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David Bowie – Space Oddity (Will Kenny Everett Make It To 1980? Show, 31 December 1979)

December 31st, 2019 | by admin

This video is newly enhanced and extended version of David Bowie’s performance of Space Oddity, on the Kenny Everett New Years Eve TV show, which was broadcast on this day forty years ago, the 31st of December 1979.

The Will Kenny Everett Ever Make It To 1980? Show, also known as The Kenny Everett New Year’s Eve Show, was envisaged as a look back at the Seventies and forward to the Eighties.

The show including the Space Oddity section, was directed by David Mallet, who had earlier that year directed the three Lodger album videos for Bowie – Boys Keep Swinging, DJ, Look Back in Anger. The Space Oddity shoot was at Ewart Studios, Wandsworth, on the 18th of September 1979.

“That came about because (David) Mallet wanted me to do something for his show and he wanted Space Oddity. I agreed as long as I could do it again without all its trappings and do it strictly with three instruments. Having played it with just an acoustic guitar onstage early on, I was always surprised as how powerful it was just as a song, without all the strings and synthesizers. In fact the video side of it was secondary; I really wanted to do it as a three-piece song.”
David Bowie speaking to Angus MacKinnon, NME, 13 September 1980

Bowie asked Tony Visconti to put together a band to re-record Space Oddity and other songs. Visconti suggested using Zaine Griff, who he was producing an album for at the time. And so playing on the session was:

David Bowie • vocals, guitar
Zaine Griff • bass
Hans Zimmer • piano
Andy Duncan • drums

The recording session happened in September 1979, at Tony Visconti’s Good Earth Studios in Soho, London.

Three songs were recorded:

Space Oddity
Panic In Detroit
Rebel Rebel

Space Oddity was released as the B-side of Alabama Song, on the 15 February 1980.

Panic in Detroit eventually surfaced as a bonus track on the 1992 Ryko re-issue of the Scary Monsters CD.

Rebel Rebel remains unreleased.

In 1979 David Bowie had a lot of involvement with films, music videos and TV appearances.

In February, the David Hemmings-directed Just a Gigolo, which starred Bowie was released in the UK. Also at that time Bowie was attempting to finalize another Hemmings directed project, the Stage movie. Tho the former was poorly received, and the latter considered unreleasable, and remains unseen to this day.

In April Bowie made his first video with David Mallet – Boys Keep Swinging – for The Kenny Everett show. Bowie was impressed and as a result, in April Mallet directed the three Lodger promo videos.

In August, the much-delayed DA Pennebaker-directed 1973 Hamersmith Odeon concert film was screened, at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The film was criticized for its poor sound and photography and would go on to undergo more reworking, finally seeing a proper release in 1983.

In early December Bowie shot three videos:

Firstly, another Space Oddity video. This time for an NBC US end-of-the-Seventies tribute show, with Bowie miming to the 1969 version of the song.

And, an interview segment in Kew Gardens, for ABC Australia’s Countdown End of the Decade Special.

Also Mallet and Bowie got together again to shoot a video for the new version of Panic in Detroit, recorded in September. The video was intended for inclusion in the Kenny Everett New Years Eve show. The video was not finished and has never been shown.

On the 15th of December, Bowie now back in the States, made his legendary appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing three songs with a live band.

And finally on New Years Eve 1979, the UK was to see the video we have here – Bowie’s final TV appearance of the 70’s, on the Will Kenny Everett Make It To 1980? Show. It was fitting that the song was Space Oddity, which had been his breakthrough a decade earlier.

So here’s a cleaned up, enhanced and extended version of the Kenny Everett Show video, synced to the remastered version of the 1979 Space Oddity recording, taken from the 2017 box set “A New Career in a New Town”.

Hope you dig it! Happy New Year!


Video Source:
David Bowie • Space Oddity • The Will Kenny Everett Make It To 1980? Show • Directed by David Mallet • Ewart Studios, Wandsworth, London • Shot 18 September 1979 • Broadcast 31 December 1979

Audio Source:
David Bowie • Space Oddity • Recorded Good Earth Studios • Soho, London • September 1979 • Released as B side of Alabama Song • 15 February 1980

Vocals & 12-string guitar • David Bowie
Bass • Zaine Griff
Piano • Hans Zimmer
Drums • Andy Duncan

Producer • Tony Visconti

Always more videos to follow, so please keep your electric eye on me babe!

I don’t own the rights, and I’m not making any money out of this etc. Just a fan making videos for other fans.

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#DavidBowie #Space Oddity #KennyEverett #NewYearsEve #1979

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