Illustrated db Discography

On March 12 1994, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Reeves Gabrels, Mike Garson, Erdal Kizilcay and Sterling Cambell improvised a three-and-a-half-hour opus at the Mountain Studios in Montreux. This work formed the basis for the album 1. Outside. As Bowie put it: "One of the days we worked, we had a blindingly orgiastic session where it just didn't stop. Almost the entire genesis for this album is contained in those three-and-a-half hours, but it's nearly all dialogue and narrative description and wandering off into characters. I play out a character for maybe five minutes at a time. I mean, I developed an entire interior life of him whilst I was on the mic".

The recordings were mixed at Westside Studios, London in the summer of 1994 and were intended for release as a double-album. Reeves Gabrels wrote on his website: "We hoped that it would have come out intact and un-compromised by financial/commercial pressures. It would have been a very serious musical statement (and maybe even pissed more people off than Tin Machine)". However, Bowie was unable to interest any record label to release 1. Outside in its original form because it was considered too uncommercial.

Somehow 70 minutes from these mixed recordings have escaped. The CD features tracks that can hardly be called songs, as they do not follow conventional arrangements with verses and choruses. They are more like sketches, often with changes in tempo and structure within a single track. Included below is a run-down of the songs, which, because of their nature, have not been assigned titles unless these are known from other sources. Although only a few tracks ('I Am With Name' and 'Leon Takes Us Outside') ended up on 1. Outside, the story line set out throughout these tracks forms the backbone of the album.

I Am With Name/Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the CD opens with a familiar song, 'I Am With Name', but instead of the 1. Outside's four minutes, this version lasts well over 10 minutes. At 4'00" into the track, Bowie launches into a rap which repeats phrases such as "I won't keep it/It will hide me/He should take them/I won't tell it/She can't take it/He won't do this/He said tell it/She said spot this/He should do this/He should be there" and "It will kill that/He should hide me/I won't hide me/She can't be there/I won't tell it/They won't eat me." At 6'10" Nathan Adler is introduced in a segue which is nearly identical to the first segue from 1. Outside: "Old Touchschriek was the main name-server/Suspected of being a shoulder server or faint a hack/This old guy didn't know from shit about challenge response systems/He was way back in the age of cellular clones/We knew that Ramona A Stone was selling interest drugs, magic cookies [...] But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself/Let me take you back to when it all began." Next is the 'Ramona A Stone' segue that opens the song on 1. Outside, but again with slightly different lyrics. The segue and the song ends with the spoken "We'll creep together, you and I. We know who the small friends are. My, this is a crazy world. At this time, you could think of me as a 'syllannibal'. Someone who eats their own words".

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the second track, which lasts five minutes, starts as a ballad: "We creep together/We'll creep together, you and I/Just a trick of the two/From the slump male/A mumble slough unreal/How many drew the mark?/We'll creep together, you and I/Way back in the Laugh Hotel/I'll reel out the window/You die for diamonds/But you won't live for love." The song then changes tempo: "I am a rose/I am a face/I am a chrome/I am Ramona A Stone/We'll end in chrome/This is the chrome/This is the chrome, my friend, the chrome".

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the next outtake (6'45") starts off with a segue that possibly should be contributed to Leon Blank: "Then there was nothing left to do but to bring on the Nut Soldiers/Round out the packet sniffers". It features an introduction to The Leek Soldiers, after which the song continues with a repeated "Twist, fly, boy." At 2'35", Nathan Adler reappears with another excerpt from the first segue which is similar to 1. Outside: "Leon was up on that oh-so-heavenly party stage with a criss-cross machete/He could not wait for 12 o'clock midnight/He slashes around, cuts a zero in everything/I mean a zero in the fabric of time itself." This is followed by a short version of the rap as in the first track and the statement "Some day, the internet may become an information super-highway/Don't make me laugh!/A 19th century railroad that passes through the badlands of the Old West [...] Someday, the internet may become an information super-highway/Do not make me laugh!" At 5'50", the track ends with an excerpt from the 'Algeria Touchshriek' segue.

Leon Takes Us Outside/Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): another familiar song, 'Leon Takes Us Outside', opens the fourth track (6'50"). At 2'00" into this track, Bowie starts exclaiming "Choir!" and after another change in tempo at 2'40" he sings "First time, that I felt your grace/A tear ran down my cheek/The first time that I saw the boil/Put it on the neck." Next enters Nathan Adler with another segue and the song closes with Bowie singing "Moving through the crowd/In Oxford Town/Moving on the sidewalks/Faces to the ground/Oxford Town".

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): this tracks (lasting 5'30") starts off with another Nathan Adler segue: "Someone once said that beauty is only deep-skin/While it has always been a stone in my flesh [...] You're better off without it/I mean, who eats the hard skin now, huh?/It ain't Ramona A Stone, that's for sure". This is followed by the detective singing "All the baby's left at home/And the sky is made of chrome/A breath-filled sky and it's made of chrome/There was a night of an OK riot [...] OK riot, with waving air [...] Yeah, I'd rather be chrome."

We'll Creep Together/Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): 'We'll Creep Together' is also familiar, albeit from the 1. Outside EPK only. However, here the song has two extra verses: "We'll find the small things, you and I/We'll just have small friends, you and I/We'll be small together/We'll be small together/We'll be small together, you and I/We'll end together, you and I/We'll end together, you and I/We'll end together/We'll end together/We'll end together, you and I". The synth line and drums of 'We'll Creep Together' continue into another Nathan Adler segue, which ends with the familiar "But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself". While the track proceeds as an instrumental, Bowie adds a line familiar from 'The Hearts Filthy Lesson': "Oh Ramona, can you hear me/Oh Ramona."

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the seventh track (5'15") consists entirely of spoken segues: "What are you in terror of?/Life needn't step on baby fingers/The minutes fall and the demons find their ways unencumbered/Half dead, poisoned by their own fatal art". Next is Nathan Adler and following him is Baby Grace Blue: "I think we're stuck in a web/A sort of nerve net/As it were, a sort of nerve-internet, as it were/We might be here for quite a long time, here, in this web or... internet, as it were/Gotta get away, gotta get away".

Nothing To Be Desired/Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): 'Nothing To Be Desired', which was released as a B-side only, forms the basis of the next track (5'50"). The lyrics include "The editors have done an excellent job/The selections are generous, the notations are scrupulously thoroughly/To believe that the quality of a CD-ROM can be conveyed through translation may seem presumptuous, but I believe the enterprise is greatly successful [...] The editorial apparatus of the CD-ROM leaves nothing to be desired." At 2'30" the song changes tempo: "In far-off California, there is no natural plan/Its mighty branching and its preponderant bowls weigh heavy on a sun-tag morning" and at 3'00" the track develops into a long version of the familiar 'Baby Grace Blue' segue: "And then I recognized the small friends, because one of them was a very infamous and he was a grand visionary, he was the grand visionary, he was who was on a television".

The Enemy Is Fragile (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): track eight (4'10") starts off with "Hallo Leon, would you like something really fishy?". On the Stamford Hill site, Reeves Gabrels identified this track as 'The Enemy Is Fragile'. "The enemy is always there/You could have been fighting to the death, but no!/Well, wrap up, and you'll go dancing, Leon!/Dance fishy?/Something in her mouth/There's something in her mouth/Something mysterious".

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): next is a 2'23" piano ballad. The atmosphere of this track is quite similar to 'The Motel'.

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the penultimate track on the CD is a long version of the 'Algeria Touchshriek' segue, lasting five minutes: "Possibly, just maybe, after a nice cup of tea/Some trip of the time/We'll creep together down the memory lane/And then we'll be blind and full of bubbly ambition/Instead of the slump males that we are/Looking through windows for demons/Watching the young advance in all electric".

Unknown (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay/Campbell): the final track, rather clumsily mixed in when the Touchshriek track fades out, is a totally different, up-tempo song: "Leon, lift up your eyes/The very stars are calling/Your name is Leon/Leon is your name/Murder!".