The Gospel According to Tony Day


The Gospel According to Tony Day.

I wish Bowie had made “Over the Wall We Go” the b-side to “Laughing Gnome” and doubled down on novelty, but I suppose “The Gospel According to Tony Day” is odd enough to fit.

It’s a draggy 10-bar (or 8-bar plus 2) blues in which a bass and guitar share quarters with an oboe and bassoon, and it has the sort of dunder-headed lyric that you hope was inspired by drugs but probably wasn’t. There’s an inertia to it—everyone trudging back and forth between two chords, thudding bass countered by wagging oboe—and the whole thing smacks of a botched attempt at hipness (especially by the wind players).

Inspirational moment: “Your mind—BLOW IT.” Followed by a bassoon solo.

Recorded 26 January 1967, b-side of Deram DM 123. Covered (pretty reverently, with a flute subbing for the oboe) by Edwyn Collins in 2003.

14 Responses to The Gospel According to Tony Day

  1. DennisVega says:

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  2. JimmyBean says:

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Great site…keep up the good work. 🙂 I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read..Jim Bean

  3. snoball says:

    I second that, this is excellent.

  4. RobD says:

    Hey, great blog…but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂 🙂

  5. col1234 says:

    RobD–if you hit “Feed Reader” or “Entries RSS” on the right-hand column, you should be able to do it, I think.

  6. Bill Luther says:

    Is it me or does Bowie sing towards the end of the track “Waste of *ucking time, take a look at my life and you’ll see…”. It certainly sounds like he drops the “F” bomb!

  7. snoball says:

    It’s “Waste of flippin’ time“?

  8. col1234 says:

    Snoball’s right. I listened to “Tony Day” way too many times to determine if DB was, indeed, dropping the “f” bomb in 1967; sadly, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t.

  9. Bill Luther says:

    Well at least I wasn’t the only one who misheard it!

  10. Is it just me or does the first line in this one sound like the first line of Space Oddity?

  11. Flaneur says:

    Sorry, mistake. The paragraph is about the A side. Please don’t post.

  12. billter says:

    This is probably my favorite of pre-“Space Oddity” Bowie songs. It swings effortlessly, a rarity for David.

  13. Phil says:

    “Your mind, blow it” sounds very Bonzos. Influence or parallel evolution?

    Obviously this song’s rubbish, but I can still quote you most of it word for word, and it must be at least 40 years since I last heard it. That’s a testament to something, although I’m not sure what. Possibly just to the number of times I played it at the time, in a vain attempt to find some merit (or indeed David Bowie) in it.

    Rotten ‘Arry down the ‘all…

  14. Gb says:

    Favorite pre 69 song for me too…to me it sounds like Bowie is finally not trying to sound like anyone else but himself here, which rarely happened during this time.

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