The Prettiest Star

The Prettiest Star

Infobox Single
Name = The Prettiest Star

Caption =
Artist = David Bowie
from Album =
A-side =
B-side = "Conversation Piece"
Released = 6 March 1970
Format = 7" single
Recorded = Trident Studios, London
8, 13, 15 January 1970
Genre = Pop rock
Length = 3:09
Label = Mercury
MF 1135
Writer =
Producer = Tony Visconti
Certification =
Chart position = Did not chart
Last single = "Space Oddity"
This single = "The Prettiest Star"
Next single = "Memory of a Free Festival"
Misc = Extra tracklisting
Type = Studio
Album = Aladdin Sane
prev_track = "Time"
prev_no = 6
this_track = "The Prettiest Star"
track_no = 7
next_track = "Let's Spend the Night Together"
next_no = 8

"The Prettiest Star" is a song by David Bowie, originally released as a single in 1970.

Bowie had recently re-recorded an old Deram track, "London Bye Ta Ta", intended as a follow-up single to "Space Oddity" in early 1970. However, the same sessions had also spawned a new composition named "The Prettiest Star". Bowie wrote it for Angela Barnett, reputedly playing it down the telephone as part of his proposal to her. He also chose it as his next single, to the displeasure of manager Kenneth Pitt, who favoured "London Bye Ta Ta".David Buckley (1999). "Strange Fascination - David Bowie: The Definitive Story": pp.80-81]

The track featured Marc Bolan on guitar, with whom Bowie would spend the next few years as a rival for the crown of the king of glam rock. Producer Tony Visconti, who brought the two aspiring pop stars together in the studio, recalled that the session went well until the end when Bolan's wife June remarked to Bowie, "Marc is too good for you, to be playing on this record!"

Despite receiving good notices, the single reportedly sold less than 800 copies, a major disappointment on the back of the success of "Space Oddity". In 1973, a more glam-influenced version was recorded and released on the album "Aladdin Sane", with Mick Ronson recreating Bolan's original guitar part almost note-for-note.Roy Carr & Charles Shaar Murray (1981). "Bowie: An Illustrated Record": p.32]

Track listing

# "The Prettiest Star" (Bowie) – 3:09
# "Conversation Piece" (Bowie) – 3:05

Alternate cover

Production credits

* Producer:
** Tony Visconti

* Musicians:
** David Bowie: vocals, guitar
** Marc Bolan: guitar on "The Prettiest Star"
** Tony Visconti: bass on "The Prettiest Star"
** John Cambridge: drums
** Tim Renwick: guitar on "Conversation Piece"
** John Lodge: bass on "Conversation Piece"

Other releases

* The "Aladdin Sane" version was released as the B-side of the US single "Time" in April 1973.
* The 1973 version also appeared on the Japanese compilation "The Best of David Bowie" in 1974.
* The single version from 1970 was released in the "Sound + Vision" box set in 1989.
* On "The Best of 1969/1974" in 1997 the original recording was issued for the first time in stereo, named on the sleeve as "Bolan Stereo Mix".

Cover versions

* Ian McCulloch - "Starman: Rare and Exclusive Versions of 18 Classic David Bowie Songs", CD premium from the March 2003 issue of "Uncut" magazine.



*Pegg, Nicholas, "The Complete David Bowie", Reynolds & Hearn Ltd, 2000, ISBN 1-903111-14-5
* [ "The Prettiest Star" at Teenage Wildlife]

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