The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Friday’s Child: David Bowie’s “Hours” Expanded and Remastered

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Has it really been over eight years since David Bowie released his final studio album to date, Reality?  Bowie turned 65 yesterday, quietly enjoying what may be his retirement.  But it doesn’t seem like so long ago that the musician was still considered prolific; Reality came hot on the heels of 2002’s Heathen.  And Heathen seemed to signify a new era for Bowie, his first album for the venerable Columbia Records after a stint at Virgin, for which 1999’s Hours… was the final release.  All of these single-word-titled albums seemed to reveal a contented David Bowie, still probing but more subtle in his exploration of new sounds and musical frontiers.  And although the artist met with great acclaim reuniting at Columbia with producer Tony Visconti on both Heathen and Reality, his stylistically eclectic Virgin efforts are worthy of reexamination.  When Bowie took his catalogue to Columbia in 2002, he brought along the Virgin titles with him, and now, the Columbia reissue of Hours… (expanded with five bonus tracks from the original CD) is itself being reissued and remastered for 2012 by Friday Music.

Co-writing and co-producing each track on the album with guitarist Reeves Gabrels (of Bowie’s side project Tin Machine), Bowie seemed in his comfort zone on Hours…, subtly drawing on his classic sound while still maintaining a contemporary feel.  (Indeed, the collision between past and present was even alluded to on the cover, with a short-haired, elder Bowie cradled by his long-haired, more youthful self.)  Gabrels had been a major presence in Bowie’s music throughout the 1990s, and some musical elements on Hours… were adapted from music written by the duo for the 1999 video game Omikron: The Nomad Soul.

Despite strong material like the mid-tempo single “Thursday’s Child,” “Seven” (later remixed by artists such as Beck and Marius DeVries) and “The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell” (utilized in the 1999 horror film Stigmata), Hours… has the distinction of being Bowie’s first long-player to miss the Top 40 albums chart in the United States.  It peaked at No. 47.  Perhaps sensing that a clean break was needed, Bowie departed EMI/Virgin after Hours…, and signed with Columbia Records where his own ISO label was established.  He took his Virgin catalogue with him, and Columbia reissued Outside, Earthling and Hours… in expanded form.    As all three albums had extensive bonus material released on various international singles, expanded editions were inevitable.  A 10-CD box set (the rather plainly titled David Bowie Box) was released in 2007 with each of the five albums in a 2-CD edition.  The Hours… bonus disc included 17 related tracks; all five songs heard on Friday’s new remaster are present on that deluxe edition.

Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing plus discography!

Rumors are swirling that the entirety of Bowie’s back catalogue is again up for grabs, meaning that new, improved (?) editions of his classic albums might be on the way.   Until then, you might wish to reacquaint yourself with a lesser-known album from the artist’s late period via Friday Music’s remastered Hours… album, housed in a newly-designed 10-panel digipak.  (Incidentally, quite a bit of good stuff is on the way from Friday Music, with the label’s Facebook page hinting at more of the Monkees, plus music from Bette Midler, Neil Diamond, Todd Rundgren and others!)  Hours… will be in stores on January 31.

David Bowie, Hours…: The Collectors’ Edition (Friday Music, 2012)

  1. Thursday’s Child
  2. Something In The Air
  3. Survive
  4. If I’m Dreaming My Life
  5.  Seven
  6. What’s Really Happening?
  7. The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell
  8. New Angels Of Promise
  9. Brilliant Adventure
  10. The Dreamers
  11. Something In the Air (American Psycho Remix) (from American Psycho, Koch KOC-CD-8077, 2000)
  12. Survive (Marius DeVries UK CD Single Remix) (from Survive, Virgin single VSP 1767, 2000)
  13. Seven (Demo Version) (from Seven, Virgin single SEVENPRO1, 2000)
  14. The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell (Stigmata Film Version) (from Survive, Virgin single VSP 1767, 2000)
  15. We All Go Through (from Thursday’s Child, Virgin single VSCD 1753, 2000)

Tracks 1-10 from Hours…, Virgin 7243 8 48158-2, 1999
Tracks 11-15 all previously appeared on Hours…, Columbia CK 92099, 2004 and Columbia/Sony BMG (EU) 88697 16903-2C, 2004

Written by Joe Marchese

January 9, 2012 at 09:55

Posted in David Bowie, News, Reissues

8 Responses

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  1. ‘Hours…’ was an excellent album. I quite like the ’90s Bowie. But this release is redundant in light of the afore-mentioned 2CD edition.

    The Thorn

    January 9, 2012 at 11:05

    • Searched Ebay, couldn’t find a listing for that specific box – anyone have a direct link??

      Bill Janowski

      January 9, 2012 at 12:18

      • Here it is on Amazon:


        January 9, 2012 at 12:43

  2. Bret – thanks, saw it – apparently Disc #6 is the one referred to above (the one
    with 17 bonus tracks). I guess Friday’s release is better than nothing (barely),
    but I’d prefer the box set.

    Bill Janowski

    January 9, 2012 at 13:04

    • The three expanded discs were also released separately. I’d look for those, as the boxed set contains nothing exclusive aside from the box itself – and it’s really nothing noteworthy.

      They’re all worth it if only for that second disc (!), although the ‘Earthling’ one is my least favourite because it’s missing lots of material from that era.

      TYhe ‘Outside’ and ‘Hours…’ sets are amazing, though…

      The Thorn

      January 9, 2012 at 15:32

      • The box set included bonus disks for Heathen and Reality, which were only included in this box. The Heathen extra disk was worth the price of the box set, as it features quite a number of new tracks from the aborted ‘Toys’ album.


        January 10, 2012 at 15:54

  3. Any news on the upcoming 40th Anniversary Ziggy Stardust Box set? I’m sure there will be one.


    January 9, 2012 at 15:48

  4. So this is just a cut-down of the 2-cd edition (which looked like a cd-sized hardcover book). No thanks.


    January 10, 2012 at 21:42

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