David Bowie / VH1 Storytellers to be released as a limited 2LP vinyl set

David Bowie‘s ‘intimate’ set for VH1’s Storytellers series was recorded 20 years ago in 1999 and was issued on CD/DVD a decade later. It is now being made available on vinyl for the first time with, four bonus tracks not included on the original CD.

The idea behind the ‘Storytellers’ format was for the musical guests to perform in front of a live audience while telling stories around each song. As well as Bowie, the show hosted the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Bee Gees and Steely Dan.

David Bowie’s recording was made at The Manhattan Center’s Grand Ballroom in New York. Because Bowie was promoting the …Hours album a third of this 12-song selection is from ‘the new album’. On the plus side, David deliver some (relative) ‘deep cuts’ including ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me,’ ‘Drive-In Saturday’ and ‘Word On A Wing’ – none of which had been performed for at least two decades.

The four bonus tracks are ‘Survive,’ ‘I Can’t Read,’ ‘Always Crashing in the Same Car’ and ‘If I’m Dreaming My Life’. These were on the DVD element of the previous combo set just not on the audio CD.

This two-LP set is being described as ‘strictly limited,’ so make of that what you will. It is released on 11 October 2019.

Side 1
1. Life On Mars? (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)
2. Rebel Rebel (Truncated) [Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99]
3. Thursday’s Child (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)

Side 2
1. Can’t Help Thinking About Me (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)
2. China Girl (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)
3. Seven (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)

Side 3
1. Drive-In Saturday (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)
2. Word on a Wing (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)
3. Survive (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)*

Side 4
1. I Can’t Read (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)*
2. Always Crashing in the Same Car (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)*
3. If I’m Dreaming My Life (Live at Manhattan Center, New York, 8/23/99)*

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Just chuckling about that word ‘Limited’ again…let me guess…12000 copies? 15000 limited copies? 20,000 limited copies…


Apologies for going off-topic, but does anyone know if the CD set of Loving the Alien is available anywhere at a reasonable price?
Amazon is currently£145, up from £90 previously. Not too many other online sites seem to have it.


eBay has tons of them for MUCH less.

paul schauerman

Keymailrecords.com might be helpful.


I picked up the CD/DVD edition maybe a year or so ago. Could never figure out what m_r_n would decide to release all the tracks on the DVD but not on the CD when there is still plenty of room on the CD.

Wayne Klein

Yes but you have to be careful because some of them are bootlegs.

Steve W

This is a truly great set and I’ve long loved my copy however I’d prefer a fuller cd release rather than vinyl. But to anyone who hasn’t got it I’d certanly recommend it. Noteworthy for being the set when Reeves Gabrels started disappearing from Bowie’s live group.

paul wren

Ordered, thank you for the early tip off, Paul.


Worth getting for the great version of Can’t Help Thinking About Me = best thing on there

Michael John

I’d never been a huge fan of Bowie’s version of China Girl from Let’s Dance. I preferred Iggy’s. However, I LOVE the version on this release!! Worth the purchase for that alone. Really a great show/album thru and thru though.


Had a look on eBay and found the cd/dvd brand new for £11:99 including postage and a £5 voucher popped up so cost me £6:99 in all. I’ve always preferred watching a good live performance over listening alone


All four bonus tracks have been available on I-Tunes for a few years – and still are.


Honestly, this is a Bowie release worth getting. I have a high quality bootleg of this on vinyl but an iffy release is most welcome. The stories in-between songs are worth it alone.

Frank Sidebottom

not everybody likes Bowie…altho for the record companies, what a brilliant “cash cow” his work, obviously is


Well, hopefully the boxset releases aren’t over, I’d hate to have the series of CD remasters stopping at ‘Never Let Me Down’. I think everything up until ‘Reality’ needs that treatment, the ’90s stuff deserve some love.

Timm Davison

I’ve heard that Parlophone is taking a break from comprehensive box sets this year – demand seems to have been waning, with the latter boxes showing up deeply discounted – and also the fact that the rights issues around Tin Machine means that in order to get a chronological box set, there’s still a lot of work behind the scenes to secure various licensing rights. Additionally, Reeves Gabrels has stated somewhere he is working on the TM box, but given the Cure’s 40th anniversary concerts, he might be otherwise occupied. Now then, as far as sources, well, just what I’ve remembered from various trips around the internets, so, take it as you will..


Yeah, I do a fair amount of wandering around the net too, and I’m going to take Timm’s post with an ocean sized dose of salt. There has been very little mention on the next box, other than Gabrels and the Bowie Twitter account pushing Tin Machine regularly. The last Bowie box is becoming more difficult to get in the US as I write this, and it’s never been significantly price reduced.

Before making such a post, Timm, you really do have to give some sources. It’s really not great posting a bunch of unfounded gossip. I follow Bowie’s releases pretty closely, and I can’t verify I’ve seen anything like what you’re suggesting. Parlophone just announced a new Beatles set, didn’t they? We’ve just had a slew of Bowie releases (the demo’s, Space Oddity, and now this) so they likely don’t want to poison the river at the moment. They’ll pick their time to have the maximum impact in the market.

Brian Stanley

On one hand, Loving The Alien was difficult for me to get in the States. On the other hand, that forced me to pick it up in Hong Kong where it was substantially – mega-substantially reduced.


Mind that it can be a pirate copy. They look very the same and cost much less

John 79

I bought one of those Hong Kong box sets and I was surprised by the quality of it for the price £35,I’m not a specialist collector of Bowie ,Numans my number 1,but for me it was really good value, seeing the cheapest I saw on Amazon was about £90 for the EU version.

Brian Stanley

That occurred to me, but assuming it’s counterfeit, it is the best one I’ve seen in 25 years of buying CDs by an incredible margin. Sound quality is good. Artwork and packaging is clear and sturdy. Itunes info came up the minute i put the discs in. It just “feels” legit.
I sort of wonder if is a legit set that somebody said “fell off the back of a truck” somewhere.

Timm Davison

I did say it was just what I’ve remembered specifically reading about Gabrels, the issue with not having Tin Machine II available on any streaming sites, and the fact that yeah, I’ve noticed price drops for all the box sets except Five Years. Unfounded? No. Unsourced? Yes. And let’s remember, these boxes were coming out late Sep/early Oct, and so far, no posting about a 5th box set – even the thread on Steve Hoffman forums hasn’t gotten any new info recently.
I feel like you’re taking offense at my suggestion of this more because you follow Bowie releases pretty closely and are somehow offended by my suggestion that a 5th box isn’t forthcoming, but look around – do you see one coming out this year, like we have for the last 4 years?
If the answer is no, then, well…I guess I’m correct.

Mister Stick

I appreciated Timm’s perspective here, regardless of any footnotes (what are we, back in college now?). It just occurred to me this week, that, “Shouldn’t we have seen more of the expected announcements by this point?” I was certainly looking for either Tin Machine or the next Bowie set by this time, since it seems those are usually run up the pole about 90 days before they come for our wives’ paychecks and pension accounts.

Also, the second Band album should be getting an anniversary edition, there should be more XTC, and the “In The Court of The Crimson King” box should be on the calendar by now (’cause the one Fripp sold you ten years ago didn’t have a big enough lapel button included, or near enough drink coasters). I could go way out on the limb and clamor for Neil Young Archives, Volume II, but I don’t do that much meth.

Of course, Crimso are throwing out another of their endless live sets again, which would push back the other thing, I suppose, but you get the idea. Does seem like we should have been teased more by now, and it’s not such a leap to think the reissue labels are worried about returns these days, especially with forecasts of economic doom most places you look (read as: whatever Brexit finally emerges from its cave, and a tariff-fueled US doldrum).

Plus, the announcement of the Abbey Road box doesn’t really prove the contrary, that the market is still good. Beatles stuff sells to the vast Fabs army, whose soldiers are not necessarily collectors of physical music from other artists.

But Maestro Sinclair knows more than me, so I cede the floor.


King Crimson’s ITCOTKC has already been advertised in Mojo (as part of a KC full-page advert with images of all the ((available)) box sets so far) although the box set is now called “1969 Complete”.

Wayne Klein

There is another XTC title in the queue but it’s a smaller boxed set like before.


Paul, do you have any info about another CD/vinyl boxes 1989-199x? We are waiting for announcement for almost 2 months.


CD/DVD set still on Amazon UK from £10.29 new for those who want it that way.

Stefan Benninghaus

Interesting. I love that CD/DVD bundle. Bowie is very cool and casual that evening. A good storyteller. On vinyl? Maybe.

But … what about a new box set (Tin Machine? or anything else?)

Cosmo Castanza

Came across this in my vast ‘yet to listen to’ collection recently.


Only vinyl?
Ugh. I hate vinyl. where’s the CD version?


Got the cd from HMV back then it comes with a DVD limited on E M I… The vinyl fir story tellers came out in America back then pm EMI never released in the UK


I’d ask the same question only semi-ironically: the original CD is only 44 minutes – 4 tracks are missing, 2 are ‘truncated’ – surely to release those on an unabridged CD issue would not take more than the 30 minutes of a CD’s spare run-time capacity? Maybe they’re saving that as a selling point on Bowie Box 7(ish)! ;)

Or maybe the OP is a daftypuss who ‘can’t read’ (ha. ha.) the three times you mentioned it’s having been previously released on CD, including in the very first sentence with ‘was issued on CD/DVD a decade later’.

Of course, your original IS extremely long: up there, length-wise, with War & Peace or Les Miserables…. so how can he possibly have been expected to read what must have been all of, what, 200 words??? ;)


The cd and dvd for story tellers discontinued it come out in 1991 on EMI limited edition


They are still around. They are easy to find on eBay.

K. Mayhem

Agree…CD please?!?! WITH the added “Bonus Tracks” that were left off the original CD release…

Paul Murphy

‘On the plus side, …’ – might one take it that you have still not grown to love/like ‘Hours’, Paul?

andrew r

Quantum leap over never let me down in my opinion.
Thursdays child sublime .Must disagree Paul .

Paul Murphy

I myself do like it. As I said last time it came up, DB was heavily inspired/influenced by Bob Dylan’s ‘Time Out Of Mind’ album – David’s rather lovely version of TOOM’s ‘Trying To Get To Heaven’ remains sadly unreleased – and like that album, it ruminates heavily on the passing of time [hence the title]. Maybe you have to have a few miles on the clock to appreciate the content! [I’m just over a decade older than your good self]. I do think David performed the songs from ‘…Hours’ better live than on the album – such as on the Paris ‘Small Club Broadcast’ CD, but that’s probably down to the fact that David was such a superb live performer.

Jay Phillips

Another meh Bowie reissue for me in a year full of them thus far. Is there any news yet on this year’s deluxe boxset to follow ‘Loving the Alien’? – or are they not bothering. We’ve normally heard by now for an October release.

Duncan Day

…hours has to be my least loved album. It’s biggest crim being it is so damn boring. Even Tonight and NLMD have an appealing cheesiness about them.
…hours really feels like it goes on for -uh- hours :(

denis henry

this is nice….but where is the next (5th) instalment of the annual box set series. I have enjoyed the previous 4 box sets covering Bowie’s career chronologically and was looking forward to the usual september release of the next one. Has Parlophone changed direction??


When it came out it sat virtually unplayed in my collection for years, then when I got to the age Bowie was when he wrote it clicked. Agreed some of the production is off but some great songs and good live versions as well. Would love to hear the demos.
Glad VH1 is coming out on vinyl for those who want it, could we have an updated cd please as well

eric slangen