David Bowie – The Prettiest Star (1970)

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“The Prettiest Star” is a song by David Bowie, originally released as a single in 1970. Bowie had recently re-recorded an old Deram track, “London Bye Ta Ta”, intended as a follow-up single to “Space Oddity” in early 1970. However, the same sessions had also spawned a new composition named “The Prettiest Star”. Bowie wrote it for Angela Barnett, reputedly playing it down the telephone as part of his proposal to her. He also chose it as his next single, to the displeasure of manager Kenneth Pitt, who favoured “London Bye Ta Ta”. The track featured Marc Bolan on guitar, with whom Bowie would spend the next few years as a rival for the crown of the king of glam rock. Producer Tony Visconti, who brought the two aspiring pop stars together in the studio, recalled that the session went well until the end when Bolan’s wife June remarked to Bowie, “Marc is too good for you, to be playing on this record!” Despite receiving good notices, the single reportedly sold less than 800 copies, a major disappointment on the back of the success of “Space Oddity”. In 1973, a more glam-influenced version was recorded and released on the album Aladdin Sane, with Mick Ronson recreating Bolan’s original guitar part almost note-for-note.


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