The psych pop track dates back to 1970 and was recorded with sound engineer Ron de Strulle at Roxbury Road Studios in Los Angeles. At the time regarded by music industry execs as “new talent from across the pond who was beginning to make a big stir”, Bowie had traveled to the US to work on demo material for prospective record labels.
“My first impression of David was that he was warm, open, friendly, and not looking for star treatment like most of the other artists who came to RR Studios,” de Strulle recounts in an exclusive interview for The Huffington Post. “He was interested in the production process and excited about anything creative.”
De Strulle adds, “He was blown away by the studio and very interested in how to get each sound. He loved John Lennon’s vocal effects and George Martin’s way of working with bands of sounds with different frequencies. David could pick up an instrument and play anything. He would say ‘I never played this instrument before,’ and then he would cut loose and play. Pure genius.”
The Thin White Duke recorded a number of demos during that two-week trip to the states, including “To Be Love”, whose rights are owned by de Strulle. Of that track, the sound engineer recalls, “David loved that song and wanted to do harmony. He said its simple chords and simple melodies were ‘like bringing Billie Holiday into the 1970s.’”
Stream “To Be Love” below. A free download is also available via MindBodyNetwork.
More music from Bowie is expected to be released next year; the music legend had prepared a number of records to be issued posthumously.