Waiting In The Sky (Before The Starman Came To Earth)

Artist Name
David Bowie
Release Date

LOS ANGELES - Parlophone Records are proud to announce the release of a very special David Bowie limited vinyl LP, WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH), which will be released on April 20 for Record Store Day.

The album is taken from the Trident Studios 1/4” stereo tapes dated December 15, 1971, created for the provisional tracklisting for what would become The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album.

The tracklisting for WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) runs differently from the Ziggy Stardust album and features four songs that didn’t make the final album.  

On Side one, in the place of "Starman,” one of the last three tracks recorded for the album in February 1972, is "Round And Round,” a Chuck Berry cover. The track was finally released on a single as the B-side to "Drive-In Sunday” on April 6, 1973. Initially, the closing of Side-one of the album was Bowie’s version of Jacques Brel’s "Amsterdam,” which would later appear as the B-side of "Sorrow” on October 12, 1973. 

Side two of the December 15, 1971 tracklisting features two long-time non-LP fan favorites, "Holy Holy” and "Velvet Goldmine.” The former is a re-recording with The Spiders off of Bowie’s 1971 single. Again, this version of the track had to wait several years before surfacing as the B-side of “Diamond Dogs” on June 14, 1974.  

“Velvet Goldmine” is considered by many to be a lost Ziggy era classic, one Bowie often referred to as ‘He’s A Goldmine’ or ‘She’s A Goldmine’ in his notebooks and interviews. The track was recorded during the Ziggy sessions but wasn’t released until September 26, 1975, alongside "Changes” backing the re-released album version of "Space Oddity,” which peaked at No.1 on the U.K. singles chart in November 1975. 

The cover of WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) features a photo of Bowie taken at an early Ziggy Stardust period session by Brian Ward, and the two sides of the inner bags are the fronts of the two Trident Studios tape boxes. The album’s title comes from the lyrics of “Starman,” which, along with "Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” and "Suffragette City,” had not yet been recorded when this variation of the album was compiled.

WAITING IN THE SKY (BEFORE THE STARMAN CAME TO EARTH) was cut on a customized late Neumann VMS80 lathe with fully recapped electronics from 192kHz restored masters of the original Trident Studios master tapes, with no additional processing on transfer. The half-speed vinyl cut was by engineer John Webber at AIR Studios, London.