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The Width Of A Circle

4.7 out of 5 stars 138 ratings
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Audio CD, 28 May 2021
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Product details

  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.1 x 19.51 x 2.01 cm; 307.88 Grams
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ PLG UK Catalog
  • Original Release Date ‏ : ‎ 2021
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 10 minutes
  • Label ‏ : ‎ PLG UK Catalog
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B092FLPJC9
  • Country of origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 138 ratings

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Product description

This week sees the 50th anniversary of the original U.K. release of The Man Who Sold The World David Bowie's landmark entry into the 1970s. The album not only began the collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson that would continue with such Bowie classics as Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane, it kicked off a 10-year run of indispensable albums stretching through 1980's Scary Monsters. The 2020 re-release of The Man Who Sold The World restored the album's intended title Metrobolist, while featuring a new mix by original producer Tony Visconti. Taking its name from the album's opening track, which was named after a painting by Bowie's friend George Underwood, the new two-CD set The Width Of A Circle acts as a complementary piece to that album. Its 21 tracks feature non-album singles, a BBC In Concert l session, music for a TV play and further Visconti remixes wrapping up David's recordings from 1970 and revealing the first sonic steps toward Hunky Dory.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Another missing link to Bowie's archive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 June 2021
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33 people found this helpful
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Kid Ferrous
4.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the quality, feel the Width
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Never mind the quality, feel the Width
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 June 2021
Released as a companion piece to the fairly recent “Metrobolist” version of the “The Man Who Sold The World” album, this set comprises two discs in the ubiquitous “book set” format.

DISC ONE contains the complete-ish BBC “Sunday Show” radio show which, while historically important as it’s Bowie’s first live performance with Mick Ronson who he’d only met two days previously, has sound quality which veers from ok to blooming awful (due to it being an off-air recording by Tony Visconti and not the original tapes) and features some slightly awkward chat with host John Peel. Most of it will be familiar from previous releases, but it’s good that we can hear it even in this form - a five minute run through “Waiting For The Man” had to be cut from the broadcast due to time constraints and is most likely lost forever.

DISC TWO kicks off with five songs from Lindsay Kemp’s TV show “Pierrot in Turquoise” including “Threepenny Pierrot” which was a reworking of “London Bye Ta Ta”. The programme still exists and was released on DVD - it would have been good if it’d been included in this set.
Next up are various versions of Bowie’s singles from the time including Tony Visconti’s alt mix of “The Prettiest Star” which is being heard on this collection for the first time ever.
The “Sounds of the 70s”radio show with Andy Ferris from 1970 is raw and rocking and is one of the fleeting appearances of Bowie’s short lived band “The Hype”. The version of “Waiting For The Man” included here may be his best ever. “Width of a Circle” is much meatier and slightly slower - it “oozes brooding sexuality”, it says here. The other two songs in the show, a fragile “Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud” and a thumping “The Supermen”, are also deliciously different from the studio versions we know so well. I personally think these four songs comprising the Andy Ferris show are the highlight of the set.
The disc is rounded off with five new mixes from 2020, a music industry practice which isn’t always successful but they’re okay and it keeps Visconti busy.

The “book” is filled with rare photos, reproductions of single covers, handwritten lyrics and various ephemera and is hugely informative with detailed information about the Pierrot show and the radio spots etc. There’s also a timeline of Bowie activity in 1970, quotes and detailed track by track info.

On the whole this is a quality release and fills in a little more of Bowie’s somewhat slightly unfocused early days. Much of this music has been available before of course and whilst a bit rough and probably unlistenable to fans who jumped onboard from “Let’s Dance” onward, it has a certain raw charm. These were the days when Bowie was less sure of himself and was really just throwing anything at the wall to see if it stuck. To be honest, it’s crazy to think that in just a few years he would become Ziggy Stardust, although it is possible to make a connection from a song like “Holy Holy” to “Starman”. This is of course an essential purchase for Bowie fans, but only for the hardcore fans, I think - there isn’t much that will appeal to casual Bowie observers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Zwei CD-Set mit 21 unveröffentlichten Tracks - Ergänzung zu METROBOLIST
Reviewed in Germany on 29 May 2021
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Halloween Jack
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the casual fan.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 June 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 June 2021
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