By at 11:06 PM Sunday, March 20th 2011


Decade-Old Unreleased David Bowie Album ‘Toy’ Leaks

David Bowie, Music


Back at the turn of the century, David Bowie re-recorded a number of his lesser-known songs, and planned to release them along with some new material on an album called Toy. The album was slated for a mid-2001 release, but due to problems with Virgin, Bowie’s record label at the time, it never saw the light of day. A number of the songs from Toy were included on Bowie’s 2002 album Heathen and as B-sides to its various singles, but a large portion of Toy still remained unreleased.

Until now, that is.

Sunday afternoon, a decade after its planned release, a 256 kbps quality torrent of the full-length album was leaked online. Consisting of 14 tracks, and running a little over an hour long, the album is the closest we can get to “new” Bowie material.

The tracklist is as follows:

1. Uncle Floyd
2. Afraid
3. Baby Loves That Way
4. I Dig Everything
5. Conversation Piece
6. Let Me Sleep Beside You
7. Toy (Your Turn To Drive)
8. Hole In The Ground
9. Shadow Man
10. In The Heat Of The Morning
11. You’ve Got a Habit Of Leaving
12. Silly Boy Blue
13. Liza Jane
14. The London Boys

The torrent is quite easy to find.


Meanwhile, On The Internet...

  1. Splosh says:

    If so called fans had not started to sell copies of the disc on EBay at $55 a pop, the mp3′s would have remained safely under wraps.

    • ….where nobody would be hearing them.

    • CC says:

      Wow Splosh, you’re the kind of person everyone loves to hate. “Safely under wraps” indeed… where pricks can pretend they’re better than everyone else for not sharing music.

      You’re a piece of shit.

    • Scotto says:

      That’s a tiny fiddle you’re playing there, Splosh. Don’t go buying bootlegs off of Ebay and do a little searching for these unreleased rarities instead.

  2. Cody Lamie says:

    Assholes with unreleased music are the worst. I know a chick who has two unreleased Weezer tracks from 96′ who wont give them up. I told her I’d do it for her if she was so worried.

  3. Crispy32 says:

    I’m really pleased these tracks have finally seen the light of day and can be enjoyed by everyone as opposed to Grinches insisting on them being hidden away in a dark cupboard “safely under wraps”. I don’t like fanboy one-upmanship

    Ok some of the tracks have surfaced as b-side and boots and refined on Heathen (Uncle Floyd being one prime example). But then there are sublime tracks like Toy (Your Turn To Drive) and Hole In The Ground, which for old fans like me rekindle my appreciation for Bowie’s latter day output.

    At the end of the day, it’s looking less likely that we will see any new Bowie material in the near future if ever, so let’s enjoy whatever glimpes into the man’s head as we can. It sure beats another crappy book or another rerelease of his Laughing Gnome period music

    • Crispy32 says:

      I realise, I’ve contradicted myself in my closing statement. Strictly speaking, Silly Boy Blue on Toy IS from Bowie’s Laughing Gnome period – d’oh!

  4. Zack Jackson says:

    As a casual Bowie fan, owning only Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Station to Station and Aladdin Sane on record… what I want to know is… is this worth my time?

    • Regardless of the fact that I’m a huge David Bowie fan, I think it definitely is of some value to casual listeners as well. It’s latter-day Bowie, so it’s less experimental and much “safer” than his earlier work, but with that said, I recommend it. It’s an older, more mature Bowie reworking his earlier songs, and it’s always nice to see how a musician as versatile as Bowie has developed over the years. There are also some really great, new, unreleased tracks on the record as well. It’s well-worth the download.

    • Lucas says:

      There’s some really good stuff here, but if you’re interested in more Bowie there are so many other classic albums to check out first. It seems you’ve got some of his more ‘rock’ oriented albums, so based on that assumption, I would recommend Hunky Dory (classic pop tunes), Scary Monsters (a summation of the areas he explored in the 70′) and Diamond Dogs (last ‘glam’ album, unfairly described as too over the top – it’s an incredibly underrated album). Each of those records are very solid, beginning to end.

      Then there’s Low. Low is one of the all time great albums (not just for Bowie, but for anyone), but it is much, much different than the ones mentioned above (synth heavy, few traditional song structures and side B is all instrumental) and not nearly as immediate. You might love it, but you might not even like it.

      If you’re up for more Bowie after all that – go to The Man Who Sold the World (heaviest record he ever made), Young Americans (the plastic soul record – the title track is worth the price alone, but there are a few other good songs here – not as consistent as his other 70′s records), “Heroes” (recorded a few months after Low – it is a great record, but doesn’t quite have the impact of Low and has a few skipable tracks) , Lodger (recorded after “Heroes” – this one is probably my least favorite record he did in the 70′s – it’s still good, but I think other people like it more than i do) and Space Oddity (besides the title track – there are a lot of great early Bowie tunes). Also – Bowie wrote all the music for Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and Lust for Life (the Idiot is an especially Bowie sounding record). Both are classics.

      If you’re hungry for even more, well let me say…. welcome! You are now a Bowie Obsessive and thankfully for you, there are still more great records to check out.

      Pin-Ups is his 60′s mod/covers album and is just a fun rock album. I would recommend the Bowie at the Beeb collection for the best representation of his pre-glam work. Let’s Dance is the dividing line among many Bowie fans – I think it’s great, but it’s definitely his slickest pop album and may sound a little too dated. Stay away from Tonight and Never Let Me Down (though as an obsessive, there for sure is some worthwhile stuff on these).

      The 90′s – 00′s albums all have some great songs, but none are what I’d consider essential. Heathen is probably the best among them, but if you’ve gotten this far you’ll probably find enough to like to make any of them worth a listen.

      As for live stuff – the official 70′s double live albums are fine, if unremarkable (Stage and David Live). I’d go with Santa Monica ’72 and Nassau ’76 (available officially on the Station to Station reissue).

      This is probably a lot more info than what you were probably looking for – but he has soooooooooooo many amazing albums, i couldn’t help it. For the record, Station to Station and Low are my favorites. Hope this is useful and hope you have fun exploring one of the most rewarding back catalogs in rock.


  5. People getting sued over unreleased music? When has THAT ever happened? ;-)

  6. Phil says:

    Anyone know whether DB approved this release?

    • Scotto says:

      I’m assuming he did because I had read that this record was an attempt to fulfill a requirement in his contract, but that the label wasn’t interested and didn’t want to release it. Instead, he took a few tracks from it, reworked them along with writing new originals, and ended up creating Heathen instead.

      Plus, as Sailor Sailor, Bowie’s a big fan of the internet. I think he pioneered releasing singles online way before Steve Jobs even knew what iTunes was gonna turn out to be.

  7. Sailor Sailor says:

    First off, it was probably Bowie himself who “leaked’ the album set list as he’s notorious for loving the ‘net and it’s endless possibilities and methods of engagement.
    Second, if it’s out there, it’s up for grabs now – law of the jungle joyously or sadly enough.
    Third, “Leakage” is a great marketing tool. It gives an artist status that anybody would want the music so badly or even care. That status alone is tuff enuff nowadays.

    Fourthly. Why or what would give a person the right to withhold it from others, once it is either joyously or sadly “out there”?


  8. Pett says:

    It’s funny that he re-recorded some of his 60′s material, and maybe even funnier if it was he who’s leaking them now, as he used to hate his earliest stuff so much he managed to keep the first album out of print for long periods (and I wonder if he didn’t have a hand in putting Ziggy on the glam-era reprints of his hippy albums too)

  9. Splosh says:

    Perhaps I’ve been misunderstood or maybe I really am a piece of shit. I’m not a hoarder, not a regular buyer of bootlegs and certainly not a member of any “inner circle” with previous access to these files.
    Keeping them “safely under wraps” for these last few years has protected the person trusted with them in the first place. By the way, I don’t believe the Plati laptop story for a new york minute.
    I’m also pleased to be able to hear them but have to be concerned about the consequences especially for the future of MWP.

  10. Decent Music-loving Citizen says:

    OK, is there a way to hear and/or buy this legally? I like to think I’m not a thief.

  11. TrackBowie says:

    In the seventies Bowie did have some rather fine records. Perhaps Hunky Dory is one of the best (or a personal favorite) though other people may like certain other records more.

    Perhaps to have new (2001 recordings) CD tracks in the wild would be something Bowie himself would not be very pleased about, or maybe he might not mind so much.

    As for these links, nothing is here; nothing to hear.

  12. TB says:

    (rename, it is a zip file and yes, there is music here)

  13. Ben says:

    Man – someone needs to do this with Zach de la Rocha’s album…

  14. Sean says:

    This is definitely worth a listen but what some of you may not realise is that there are apparently two tracks that have gone ‘missing’. Versions of Can’t Help Thinking About Me and Karma Man were also recorded for this album. Anyone know where they are?
    With regard to some earlier posts the whispers are that DB REALLY REALLY wanted this album to be released and was more than a little miffed when it all fell through. Based on that it wouldn’t surprise me one little bit if the man himself was indeed responsible for the leak. If he was then lets all just say a big ‘Thanks Dave’.

  15. [...] Bowie‘s Toy, an album that was originally intended to be released in 2001, has leaked online. A high-quality rip of the full 14-track record surfaced on bit torrent sites on Sunday, much to [...]

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