Back when David Bowie was working with Virgin Records, he recorded Toy, an album that would feature new arrangements of his earliest songs and even some new pieces. The recording took place in the year 2000, and was initially set for release between 2001 and 2002.
However, before this could happen, Bowie left EMI/Virgin, and signed up with Columbia Records to release his albums through his own label ISO. Toy remained in the Virgin Record's vaults for nearly 20 years. Working with the new label, Bowie moved on to releasing Heathen in June 2002. But the plans for Toy weren't over. On several occasions, the musician had announced his intention of releasing all the tracks as singles, B-sides, and eventually, as a whole album.
When Bowie first thought about recording Toy, after Glastonbury 2000, he had already brought one of his 1965 singles back to life. At that time, ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ (recorded in December 1965) had remained untouched for almost 30 years. It wasn’t until the summer of 1999 when he decided to make an arrangement of the song, and soon went from cringing at it to loving it, and he even got to include it on his setlist for that year’s Europe tour. The resurrection of ‘Can’t Help Thinking About Me’ was the starting point to the whole production of Toy.
Soon, the arrangements made to the rest of his earliest songs gave them a modern, more dynamic sound, and they even came out better than they were in the first place. These reworked songs, and the inclusion of some new originals, made this an album that Bowie fans – and the general public – would look forward to.
Now, finally, after the many impediments to the original release date, the album will come out on 26 November under Warner Music's label; and this time, it will also be included in a special set box. The official track list includes ‘You've got a habit of leaving’, ‘I dig everything’, ‘Baby loves that way’ and ‘Toy (your turn to drive)’.
David Bowie was an outstanding musician, and the genius of his compositions and lyrics will be long admired. Certainly, the release of this album offers a new way to commemorate the musician and celebrate his work.