Although next Monday the 10th marks the sixth anniversary of his death, David Bowie continues to manage to be in the foreground, in this case with a deluxe edition of “Toy”, the unreleased album from the beginning of this century in which the British artist had rescued with his then band a handful of songs composed in the ’60s, when he had not yet acquired his stage name and was bidding for a place in the intense London music scene.

Of course, as has always happened throughout his career, it is not an ordinary release, but rather takes place in a context that makes it an artistic event.

On this occasion, the recent news of the sale of the musician’s rich catalog to the Warner company by his heirs and the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of his birth, which will take place this Saturday, January 8.

And although “Toy” circulated with poor quality audio on the internet since 2011 due to the work of a fan who leaked those sessions, and had been officially released on November 26 in the midst of an ambitious compilation called “Brillant Adventure ”, this luxurious presentation, with 26 alternative versions as an extra, gives the album an entity that it had not had until now.It happens that from today it is available independently in a luxurious box of three CDs, six vinyl records and a photo book; but also with his original cover, where, in a disruptive way, the iconic artist appears with his face slightly deformed as if it were the missing link between the monkey and the man, and a baby’s body.

The history of “Toy” dates back to the period between 1999 and 2000, when Bowie participated in the well-remembered cycle of the VH1 music channel “Storytellers” and offered a memorable performance at the legendary Glastonbury festival.

After dusting off the song “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” on his musical journey for VH1, the third single of his career, recorded when he was still called David Jones (his birth name); and with the excitement of the performance of his band at the famous festival, the artist considered it a good idea to refresh in a current format those songs that had gone unnoticed.

Although for virtually his entire history Bowie had shaped his albums through experimentation in the recording studio, this time he opted for the old school of the band playing as if it were a live show.Thus, accompanied by bassist Gail Ann Dorsey, guitarist Earl Slick, drummer Sterling Campbell, pianist Mike Garson and backing vocalists Holly Palmer and Emm Gryner, and with the production of the “all-terrain” Mark Plati, the remembered artist was encouraged by first time to take a look at his distant past.

Taking into account that, even in his great farewell to this world with “Blackstar”, Bowie was always characterized by anticipating the future, the result of “Toy” operates in a different sense, since there are no conceptual novelties there, although it is not about of an absolutely nostalgic album.

In any case, this production slips some elements –barely perceptible in some cases- that allow us to glimpse the future alter egos and sonorities that were going to parade along the trajectory of the man with the two-tone gaze.

The choruses in the intro of “You’ve Got a Habit of Leaving” are reminiscent of “Absolute Beginners”, “Conversation Piece” could easily have been part of the “Hunky Dory” album and in “Shadow Man” there are traces of Ziggy Stardust, to cite a few examples. Other cuts like the aforementioned “Can´t Help Thinking About Me”, the beautiful “The London Boys” or “Silly Boy Blue” instead present the “mod” Bowie of the 60s who opened The Who shows.

As anticipated, a large part of the songs that make up this album were already known for having been included in various subsequent Bowie releases, but here they appear with the vigor that a live band performance gives them.

In the large number of alternative takes there are pearls such as the string arrangements made by Tony Visconti, an old acquaintance who was once again part of the “Bowie universe”, or Lisa Germano’s violin in acoustic cuts.

“Toy” was shelved at the time due to differences between the artist and the Virgin label, and true to his style Bowie chose to look forward again and began to work on what would become “Heathen”, his 2002 album.Years passed, some songs were the B-side of several promotional singles, the cuts of “Toy” were leaked on the internet in 2011, Bowie continued to think about the future with “The Next day” (2013) and the aforementioned “Blackstar” that became to his death in an artistic fact, until finally his heirs sold his catalog and Warner decided to give new life to this almost unpublished.

In the fifth compilation box “Brillant Adventure” (1992-2001) “Toy” was intermixed but now it appears exclusively -and with alternative takes that offer a whopping 38 cuts in more than two and a half hours of music- to celebrate the 75 years of the fundamental artist.