Unfortunately the entire Love You Til Tuesday promotional film is not available in its entirety on YouTube, so the above video is just of the title song. The entire film was a compilation of videos of Bowie’s never-to-be-well-known songs from the time, which, if you couldn’t guess from his Austin Powers wardrobe, was 1969. The film and most of the songs from the project remained more or less forgotten until 1984 when, in the heat of Bowie’s post Let’s Dance superstardom, they were released as an album (I have a cassette tape from the time). The packaging doesn’t matter— these are pretty bad songs. Except for one— “Space Oddity.” Amidst the cornucopia of crap is this stunningly excellent song which would become one of Bowie’s signatures. The video from this project for that song is amusing in its simplicity, but Bowie would supplant that video with a later one while dressed in Ziggy regalia.
“Love You Til Tuesday” came up on another one of my recent blog posts from a few days ago which I titled, “Love You, ‘Til Tuesday” (click to link), which was commentary on an Aimee Mann concert I had just attended. As I wrote then and elsewhere, as far as I can tell, there is no genuine connection between the Bowie project and the name of Mann’s ‘80s band.
Speaking of the 80s, I can’t imagine very many people excited about Let’s Dance who came across the “new” Love You Til Tuesday album could have been very happy about their purchase. The music couldn’t be more different. Even Bowie’s voice had undergone a significant transformation from this high-pitched nasally sound to the deeper, wider ranging sound he had achieved by that time. Plus, the audio doesn’t even have the benefit of seeing Bowie look like this. I think the actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers must have studied these videos to prepare for his role as the thinly-veiled Bowie character in the movie, Velvet Goldmine. So we got that out of the deal.
Anyway, I do these updates when the original video link craps out, which happened here. If you watch this video (if it works), I can’t promise you the best of Bowie, but it is amusing…
Here’s what I originally wrote on November 10, 2018:
This is the soundtrack of a promotional film— really a proto-video, originally recorded in 1969. Actually, the album contains some additional early songs that were not part of the original video but have also appeared elsewhere. In any case, the result is mildly interesting to hear once, but it is far from Bowie at his best. I have’t listened to the album through in years.
Most of the songs on this album are pretty obscure, with one big exception: “Space Oddity.” Better still, this isn’t the well-known version of “Space Oddity” found on the album of the same name. This is an earlier version, for which Bowie made an earlier video that was (presumably) part of the larger video project (I have never seen the entirety of the video, so I’m guessing on that). In any case it is far and away this album’s high point.
Some of the other songs on the album are not terrible. I’ve written elsewhere that oddly enough, a commercial for Heathrow Airport highlighted the virtues (for me) of, “When I Live My Dream.” Also, Bowie’s first recorded song, “Liza Jane,” appears on this album. I don’t think this was part of the video project. It is not a great song, but I like it better than most of what Bowie came out with slightly later, which is to say the bulk of the rest of the album. In “Liza Jane,” Bowie is simply singing a simple rock and roll song. With his later 60’s work, he seems more consciously trying to adapt a persona, in this case the persona of a hippy pop-folk singer. Although Bowie would make a career of adopting and changing personae, he hadn’t unite perfected it yet, but his voice was on its way, and for me that comes through more on “Liza Jane” than some of the rest.
Another song that I think was added onto the album and not part of the original video is Bowie’s very worst— “The Laughing Gnome.” This bad-joke ridden novelty song really shouldn’t belong on any album other than a collection of other novelty songs— maybe Dr. Demento Volume XII. It is’t so bad as to be good, or funny in a corny way. Its just a miss. So are most of the rest of the album’s songs, including the title track. Oh, well.
In any case, the video project and the songs recorded for it apparently remained on a shelf for 15 years until Bowie had become a star. Someone dug this out during the height of his “Let’s Dance” fame and made it public.
Coincidently, this album was released several months before the band, “Til Tuesday” released its first single and biggest hit, “Voices Carry.” As far as I know, the one has nothing to do with the other, except “Til Tuesday’s lead singer, Aimee Mann, is my second favorite musician next to Bowie!