Detailed Pedia

Sound + Vision (box set)

Sound + Vision
Box set by
Released19 September 1989 (1989-09-19) (original)
2 December 2003 (2003-12-02) (reissue)
Recorded1969–1980 (original)
1969–1997 (reissue)
GenreRock, glam rock, art rock
Length196:38 (original)
298:03 (reissue)
ProducerDavid Bowie, Ken Scott, Tony Visconti, Harry Maslin (original and reissue)
Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, Derek Bramble, Hugh Padgham, David Richards, Tin Machine, Tim Palmer (reissue)
David Bowie chronology
Never Let Me Down
Sound + Vision
Alternative cover
2003 edition
2003 edition
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[3]

Sound + Vision is the first box set by English musician David Bowie, released by Rykodisc in 1989. By the end of the 1980s, the rights to Bowie's pre-1983 catalogue (originally issued by Phillips/Mercury Records and RCA Records) reverted to Bowie and his former management company MainMan. Rykodisc had approached Bowie in 1988 to re-release albums on CD and Bowie agreed, and in September 1989 the Sound + Vision box set was released.[4] By April 1990 the box set had sold over 200,000 copies, which, for a set costing $50–$60 (or about $110 today)[5] was considered "phenomenal".[6]

Set contents

Sound + Vision was originally conceived in January 1988 as a career retrospective, modeled on Bob Dylan's Biograph[7] and Eric Clapton's Crossroads,[8] that launched off the then-upcoming Rykodisc CD reissue campaign covering Bowie's output from 1969 to 1980.[9] Primarily based on the Serious Moonlight Tour setlist,[10] it contains few of Bowie's greatest hits in their original form, instead frequently opting for demos, live versions and even a German vocal version of ""Heroes"" ("Helden"). The "rarities" originally included on the 1989 edition of Sound + Vision (the rare single versions of "Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" and "Rebel Rebel", and the previously unreleased studio outtakes "London Bye Ta–Ta", "1984/Dodo", "After Today", and "It's Hard To Be A Saint in the City") were exclusive to this box set.

Awards and reception

The set won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Album Package.[11] Rolling Stone said the boxset "stood above the rest [of the 1989 boxset releases]" and called the release a "promising harbinger" for the then-upcoming re-release of Bowie's RCA back catalogue on CD with Rykodisc,[12] for which Bowie launched a worldwide supporting tour.[13]

Release versions

It exists in two primary editions, each of which has been released in an original version and a subsequent repackaged version:

  1. The original 1989 Rykodisc edition, in an LP-size box designed by Roger Gorman and featuring photography by Greg Gorman, was either in LP, audiocassette or CD format, as six LPs, three cassettes or three CDs and one CD-Video (a Laserdisc type disc that was retired in 1991), with the latter containing audio tracks and the music video of "Ashes To Ashes". There was also a numbered limited edition of 350 in a solid beech wood case with a certificate personally signed by Bowie. Content from this release included material from Bowie's catalogue through 1980 (including several live performances from the 1970s). A second Rykodisc version of this edition, released in 1995 on CD, replaced the CD-Video with a regular CD-ROM and was packaged in a smaller slipcase. The contents of this release are otherwise identical to the original release.
  2. A new edition of the album, issued by Virgin/EMI in 2003, added Bowie studio material released from 1982 - 1993 (plus live tracks from 1983 and 1997), and replaced some of the tracks from the original set with alternate versions. This version contains more tracks on each CD than the original release, and does not include the CD-Video/CD-ROM tracks from the original release. This edition was re-released on CD, in a smaller slipcase, under the Rhino imprint in 2014.

Track listing

All songs written by David Bowie unless otherwise indicated.

1989 issue

CD one
No.TitleWriter(s)Place of originLength
1."Space Oddity" (Demo version) Previously unreleased; demo recorded in spring 19695:09
2."Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud" (Single version) B-side to the "Space Oddity" single, 19694:50
3."The Prettiest Star" (Marc Bolan mono single version) Non-album single, 1970; later re-recorded and reissued on Aladdin Sane, 19733:11
4."London Bye Ta Ta" (Mono version) Previously unreleased; recorded in 1970 as follow up single to "Space Oddity"2:35
5."Black Country Rock" The Man Who Sold the World, 1970/19713:33
6."The Man Who Sold the World" The Man Who Sold the World3:56
7."The Bewlay Brothers" Hunky Dory, 19715:22
8."Changes" Hunky Dory3:35
9."Round and Round" (Cover of the Chuck Berry song "Around and Around")Chuck BerryB-side of the "Drive-In Saturday" single, 1973; recorded during the Ziggy Stardust sessions, 19712:41
10."Moonage Daydream" The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, 19724:39
11."John, I'm Only Dancing" (Sax version) Non-album single, 1973; originally released in 1972; Aladdin Sane outtake2:43
12."Drive-In Saturday" Aladdin Sane4:30
13."Panic in Detroit" Aladdin Sane4:25
14."Ziggy Stardust" (Live) Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture, recorded 1973, released 1983; originally from Ziggy Stardust3:16
15."White Light/White Heat" (Live)Lou ReedZiggy Stardust: The Motion Picture; originally by The Velvet Underground from the album of the same name, 19683:57
16."Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" (Live) Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture4:30
CD two
No.TitleWriter(s)Place of originLength
1."Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere"Roger Daltrey, Pete TownshendPin Ups, 19733:08
2."Sorrow"Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard GottehrerPin Ups2:53
3."Don't Bring Me Down"Johnnie DeePin Ups2:05
4."1984/Dodo" Previously unreleased; originally recorded for the U.S. TV special The 1980 Floor Show and later found on the Dollars in Drag bootleg, 19735:29
5."Big Brother" Diamond Dogs, 19743:21
6."Rebel Rebel" (U.S. single version) Diamond Dogs; released a few months before the album's release3:01
7."Suffragette City" (Live) David Live, 1974; originally from Ziggy Stardust3:50
8."Watch That Man" (Live) David Live; originally from Aladdin Sane5:07
9."Cracked Actor" (Live) David Live; originally from Aladdin Sane3:30
10."Young Americans" (U.S. single version) Young Americans, 19753:30
11."Fascination" (A different, more echo heavy mix which was not on the 2003 issue)Bowie, Luther VandrossYoung Americans5:45
12."After Today" (A different, more echo heavy mix which was not on the 2003 issue) Previously unreleased; Young Americans outtake, 19753:50
13."It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"Bruce SpringsteenPreviously unreleased; Station to Station outtake, 19753:49
14."TVC 15" Station to Station, 19765:31
15."Wild Is the Wind"Dimitri Tiomkin, Ned WashingtonStation to Station; originally written for the film of the same name, 19575:58
CD three
No.TitleWriter(s)Place of OriginLength
1."Sound and Vision" Low, 19773:05
2."Be My Wife" Low2:57
3."Speed of Life" Low2:47
4.""Helden"" (German version of ""Heroes"", recorded in 1977 and remixed for this release)Bowie, Brian Eno"Heroes", 19773:39
5."Joe the Lion" "Heroes"3:07
6."Sons of the Silent Age" "Heroes"3:19
7."Station to Station" (Live) Stage, 1978; originally from Station to Station8:50
8."Warszawa" (Live)Bowie, EnoStage; originally from Low6:52
9."Breaking Glass" (Live)Bowie, Dennis Davis, George MurrayStage; originally from Low3:35
10."Red Sails"Bowie, EnoLodger, 19793:45
11."Look Back in Anger"Bowie, EnoLodger3:07
12."Boys Keep Swinging"Bowie, EnoLodger3:18
13."Up the Hill Backwards" Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 19803:15
14."Kingdom Come"Tom VerlaineScary Monsters (And Super Creeps)3:44
15."Ashes to Ashes" Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)4:23
No.TitlePlace of originLength
1."John, I'm Only Dancing" (Live at the Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., 1 October 1972)Previously unreleased2:40
2."Changes" (Live at the Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., 1 October 1972)Previously unreleased3:20
3."The Supermen" (Live at the Boston Music Hall, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., 1 October 1972)Previously unreleased; originally from The Man Who Sold the World2:43
4."Ashes to Ashes" (Video/Single edit) 3:34

2003 reissue (CD: EMI / 5945112)

All songs written by David Bowie unless otherwise indicated. Songs that are different from the original Sound + Vision box set or new to this release of the box set are as indicated with *.

CD one
1."Space Oddity" (Demo version) 5:09
2."Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud*" (With spoken intro) 4:57
3."The Prettiest Star" (Marc Bolan mono single version) 3:11
4."London Bye Ta Ta*" (Previously unreleased stereo mix) 2:37
5."Black Country Rock" 3:35
6."The Man Who Sold the World" 3:58
7."The Bewlay Brothers" 5:23
8."Changes" 3:34
9."Round and Round*" (Alternate vocal) 2:43
10."Moonage Daydream" 4:40
11."John, I'm Only Dancing" (Sax version) 2:44
12."Drive-In Saturday" 4:31
13."Panic in Detroit" 4:27
14."Ziggy Stardust" (Live) 3:23
15."White Light/White Heat" (Live)Reed4:23
16."Rock 'n' Roll Suicide" (Live) 4:16
17."Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere"Daltrey, Townshend3:07
18."Sorrow"Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer2:53
19."Don't Bring Me Down"Dee2:06
CD two
1."1984/Dodo" 5:29
2."Big Brother" 3:23
3."Rebel Rebel" (U.S. single version) 3:00
4."Suffragette City" (Live) 3:46
5."Watch That Man" (Live) 5:08
6."Cracked Actor" (Live) 3:31
7."Young Americans" 5:13
8."Fascination*"Bowie, Vandross5:46
9."After Today*" 3:49
10."It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"Springsteen3:48
11."TVC 15" 5:32
12."Wild Is the Wind"Tiomkin, Washington6:00
13."Sound and Vision" 3:04
14."Be My Wife" 2:56
15."Speed of Life" 2:46
16.""Helden"" (German version of ""Heroes"") 3:39
17."Joe the Lion"Bowie, Eno3:07
18."Sons of the Silent Age" 3:18
CD three
No.TitleWriter(s)Place of originLength
1."Station to Station" (Live)  8:53
2."Warszawa" (Live)Bowie, Eno 6:49
3."Breaking Glass" (Live)Bowie, Davis, Murray 3:30
4."Red Sails"Bowie, Eno 3:44
5."Look Back in Anger"Bowie, Eno 3:07
6."Boys Keep Swinging"Bowie, Eno 3:18
7."Up the Hill Backwards"  3:15
8."Kingdom Come"Verlaine 3:45
9."Ashes to Ashes"  4:24
10."Baal's Hymn*"Bertolt Brecht, Dominic MuldowneyBaal (EP), 1982; previously unreleased on CD4:02
11."The Drowned Girl*"Brecht, Kurt WeillBaal; previously unreleased on CD2:26
12."Cat People (Putting Out Fire)*" (with Giorgio Moroder)Bowie, Giorgio MoroderCat People soundtrack, 19826:45
13."China Girl*"Bowie, Iggy PopLet's Dance, 1983; originally by Iggy Pop from The Idiot, 19775:32
14."Ricochet*" Let's Dance5:12
15."Modern Love*" (Live) "Modern Love" B-side, 1983; originally from Let's Dance; previously unreleased on CD3:45
16."Loving the Alien*" Tonight, 19847:07
17."Dancing with the Big Boys*" (with Iggy Pop)Bowie, Pop, Carlos AlomarTonight3:34
CD four
No.TitleWriter(s)Place of originLength
1."Blue Jean*" Tonight3:12
2."Time Will Crawl*" Never Let Me Down, 19874:19
3."Baby Can Dance*" (as Tin Machine) Tin Machine, 19894:58
4."Amazing*" (as Tin Machine)Bowie, Reeves GabrelsTin Machine3:04
5."I Can't Read*" (as Tin Machine)Bowie, GabrelsTin Machine4:57
6."Shopping for Girls*" (as Tin Machine)Bowie, GabrelsTin Machine II, 19913:45
7."Goodbye Mr. Ed*" (as Tin Machine)Bowie, Tony Sales, Hunt SalesTin Machine II3:24
8."Amlapura*" (as Tin Machine)Bowie, GabrelsTin Machine II3:49
9."You've Been Around*"Bowie, GabrelsBlack Tie White Noise, 19934:44
10."Nite Flights*" (Moodswings Back to Basics remix radio edit)N. Scott EngelPreviously unreleased; original version from Black Tie White Noise4:37
11."Pallas Athena" (Gone Midnight mix) Previously unreleased on CD, original version from Black Tie White Noise4:21
12."Jump They Say*" Black Tie White Noise4:25
13."The Buddha of Suburbia*" The Buddha of Suburbia soundtrack, 19934:27
14."Dead Against It*" The Buddha of Suburbia5:48
15."South Horizon*" The Buddha of Suburbia5:25
16."Pallas Athena*" (Live as Tao Jones Index) B-side of the "Seven Years in Tibet" single, 19988:19



Year Chart Position
1989 US Billboard 200[14] 97
2014 Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[15] 89
2014 UK Albums (OCC)[16] 63
2016 Australian Albums Chart[17] 72
2016 Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[18] 96
2016 New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[19] 9


Organization Level Date
RIAA – US Gold 7 November 1995


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rolling Stone magazine, 14–28 December 1989, page 245
  3. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. pp. 97–98.
  4. ^ White, Dennis R. (May 1990), "The Men Who Sold the Man", The Rocket, Seattle, WA (127), p. 19
  5. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Bowie, Rebel in Repose" by Edna Gundersen, USA Today, 27 April 1990, Section D pp 1 & 2
  7. ^ Rougvie, Jeff (22 December 2014). "25 Years Ago(-ish) Part 4". JEFF ROUGVIE HUB. Retrieved 15 March 2019 – via Squarespace.
  8. ^ Rougvie, Jeff (18 November 2014). "It Was (nearly) 25 years ago Today Part 3". JEFF ROUGVIE HUB. Retrieved 15 March 2019 – via Squarespace.
  9. ^ Rougvie, Jeff (12 October 2015). "It Was 26+ Years Ago Today Part 2". JEFF ROUGVIE HUB. Retrieved 12 October 2015 – via Squarespace.
  10. ^ Rougvie, Jeff (15 November 2015). "It Was 26+ Years Ago Today Part 3 & Maybe 4 & 5, too". JEFF ROUGVIE HUB. Retrieved 15 March 2019 – via Squarespace.
  11. ^ Louie, Elaine. "Style Makers; Roger Gorman, Album Designer", The New York Times, New York, 1 April 1990. Retrieved on 12 October 2015.
  12. ^ "CD News" by Pete Howard, Rolling Stone, 14–28 December 1989, page 216
  13. ^ "Watch that Man" by Tina Clarke, Music Express, March 1990, page 9
  14. ^ "David Bowie Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  15. ^ " – David Bowie – Sound+Vision" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  16. ^ "David Bowie | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  17. ^ Ryan, Gavin (16 January 2016). "ARIA Albums: David Bowie 'Blackstar' Debuts at No 1". Noise11. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  18. ^ " – David Bowie – Sound+Vision" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  19. ^ " – David Bowie – Sound+Vision". Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 October 2020.

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