Hear an Unreleased David Bowie Demo ‘To Be Love’

By Amanda Wicks

A new David Bowie demo has surfaced today, March 23rd. It comes from a recording session Bowie did upon his first trip to the U.S. in 1970 when he was seeking a record contract.

Related: Watch This Unique ‘History of Rock’ Video Mashup

Sound engineer Ron de Strulle was working at Roxbury Road Studios in Los Angeles when Bowie and his manager arrived to record a few tracks. “To Be Love” was the first song Bowie recorded during that session, and de Strulle, who owns the rights to the song, released it today through Mind Body Network.

The song has a psychedelic feel thanks to Bowie’s vocals, which contain a touch of reverb in parts. A bluesy piano rhythm grounds the song, while drums and bells give it a decidedly late 1960s/early 1970s feel.

“My first impression of David was that he was warm, open, friendly, and not looking for star treatment like most of the other artists who came to RR Studios,” de Strulle told Huffington Post. “He was interested in the production process and excited about anything creative.”

About the session, de Strulle said, “[Bowie] was looking to create a couple of signature styles to promote to the record companies. David brought ideas and lyrics and we cut some rough tracks. If I played a few bars on the keyboard, he could see the whole picture and he could integrate it into his own work.”

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