A 1972 session for the Old Grey Whistle Test by David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey. It wasn’t broadcast till 1982, probably due to a time issue, Queen Bitch and Five Years being two songs that were broadcast. Oh! You Pretty Things is a song from the pre Ziggy album Hunky Dory released in 1971.
Although Bowie wrote the song, he wasn’t the first to release it. When sixties pop stars Herman’s Hermits broke up in 1971 their lead singer, Peter Noone went solo signing to Rak records, Oh! You Pretty Things was his debut single. It reached No.12 in the UK charts with the line “The Earth is a bitch” changed to “The Earth is a beast”. David Bowie plays piano on the track.
This version had the purists from all over the world, suiciding off their platform heels, citing Noone’s inability to interpret the lyric (a lyric that Bowie probably wrote with a pair of scissors, cutting up lines and words) although the song was allegedly inspired by Nietzsche. Still, I imagine that Bowie looked on Peter Noone rather affectionately like his hero Anthony Newley, for his exquisite Englishness.
And talking of platform heels, the pic, a little earlier than this session has the band still searching for the right footwear…