You can hear me on Album To Album, the biggest and best David Bowie podcast, talking to 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 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 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 explain why it mysteriously disappeared for decades after its release, only eventually resurfacing on a box set in 2015.
During a lengthy and enthusiastic chat we touch on some of the possible reasons for Holy Holy‘s quiet sidelining, 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 theorising on what might have gone on during the one known – and long lost – television appearance promoting Holy Holy.
You can follow Album To Album on Twitter at @albumtoalbum.
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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 (including more detail on 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.
You can hear more about another ‘lost’ David Bowie single – his 1986 theme from When The Wind Blows – in the edition of Looks Unfamiliar with James Gent here.
The World Of David Bowie is a feature looking at how my interest in David Bowie has filtered into my day to day life in often unexpected ways; you can find it here.
© Tim Worthington.
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