Album To Album is the biggest and best David Bowie podcast and you can hear me on it charring with Arsalan Mohammad about Bowie’s little-heard ‘lost’ 1971 single, Holy Holy. A notorious commercial failure on its original release, Holy Holy was also effectively the very last few thundering chords of Bowie’s association with the ‘underground’ before he began determinedly chasing a wider and more permanent form of stardom, and while it may have a lot in common musically and lyrically with the accompanying album The Man Who Sold The World, it doesn’t really sound that much like anything else in Bowie’s back catalogue – something that might in fact help explain why it mysteriously disappeared for decades after its original release, only eventually resurfacing on the Five Years (1969-1973) box set in 2015.
During a lengthy chat we discuss some of the possible reasons for Holy Holy‘s quiet relegation to the sidelines, whether it occupies a more important position in Bowie’s artistic trajectory than anyone ever really gives it credit for, the fate of a couple of other bands that released similarly chaotic singles to little success in the wake of massive late sixties hits, whether Holy Holy would have been better regarded if it wasn’t by David Bowie, and exactly which Doctor Who stories Bowie might have seen while questioning where his career went next. There’s also some speculation on what might have gone on during the one known – and long lost – television appearance to promote Holy Holy.
You can download Album To Album: Holy Holy here, subscribe to Album To Album here or here, or listen to it below.
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You can find a much more on David Bowie, including a look many more of at his long-lost early television appearances with more about that Holy Holy performance, in my book Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.
Alternately, if you’re just feeling generous, you can buy me a coffee here. It will set you back considerably less than an original 7″ of Holy Holy would.
You can hear more about another ‘lost’ David Bowie single – his 1986 theme from When The Wind Blows – in Looks Unfamiliar here.
The World Of David Bowie is a feature looking at how David Bowie’s influence finds its way into the most mundane and unexpected places; you can find it here.
© Tim Worthington.
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