Here David Bowie performs ‘Space Oddity’ on the Kenny Everett New Year’s Eve show in 1979.
Directed by long-time collaborator David Mallet, the same set and many of the concepts were repeated in the iconic video for ‘Ashes To Ashes‘, also directed by Mallet.
This new version of the ‘Space Oddity’, produced by Tony Visconti, was recorded especially for the show.
It was issued in February 1980 as the B-side of ‘Alabama Song’, and included as a bonus track on the 1992 Rykodisc reissue of Bowie’s Scary Monsters … And Super Creeps album.
“Having played it with just an acoustic guitar onstage early on,” Bowie explained, “I was always surprised at just how powerful it was just as a song, without all the strings and synthesisers. I really wanted to do it as a three-piece song.”
Tony Visconti later added that the recording “was never meant to be a single. Andy Duncan is on drums and a Bowie lookalike , Zaine Griff [Visconti was producing his Ashes and Diamonds album at the time], is on bass. I temporarily forget the pianist. David, again, played twelve-string.”
He added, “I should have predicted that Zaine would dress to the nines for the studio recording, while Bowie was having just an ordinary day in his civvies. His initial reaction to Zaine was not favourable and he looked upon my use of Zaine as some kind of an insensitive joke. I must admit I found it humorous. It wasn’t my fault Bowie had started a trend and there were countless young men and women walking around London as Ziggy clones.”