Listen to David Bowie’s Previously Unreleased ‘Gouster’ LP
Decades after being put in the vault and dribbled out a track at a time, David Bowie's unreleased The Gouster LP is finally out in one piece — as part of the new compilation box Who Can I Be Now? (1974-76), in stores today.
As longtime fans are aware, The Gouster represents the musical seeds for what would eventually become Bowie's R&B-influenced 1975 album Young Americans. "Gouster was a word unfamiliar to me, but David knew it as a type of dress code worn by African-American teens in the ‘60’s, in Chicago," explains producer Tony Visconti in the Who Can I Be Now? liner notes. "But in the context of the album its meaning was attitude, an attitude of pride and hipness. Of all the songs we cut, we were enamored of the ones we chose for the album that portrayed this attitude."
Although a number of songs survived The Gouster's evolution into Young Americans, some stayed in the vaults — including the track "It's Gonna Be Me," which Visconti more recently suggested may have missed the cut because Bowie was uncomfortable revealing too much of himself in song. "That’s one of the best things [on The Gouster],” he argued. “I think he left it off because … well, I don’t know the story, but he said it was just too personal. He didn’t want to live with that song on that album, coming back to haunt him."
As is the case with most major releases these days, you don't have to buy a physical copy of Who Can I Be Now? to hear it. Check out the box, including the Gouster cuts — which start at Track 50 on the playlist — via the Spotify stream below.
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