Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Listen: Two Instrumental versions of David Bowie and Brian Eno’s Berlin classic ‘Low’

Hear a pair of revelatory versions featuring Brian Eno on “splintered” Minimoog.

David Bowie Low Album

Article by E. Little from In Sheep’s Clothing Hi-Fi

In early April 2022 two David Bowie tracks recorded during the Low sessions in 1976 showed up on YouTube; a noteworthy turn of events shared on Twitter by Bowie expert Chris O’Leary.

Recorded during Bowie’s series of albums featuring collaborations with Brian Eno, the two pieces are revelatory under-the-hood looks at what Bowie, Brian Eno, producer Tony Visconti and band built during a particularly inventive period.

Bowie had retreated from Los Angeles, where he had become desperately addicted to cocaine, with his friend Iggy Pop, who was also in L.A. and had become desperately addicted to heroin. It would be an amazing script for a biopic: Bowie and Pop tag-teaming their way toward being clean by moving to Berlin and meeting up with Eno and immersing themselves into the Krautrock capital of the world.

The first Bowie album to come from these collaborations, Low was a huge departure for him. Long driven by his aim at being a pop star, in Berlin he tapped whole new creative portals.

Bowie scholar O’Leary, whose two books, Rebel Rebel and Ashes to Ashes, present detailed, song-by-song analyses and insight, writes in the latter book that “[t]the story of Low is that of a depressed, worn-down man seeing if he could write songs again, half wondering whether he wanted to.”

Here’s the instrumental for “What in the World,” which O’Leary notes might have been written during the sessions for Pop’s album The Idiot, which Iggy had finished a few days prior to the start of Low at the same studio.

The other newly uploaded instrumental is for “Breaking Glass,” Bowie’s coke-den snapshot of destruction. It is driven in part by Eno’s use of the Minimoog, and further propelled by guitarist Carlos Alomar’s lead guitar run and rhythms generated by bassist George Murray and percussionist Dennis Davis. According to O’Leary’s  “Ashes to Ashes,” after the band laid down the track, “[t]hey packed off, leaving Bowie and Eno to scribble over the tracks.

The latter’s contribution to ‘Breaking Glass’ is a descending three-note bleat on ‘splintered’ Minimoog, panned right-to-left, then left-to-right, as if he was doing a stereo placement test.”

If you haven’t heard Low, you should:

This article originally appeared at

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Related reading:

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ken

    July 12, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    After Station to Station, which was a great album, Low sucked, except for Sound and Vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


You May Also Like


I tell strange stories from music history, and offer up words of advice for your next romantic rendezvous.


The greatest movie soundtracks? Here are some of our picks from 1980-2020 that you need to own if you're starting a collection.


Our friends at ISC Hi-Fi shared something that made 2021 special.


And it's not just the dominance of old songs—the whole creative culture is losing its ability to innovate. But why?


Octogenarian musicians have never made so much money as now—but why?


Find out what evidence supports the recent claim that the blues were invented in the 1890s by Black Creoles in New Orleans.


A short retrospective on the Twin Peaks crooner, along with some of our favorite recordings from the late dream-pop icon.


Acclaimed author, André Darlington discusses his latest book, Booze & Vinyl at T.H.E. Show 2022.


ecoustics is a hi-fi and music magazine offering product reviews, podcasts, news and advice for aspiring audiophiles, home theater enthusiasts and headphone hipsters. Read more

Copyright © 1999-2022 ecoustics | Disclaimer: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.