On this day in 1971……

……’Moonage Daydream’ was released as a single by Arnold Corns, a band, formed by David Bowie the name of which was inspired by the Pink Floyd song ‘Arnold Layne’. This was one of Bowie’s side projects and something of a dry run for Ziggy Stardust. The song later reappeared on Ziggy Stardust in a new version with updated lyrics…..here it is, below is the full story…

From davidbowie.com

Arnold Corns had a strange hobby, Collecting clothes…

Embryonic versions of Moonage Daydream and Hang On To Yourself (which would later reappear on Ziggy Stardust) were released on the B&C label by The Arnold Corns in the UK in May 1971.

If you were in Holland at the time, you may even have stumbled upon Moonage Dream (sic) on Philips, in the only picture sleeve issued for the single.

The project was supposedly created as a vehicle for David’s new friend and future creator of many of the more memorable Bowie outfits over the next few years, Freddie Burretti, aka Rudi Valentino for this project. But, it was really a way of David recording new material anonymously to avoid record company complications.

Backed by Mark Carr-Pritchard on guitar, Peter De Somogyl on bass and Tim Broadbent on drums, (all members of Rungk) the lead vocal is clearly David with no evidence of Freddie on the recordings at all. There is another voice joining David on the chorus, which I suppose is most likely to be Carr-Pritchard, but I could be wrong.

The publicity material for this first single from The Arnold Corns utilised a Brian Ward shot that featured on the front of a ‘sex education’ magazine called Curious. Even the Dutch picture cover was lifted from this same shot which appears in colour above.

Thankfully, the record didn’t race to the top of the singles chart, otherwise, (following the success of Peter Noone‘s version of Oh! You Pretty Things) DB may have become convinced that his future lay in songwriting for others rather than performing his songs under his own name.

The version of Moonage Daydream recorded later in the year for Ziggy Stardust is far superior and a more vital recording than the plodding Arnold Corns version, likewise Hang On To Yourself.

Shortening the name to Arnold Corns didn’t prove any more successful for the next single, released in August 1972, for which Hang On To Yourself was elevated to A-side status. This 45 was seen as an attempt by B&C to cash-in on the success of Ziggy Stardust.

A previously unreleased song, Man In The Middle, featuring Mark Carr-Pritchard on lead vocals backed by The Spiders became the B-side…but that release isn’t forty until next year, so more of that story then.

See the Arnold Corns section on Lanky Pearson’s Visual Discography of David Bowie 7″ vinyl for label variations and general nerdy excitement.

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