Liza Jane

Album: Nothing Has Changed (1964)
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  • David Bowie's first ever release, he recorded it at the age of 17 under the name of Davie Jones with The King-Bees. Recorded for Vocalion Pop, the song was promoted strongly but failed to chart and the band were subsequently dropped from the label.
  • The song was an arrangement of the old standard "Li'l Liza Jane," first recorded by Earl Fuller as an instrumental in 1917. A year later, Harry C. Brown did a separate version with added vocals. The King Bees came up with a 6-bar blues interpretation and their manager Leslie Conn, made a few changes and credited it to himself.
  • The B-side was a cover of "Louie, Louie Go Home," a 1963 single by Paul Revere and the Raiders.
  • David Jones changed his name to David Bowie in 1966 to avoid confusion with Monkee Davy Jones.
  • The single was re-released by Vocalion's parent company, Decca, in the UK in November 1978 in an attempt to capitalize on Bowie's fame, but again it failed to chart.
  • Bowie recorded the song again, in 2000, for the album Toy, which was never officially released. Warner Music eventually made it available eleven years later.
  • "Liza Jane" was included on Bowie's 2014 compilation album Nothing Has Changed.
  • The songwriting on this track is credited to Leslie Conn, who ran Doris Day's music publishing company and was The King Bees' manager and promoter for some months in 1964. "That was David and I, in my mum and dad's house, in the kitchen, sitting there with a guitar just fooling around," Bowie's King Bee's bandmate George Underwood recalled to Uncut magazine. "Leslie Conn put his name to that. He said, 'Oh, try this line. He'd written some words. I don't think we ever used them. He thought he wrote it."


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