To Have And Not Have [BLSDO1 1CD]
Fan compilation of rare Bowie tracks 1972-1980s includes Peter Noone's version of Life On Mars. Ex SBD stereo

Another of those strange compilations that leap without care from one source to another, rounding up a clutch of material that the majority of fans will probably own several times over, and then surprising everyone with something that’s missing from most collections - in this instance, a version of "Life On Mars?" recorded by Peter Noone, around the same time as he covered "Oh! You Pretty Things" and "Right On Mother," and which Noone himself doesn’t even remember recording. But it’s him alright, unmistakable over a comparatively sparse backing track, and thoroughly enjoyable for all its acetate flaws.

The remainder of the disc is devoured by live cuts from Thin White Duke and Earls Court 78, the 1980 Floor Show and the Astronettes sessions (a morbidly awful cover of Springsteen’s "Spirits In The Night"), the Whistle Test version of "Five Years" and a Black Tie instrumental, plus those faithful underground stand-bys "Rupert The Riley" and "How Lucky You Are." And there are some gems among them; performances of "Waiting For The Man" and "’Heroes’" that rank among Bowie’s career best, and a "Five Years" vocal that aches despair. But it’s the Noone acetate that’s the stand-alone jewel here, so if you don’t care about that, this is a fairly dispensable disc. - Dave Thompson

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October 19, 2007