Listen to David Bowie’s Lost Soul Album (Plus How It Was Made and Why It Was Killed)

David Bowie was on a roll in the middle 70s. Despite (because of?) problems with cocaine, alcohol and the psychoses they induce, the music flowed from him like water. Aladdin Sane was quickly followed by Pin Ups, which led into Diamond Dogs then Young Americans then Station to Station. From there, he went into his three so-called Berlin albums: Low, Heroes and Lodger.

Amidst this output was an album called The Gouster. Slotted in the high-on-coke years between Diamond Dogs and Young Americans, it was an experiment in soul that didn’t quite work out. Bowie shelved it and used some of the remnants on Young Americans. (This included the standalone single “John. I’m Only Dancing” and the title track of Americans.) The existence of this missing album has been something of a legend amongst Bowie fans and occasionally alluded to in several biographies, it’s never been heard in full. Until now.

Before Bowie died, he prepared a series of projects that he wanted to be released after he died. This includes Who Can It Be Now? (1974-1976), a box set that features The Gouster. Here’s the tracklisting.

01. John, I’m Only Dancing (Again)
02. Somebody Up There Likes Me
03. It’s Gonna Be Me
04. Who Can I Be Now?
05. Can You Hear Me
06. Young Americans
07. Right

Stream the album here. As you listen, read Esquire’s story of the making of the album.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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