterdamJoined: 5th Dec, 2007
I have now heard the full tracks, and Silly Boy Blue and the Little Toy Soldier demo's are definitely the most interesting. Waiting For The Man has a few extra seconds at the start as well. Silver Treetop doesn't seem to feature Bowie (on vocals at least).
Great stuff!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:50 am
User avatarPosts: 1885Location: takasaki, japanJoined: 28th May, 2008
Waiting For The Man is in inferior quality to what circulates on bootleg. the extra few seconds at the start are from another source entirely. both intro and track are in mono, but stereo on bootlegs. the fidelity is very poor, just a 9.5kHz frequency peak (vs 44.1kHz CD range).
Attachment:
This is a thumbnail + waiting.jpg
waiting.jpg [ 219.98 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]



Little Toy Soldier is the same version and similar quality to what circulates on bootleg. it's in stereo. however it ends abruptly and is missing about 12 seconds of sound effects and the fade.

the 2:13 Little Toy Soldier demo/rehearsal also ends abruptly but is previously uncirculated AFAIK. it's in mono and fidelity is very good if a little harsh.

the 2:58 Silly Boy Blue demo probably shouldn't be on this set as it appears to be a solo Bowie demo (voice and guitar). like other demos of the era it looks to have been deliberately "sabotaged" by being overloaded to the point of distortion. the attack on the opening chord is missing, there's tape drag in the fourth chord and (again) it ends abruptly and is clearly incomplete. i think someone smelled a lawyer.
Attachment:
This is a thumbnail + silly.jpg
silly.jpg [ 113.14 KiB | Viewed 2326 times ]



so, two new demos and previously unheard versions of Silver Treetop. the mp3 source, dubious sound quality, mastering and editing decisions aside, it is quite a discovery.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:07 pm
User avatarPosts: 512Joined: 9th Nov, 2011
I think that bowie sings ( lead vocal) on the "Silver Treetop jam" the lalala are from him and we can perfectly hear Bowie laughing on the other version.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:53 pm
User avatarPosts: 1885Location: takasaki, japanJoined: 28th May, 2008
cm01 wrote:
I think that bowie sings ( lead vocal) on the "Silver Treetop jam" the lalala are from him and we can perfectly hear Bowie laughing on the other version.

disagree on both counts. this is the sound of a band trying to work out a song following bowie's demo. the vocalist is mimicking bowie's style to a degree but that's as close as it gets IMO.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:26 pm
User avatarPosts: 543Location: SOUTH WALES , UKJoined: 10th Jul, 2008
This is all very exciting and cant wait to hear these, thanks maarten

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:45 pm
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Wow - this is a surprising release

although - it's definitely frustrating that it seems to be mp3/aac only

and the "intro bit" on Waiting for the Man sounds tacked-on for sure

I THINK that Bowie's voice is on the 'demo' of "Silver Treetop"... (but not lead vocals - like I think some of the laughing, and backing)
but it sounds like it was INTENTIONALLY distorted at some point

not easy listening whatsoever!!!
(and not in a good way)

but yea - that totally sounds like Bowie on "Party Political Broadcast" (just after the Pompideu bit)



So... while it may not have the best sound quality - at least it's something "new"

and that demo/early version of "Little Toy Soldier" is pretty cool


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:59 pm
User avatarPosts: 389Location: ManchesterJoined: 8th Jan, 2008
The known versions of WFTM and LTS aside, the other Bowie related tracks sound distinctly like band rehearsal recordings - a mic stuck in a room recording the proceedings - that goes for Silly Boy Blue also. I've made enough recordings like that over the years to know what they sound like! I certainly wouldn't consider them demos.

Whether the distortion is a post-production 'effect' or as a result of a carelessly monitored tape machine is difficult to say. It does sound harsh, but that could be through ham-fisted attempts to 'clean up' the source tapes.

An interesting find nevertheless. CDBaby appears to be the cheapest place I've found it - http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/theriotsquad


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:20 pm
User avatarPosts: 1885Location: takasaki, japanJoined: 28th May, 2008
brickwalling a bad recording will only emphasise any inherent distortion... i don't think any attempt was made to clean these up. quite the opposite and quite deliberately shoddy work (even the non-bowie tracks end suddenly). i think they're hoping to make a quick buck from the bowie fanbase while keeping it low profile enough to not attract the lawyers...yet.

the cdbaby version is at a low bit-rate, itunes has higher resolution files but some tracks are upsampled.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:37 pm
User avatarPosts: 389Location: ManchesterJoined: 8th Jan, 2008
Having listened to some more tracks from the set, I can only agree. There has been no attempt to clean up any of the source material. The tracks from acetate are a clear example of that. Digitized. Normalized. Compressed. End of.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:06 am
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Site AdminPosts: 911Location: UitgeestJoined: 28th Dec, 2006
I also have difficulties labeling Silly Boy Blue as a demo, as by the time this version was recorded, it's not unlikely that the album version had already been released. I don't see how it otherwise could have been in the possession of the people who compiled this.

This certainly is one of the oddest Bowie-related recordings that have seen an official release. The poor quality, the complete lack of editing except for blunt truncations...


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