Is a David Bowie box set celebrating his ‘Golden Years’ due in Sep 2016?

Parlophone Label Group plan to follow up their David Bowie Five Years box this September with a set focused on the years 1974-1976, according to a man who photographed Bowie in the mid-1970s…

Although not officially confirmed, Steve Schapiro, who took pictures of David during this period, let this information slip in an interview with Flavorwire. Schapiro, whose photo book Bowie is about to be published by Powerhousebooks is quoted as having said:

“Warners is going to do a box set in September of a period from ’74 to ’76. Apparently Bowie [and a second person] chose the cover picture, which is mine.”

bowie_cvr-770x1000Given that the record label are using one of the photographer’s photos for the front of the box set, he seems like a reliable source.

If the period is accurate, this next box set will feature the studio albums Diamond Dogs, Young Americans and Station to Station. David Live will also be in there and they may well repeat the Live at Nassau Coliseum double live album included with the 2010 Station to Station box set. Add to that a Re:Call 2 rarities set and you’re looking at possibly nine vinyl records. If this box isn’t called Golden Years, I will eat my very proverbial hat.

Bowie: Photographs by Steve Schapiro is out next week.




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Its called “Who can I be now?” And contains the years 74-76


I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who would rather have seen a “fame and fashion” boxset, including scary monsters album. That album marks the end of an era for Bowies creativity imho


I happened to be talking to a friend (and fellow Bowie fan) about this very boxset. She has a very close friend within the parlophone camp, who has confirmed the box set. She assumes it will be the years 1974-1979, the same years as the best of comps that were released a while back. She didn’t know if the Nassau show would be included. One thing mentioned but unrelated to this release (do not quote me on this!) was the possibility of 5.1 mixes of diamond dogs and aladdin sane further down the road.


Please please please oh please I hope they don’t include the “Scary Monsters” monsters album with the same set that would contain “Let’s Dance”, “Tonight”, “Never Let Me Down”!
It just… no.

Owen Concannon

If we are getting techinical then Low could be included in this, considering that low was recorded in 1976 in France, and Bowie went to Berlin and recorded Heroes in 1977. If the box sets go by the recording dates as opposed to the issued dates Low would be included.

Owen Concannon

I have been waiting since the five years box set for the next one because I already had most of the ones from that period. I really was hoping that it would follow a similar chronology and do everything from Diamond Dogs to Lodger so that the Berlin Trilogy could be in there as well. I think that would make the most sense. I think Golden Years (1974-1979) would be a better product and more people would buy it.

james boström

I have digital copies of the reel to rell tapes of bowies album up to lets dance
IT DONT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT ! sound qulaity wise

christian attfield

Sorry to say that those reel to reel tapes are almost certainly fake, just the RCA cds with a little EQ to fatten them up.


We’ll get a taste of some 2016 remastering from this period when ChangesOne gets a re-release next month:



Why not:
Five Years
Golden years
Berlin years
and maybe Crappy years :-)
The last one is just a joke, still some wonderful music on these 80’s albums.

Paul Murphy

You’re welcome. I also wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Modern Years’ wasn’t in contention for the ‘LD’, ‘T’ and ‘NLMD’ set, if realised. On a sidebar to Hans [and I know you were joking] most of the ‘big guns’ had a pretty rum 80s – Dylan, Neil Young, David, Page and Plant, some might say Weller, etc – but with hindsight it can be attributed in a large part to changing times, studio techniques, and the shadows of their own catalogues. Whilst ‘Never Let Me Down’ is unlikely to be pulled out of too many fans’ record racks for a casual listen, both ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Tonight’ have some highly commendable moments, and because it never strays too far from its comfort zone, I find that ‘Tonight’ is rather like ‘Empire Burlesque’, quite an amicable listen if you are not after anything over-engaging. The regret with ‘NLMD’ is that David for years said how wonderful the demos for the album were but that it all went south in the studio, but never released any of them to show.

Randy Metro

I think “Crappy Years” is hilarious!


Very excited for this. This box makes sense in the scope of Bowie’s post-Ziggy-Plastic-Soul-Thin-White-Duke era material and with at least 2 double live albums, 2 updated mixes and another ReCall set it seems this box, while a bit slimmer than Five Years, would be just the right size. It allows for the Berlin trilogy to get pretty much its own set, depending on if Scary Monsters is included or not (I think it should be along with Baal), and Stage. Then a 4th box comprising Let’s Dance to Black Tie would be 6 studio albums including the Tin Machine stuff along with Oy Vey, Labrinth and a slightly larger ReCall set to include the remixes/soundtrack songs/single versions. This would make the set comparable in size to Five Years. But would NLMD include Too Dizzy? And are there any official live albums from this period aside from Tin Machine?

I don’t know about the current rights for Buddha of Suburbia but I’m pretty sure everything from Outside on is owned by Sony and not Parlophone so unless there was a plan in place for the stuff after Black Tie these boxes will stop there.

Even though I have pretty much everything by him I will buy these boxes as I loved the layout and design of Five Years. Looking forward also to a comprehensive Outtakes/Unreleased set but who knows if that will ever happen.

Randy Metro

The layout and design of the Five Years set is no guarantee of how the rest will be packaged. Ziggy & Aladdin 30th issues were quite nice in book type packaging, except for how tightly the CDs were crammed in their pockets. The DD 30th packaging was a step down in design. David Live & YA were not labeled as 30th Anniversary and were packaged entirely differently from the previous issues. The “Deluxe” period began & died abruptly along with the Anniversary series.

As a Lou Reed fan, but not a completist, I bought the series “Original Album Classics” in the hard cover glossy slip cover. A way of picking up an artists’ catalog without laying out a mint of $$. After the third release in the series, they went to almost paper thin packaging.

Great ideas always start out grand.

I am enjoying this thread, but isn’t it based on an assumption and not an official announcement?


I dunno who currently owns the rights to outside but I recieved an email from a rep at sony confirming they no longer own the rights to the music in the 10cd boxset (outside, heathen etc.) and as a result they will not be reissuing it

Simon F

A September release? Great, just in time for my birthday!


It’s a shame that they aren’t going for a wider spread for the next box. 3 studio albums plus related releases seems pretty slim for what’s certain to be an expensive set, and (if they keep the same pace) the only in the series for another year. Hopefully they’ll adjust the price proportionally and accelerate the pace for the next box, otherwise this seems like a pretty shady way to prolong this and get more $ out of fans than originally planned.


Just had to chip in on the Lets Dance is Good/Awful discussion :-)

Not one of his best but by no means his worst (I listened to my Japanese Mini-LP versions of Tin Machine 1 & 2 recently as part of a – ‘listening to all of Bowie’s back catalogue in order, over a couple of weeks’ – Bowie immersion just after his death and let’s just say I am unlikely to listen to them again in a hurry).
Modern Love is a great perky pop song that makes me smile whenever I hear it
Ricochet is very good too
And personally (and I know this will make others hurl stones at me) I really love Without You and Shake it (favourite tracks on the album along with Modern Love).
Can’t stand China Girl – much prefer the original version even though I heard it much much later.


Dean, I agree with almost everything you have written and find myself in the same boat regarding these box-sets, but to regard ‘Modern Love’ as ‘awful’ makes me want to break down and cry.

After decades of listening, ‘Modern Love’ still sends me into a dizzy, giddy mess – a glorious pop song these ears will never tire of.


I have in some cases several copies of each album already (record, cassette, cd, remastered cd with bonus tracks etc) so have to agree with Dean that these box sets aren’t for me. What I’m really looking forward to and what would make me buy them yet again is further Super Deluxe Editions along the lines of the Station To Station box. I appreciate not every album would warrant this sort of treatment, but Bowie has more than his fair share of classic albums that would make for some interesting sets, and if they could include 5.1 mixes all the better!


@ Wayne: There are some good tracks on Let’s Dance (Title Track, and Ricochet), but also some really awful stuff (Modern Love, China Girl, basically the rest of it). It’s not that it’s commercial, it’s just so….. dull. I have the recording, but never play it now. I can’t forgive them for ruining Cat People, which was better as used in the movie.

@Paul Murphy: The first Tin Machine album is indeed, fantastic. Even when the lyrics get a bit…. simplistic…. the riffs and melody just nail it (thinking Crack City). Heavens in Here is one of Bowie’s best songs, and the cover of Lennon’s Working Class Hero is the best version I’ve ever heard. Amazing is a glorious ballad, and the title track is just…… man it’s so good. The second album had a couple misteps, namely the tracks that Bowie doesn’t sing – but You Belong to Rock and Roll, Baby Universal, One Shot, and the Roxy cover If There is Something is just incredible. However, it’s worth the price of admission simply for Goodbye Mr. Ed – a Bowie classic. I’ve seen many interviews with Bowie, but I’ve never heard him say he didn’t like the Tin Machine experience, in fact quite the opposite. Oh Vey Baby was… disappointing, imo.

@Peter: You know, I simply don’t believe these boxes are “Limited Edition” at all. Perhaps they are in the sense that the numbers of them are finite – but not in any meaningful way. This is a Bowie retrospective, and making them severely Limited would be madness.

If I had to guess I’d say….. the record label is now cursing the fact they’re looked into these sets. With Bowie still with us, they made sense. Now he’s gone they don’t. Yet they were only one set in. Now they’re faced with an ultimately underwhelming concept being released into a ravenous market – they’d of gotten more money (sorry, but it IS a business) with individual SDE’s. If it worked for Led Zep, it would have worked for Bowie……..


“they’d of gotten more money (sorry, but it IS a business) with individual SDE’s. If it worked for Led Zep, it would have worked for Bowie…”

They’ll get these box sets out of the way and then probably move onto individual SDEs that they’ll then eventually compile in an even bigger box. One thing that this site proves is that there are some fans who enjoy buying the same music over and over!

Paul Murphy

Dean, as I say, I never decry another music fans’ opinion – be it Bowie, Bauhaus, Bert Jansch or Brother Beyond, it’s a short life and there’s no rewind button so anything that gives its listener 45 minutes or what of pleasure, that’s great, I just thought that ‘fantastic’ is maybe a high word to use, especially for TM2. I mean, if TM2 is fantastic, what superlative exists for Aladdin Sane one wonders. I personally have always quite liked TM1 – as indeed did most critics, let’s not forget, when it first came out. Nice riffs, a la the group its name was inspired by, and after Never Let Me Down, a most welcome change of direction. Quite a few stonkers and not many stinkers. TM2, I personally thought, was a steep drop in the share price. And so long – as Paul S so appositely says, a lot of times less is better. Regarding the cover versions, I thought the live ‘Working Class Hero’ was the better one, in the quartet David seemed more centre stage live, as the nice 2-CD TM concert you can pick up on Amazon shows, whereas in the studio, as Reeves said of TM “democracy [didn’t] work”. One of David’s all-time favourite albums was of course Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band [his cover of ‘Mother’ sadly remains unreleased]. The Roxy cover is as you say a highlight of TM2, again on a personal preference, I think ‘Street Life’ was the Roxy song David was born to cover but sadly never did.
With regard the forthcoming box set, I’m with Paul, whilst not committing myself to a Paddy Ashdown ‘hat for lunch’ volte face, if it isn’t called Golden Years I would be most surprised, since the idea of any product is to sell, and its such a well-known title amongst the ‘casuals’ [record companies seldom pay attention to fans for the simple reason we are, to paraphrase Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, “done deals”]. For the third box, my money would be on ‘Berlin Years’, although they’ll have to stretch it to accommodate Scary M&SC.


Just a guess!

– Five Years.
– Fame.
– Fashion.


I am a huge Bowie fan but I don’t think these boxes are for me, each of these boxes are apparently going to include live albums and I am not a fan of live albums at all. I would have liked that Japanese box that came out many years ago with the studio albums up to I think Scary Monsters or Let’s Dance.
I have never seen it and i think it was very limited.
For now I will stick with my full set of EMI CDs and anniversary editions.



Great post,

not forgetting 5:1 versions of Stage, Reality, Ziggy and Heathen already released

So yes SDE of these and Berlin trio would have made more sense to us fans, but suggest the “get to market” one at a time timescales would not be seen as beneficial to the corporation ? So we wil get another 2 album sets. Maybe SDEs in the future for the die hards

Interesting to see how many copies of Five Years have been sold since early January ?, I’ve asked before how many were issued as it was marketed as a Ltd. Edition and how many of the new sets will be issued.


Paul Murphy

Exactly as I reported in December. On a sidebar, I never criticise another music fans’ opinion, but I do find it hard to believe anyone thinks the two studio Tin Machine albums are ‘fantastic’. [David himself certainly didn’t think the second TM album was].


Its a hard one to decide isn’t it? The shorter the time spans the better the goodies there are on the relevant re:call.

The other hard choice is which box to place Scary Monsters. With the Berlin stuff or with the 80’s?

The 80’s box would be good to have 1981 to 1988. That way you can cram in everything from Baal to the 1988 version of Look Back in Anger.

Miguel Rocha

I was hoping the second box would be far more comprehensive than 3 studio LPs worth! With the exception of The Beatles from 1963 to 1969, was there ever a greater demonstration of artistic growth than what Bowie delivered from 1974 to 1979, from Diamond Dogs to Lodger (even better if it includes Scary Monsters and Baal)? Truly, a fantastic voyage (sorry, terrible pun)!


Lots of happy excitement here, which is always good.

But we need at least one naysayer – right?

I’m a big Bowie fan. So let that be said.

I’m NOT excited by this box set. I was disappointed in the first box. I would much have preferred an album by album special edition series. With Bowie’s passing – I’d have preferred it even more.

What these sets have going for them is some excellent remastering. The trouble is, the excitement ends there. A measly couple discs of extras in the first set doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid. My impression is that they were – and are – going for the “give just enough to get people excited, but not all that we could”. The Mini LP covers I already had.

Perhaps I’ll be blown away by the Low set. Maybe they’ll mix it in 5.1, and find some extras. But I’m not holding my breath.

I’ve written it before, but for the record: 5.1 should be available for all of these titles. We know it exists for David Live, Station to Station etc. There’s no excuse not to have it for Stage, Low etc. There are tons of demo’s and takes of classic tracks that have still not seen the light of day officially (previously I mentioned how good the Scary Monsters ones are). There are lots of bootleg live recordings that could have been included, such as dates on he David Live tour, more Ziggy Shows, etc. I even have a bootleg of a short show of Bowie supporting the Space Oddity album! It’s fab!

What I dream of isn’t these boxes at all. I’m sorry, the moment has passed. I want each album to get the treatment it deserves. I believe this will happen one day – probably once these sets have all been released.

Finally – you can’t have these sets without Tin Machine. Why would anyone not care for them? It really is time people set aside initial opinions on the two albums they made, and gave them another go – they really are fantastic. Also, Bowie made much worse albums (Let’s Dance, Tonight, Never Let Me Down, etc.)

Let’s be real here:

David Bowie/Space Oddity: Had a two disc release.
Ziggy: Had various special editions, including a wonderful two disc set.
Aladdin Sane: Had a two disc release.
Diamond Dogs: Had a two disc set.
Station to Station: Had a three disc release, plus a Super Deluxe set.
David Live: Had a surround mix released.
Young Americans: Had a two disc release with surround sound.
Black Shirt White Tie: Had two disc release.
Outside: Had a two disc release, and it’s known lots of unused material was recorded.
Earthling: Had a two disc release.
Hours: Had a two disc release.
Heathen: Had a two disc release.
Reality: Had a two disc release.
The Next Day: Had a two disc set.

In other words – there is a boatload of material we know about that could have made excellent Super Deluxe Editions. Through in good booklets, a 5.1 mix, and of course the new masterings, and you really have something. Include the Tin Machine live material that we all know exists (Tokyo and elsewhere), plus the bonus tracks from the EP (such as a rollocking take of Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm). And on, and on, and on.

So yeah – these sets feel very half boiled. I can’t get excited about them. When Bowie was alive, they struck me as typical releases by him, he always was reluctant to release anything he didn’t consider up to standard (having heard some of what’s out there, he was wrong, but whatever). But now David has passed on – it’s time for his recordings/eras/experiments to be released, for his fans to get as much of him as we can.

There won’t be any more new Bowie, but there’s plenty of “new Bowie” to be heard.

Wayne Klein

I disagree with you about Lets Dance. Just because it was commerically orientated (as if Bowie hadn’t done that before) doesn’t make it bad. It’s still a terrific album.

Randy Metro

Maggie’s Farm & Country Bus Stop, yeah!

Bowie’s Tin Machine albums were both his resurrection and redemption from the 80’s abyss spelled m-e-s-s. Let’s Dance was carried by a couple great songs. Blue Jean was disjointed & lacked a road map. NLMD is near the bottom of my list of favorites but a few songs showed some hints of better rocking on the way: Tin Machine.

I am one of a handful of TM fans. In the fall of 2015, I cherry picked a great comp of TM songs. Properly sequenced, my TM rocked much like The Man Who Sold the World. The live TM, Oy Vey Baby, was a sloppy mix of a handful of live cuts from here & there with horrible fades between tracks, like the original “Stage.”

So, yeah, I would include the studio albums in the 80’s (though one album was recorded in 1989, released in the 90’s) box set if the series gets that far.

james boström

im intressted in any info about this bootleg of a short show of Bowie supporting the Space Oddity album!

james boström

im intressted in any info about this bootleg of a short show of Bowie supporting the Space Oddity album!

christian attfield

There is no such bootleg. This can only refer to the “Clairville Grove” demos which were most likely recorded in Lou Reizner’s office prior to the album’s release.


I, too thought this next set would go until (hopefully) Scary Monsters, but there you go. As long as the studio releases of this new set include new/recent remastering, I’ll be happy. I wouldn’t expect David Live to have a brand new master since that set was last issued in 2006.

William M

£22!!!! I’d give away a vital organ to get it at that price


A few things come to mind:

– the 5 Years box did not include music that wasn’t released between 69-73 originally (excl. the ziggy motion picture tracks)

– surely a 1980’s box would be fantastic as it would have to include all the songs that were scattered on soundtrack albums (absolute beginners, falcon & the snowman, labyrinth…) – making for an essential recall 3(4?).

– songs first found on the ryko discs will hopefully form part of upcoming unreleased/outtakes releases.

– save your $$$, much stuff to be released over the next golden years…


And Baal would finally warrant its own CD as part of a box set.

Charles K.

I always assumed this was inevitable.

eric slangen

Daniel you got the VINYL for 22 UK pounds????
How was that possible??


If this box set is for 74-76 which seems likely as they’ll get lots of sales for a ‘Berlin’ box, they need to include the 2007 Young Americans and 2010 Station To Station mixes like they did the 2003 Ziggy in the first box, along with Nassau 76 with the full panic in Detroit… Otherwise it’s a huge missed opportunity


Yes I do, and that would be a great bonus too! I also remember reading a while back that Tony Visconti was going to remix Lodger because him and David found the original mix ‘too muddy’ so we might see that appear if it actually happened!


Five Years
Golden Years

What might the one after be called? I was thinking ‘Art Decade’ but it’s too sprawling.


How bout New Career In A New Town?


I think we can very well imagine a box containing the three 80s albums + the Tin Machine era. Maybe that would add value to the set ?
That would make 5 studios albums + 2 live albums: Glass spider (double) and Oy vey baby. (and perhaps even a live set from the Serious moonlight tour.)

That way they stuff up “Re:Call 3” with plenty of crappy remixes and all the Tin Machines b-sides and live cuts from the singles :)


You can’t polish a turd! I saw the Glass Spider tour in ’87 (Maine Road) and it was a shocker then and still is now but some of Tin Machine’s first album still sounds OK(ish) now.

As an aside, I think Golden Years is too obvious a title for the 74-76 box set. I reckon they’ll call it Fame.


Ha. I was at Maine Road for the Glass Spider tour as well. Prior to that I’d seen it at Wembley so I knew what I was looking forward to! Worse still Terrence Trent Darby in support was not inspiring me. At least we had Big Country at Wembley. It was as pony as I remembered it and even Bowie accepted. I heard he had the staging burned rather transport it any further at the end of the tour. That might be an urban myth but I’m sure I heard it in an interview with one of DR’S collaborators.

Next time at Maine Road for Bowie was Sound and Vision. Totally stripped back and so so much better for it.


Yes, Terence Trent Darby and, if I remember rightly, Alison Moyet too. I was also at Maine Road for the Sound and Vision tour in summer 1990 with James supporting. It was much better than the Glass Spider nightmare and I remember Bowie’s outfit being Thin White Duke-esque.


I don’t think they should go beyond a third box set up to and including Scary Monsters. Surely even the obsessives would think twice about a box set including Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down.

Rick Marino

When you click on the USA link it lists this as a book under Amazon books.


I imagine the Berlin trilogy will have its own set, and Scary Monsters will be put with Let’s Dance so they can still entice extra sales from the ”After 1980 Bowie started to suck for a long time” purists/most people of rational mind.

It’s weird that just last night I was reading another blog from last year discussing the ‘Five Year’ set, which goes into similarly geeky detail as on here, about what the next Bowie-era box-set might contain, with the title ‘Golden Years’ also mooted. So when I clicked on superdeluxe a few minutes ago I half-expected the lead story to be about the next Bowie set, and there he was, looking at me…

It would be great if genuine studio demos/unreleased songs from this era could go on the bonus discs but it’ll probably be 95% stuff previously released, mostly single/radio edit versions etc.

Neil Wilkes

Agreed, Paul.
It would also be good to get the unreleased material from the YA sessions – we know from bootlegs there are many out-takes & alternate mixes/versions out there, ditto “Scary Monsters”. However, givcen EMI/Parlophone’s track record to date I will not be holding my breath (although I suspect that as with the first set I will be a glutton & buy all 3 versions – again. ReCall: 2 will be the interesting set if they do it right, but sadly (and I am speaking here as a mega-fan) this catalogue has been badly handled to date, with the entire digital output still peaking at the Ryko editions.

christian attfield

I’ll offer a contrary opinion on that.
I liked the idea of Five Years strictly containing material that was previously released rather than adding in all of the Ryko bonus tracks.

I hope that all of the bonus tracks and more get picked up in a separate series.

And i slao hope they do a better job of the audio on this one, the Space Oddity lp has digital noise, a missing song intro and a chunk cut out of a song. Terrible job that should have resulted in a replacement.

Daniel Wylie

I was hoping this second box set would go all the way up to Scary monsters and include studio albums from Diamond Dogs to Scary Monsters and include David Live, Stage and the double Recall, making 13 albums (including three doubles) just like the first box.

I hate bragging about this but I got the Five Years vinyl box for around £22 including postage on Amazon Italy. :)


Totally agree with your suggestion but expect the follow up box to fall in line with the content suggested in the write up.

I just hope we are not watching the start of record companies wringing out as much as possible from the back catalogue in as many overpriced formats as they possibly can. Sadly I think we are.

Well done on getting 5 Years for £22. Great find

Rob Puricelli

I did wonder how they were going to split the albums up into suitable eras, what with the first box containing so much. This would seem a good way of doing it, and it should keep each box down to a more affordable price, one would hope.

I guess the one after this will contain Low, Heroes, Lodger and Scary Monsters, but after that, things get a little awkward because Let’s Dance to Never Let Me Down is just three album, and then assuming they skip Tin Machine, Black Tie, White Noise pretty much signifies another era.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what they come up with! :-)


An individual release of Nassau for those that missed out first time around would be nice but the live albums from the last box didn’t get an individual release did they?

rob deighton

They didn’t – but they were technically the same audio masterings so were just re-packaged for the box.


Blimey how many different edits of ‘TVC 15’ were there?

Roberto Zúñiga

In the meantime, I am still waiting for the Five Years set to go down… which is unlikely in light of him gone recently… just like Elvis and Jackson before him, prices are likely to continue go up due to his passing.

Rob Puricelli

The Five Years box set recently (and briefly) dropped to £120 GBP, as highlighted by Paul on this site just a few months ago, shortly after Bowie’s passing. Keep scouring the various EU Amazon sites and you never know, it might come down again.


Hope so, as long as same look, shape and feel of Five Years, maybe a bit less expensive, but probably not.

Five Years was advertised as Ltd. Edition, any idea how many were issued ?