LP MR-SSS 537
Hardcore David Bowie fans should have heard by now about the so-called “Bowpromo” album. It contains ‘rough mixes’ of original tracks that would later be included on the “Hunky Dory” and “Ziggy Stardust” albums, as well as an exclusive track and the early (and shorter) versions of some amazing songs that would later make their way into Dana Gillespie’s “Weren’t Born A Man” LP from 1973: ‘Mother, Don’t Be Frightened’ and ‘Andy Warhol’. In fact, these two tracks on Dana’s album were produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson, featuring the members of The Spiders from Mars as backing band.
“Weren’t Born A Man” is Gillespie’s third album after some previous folk and pop recordings and a rather successful career as an actress. She played Mary Magdalene in the first London production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1972. However, her involvement in music would soon be connected to some of the key players in the London scene, such as Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page and David Bowie. But there is much more to this album that just Bowie’s glam sound influence. ‘All Cut Up On You’, ‘All Gone’, ‘Eternal Showman’ or the title track ‘Weren’t Born A Man’ are all outstanding tracks on their own that show Dana Gillespie’s various moods, from mellow notes to sexually ambiguous statements. Sadly, record sales did not match RCA’s expectations and after one more album Dana was forced to take a long break on her recording activity that would eventually lead her to a very different approach to music. During the 80s Gillespie made a comeback becoming a member of the Mojo Blues Band and her career as a blues singer has not stopped since then, releasing over 25 albums to date.
43 years after its original release, “Weren’t Born A Man” stands as a must-have record for anyone with an interest in 70s music.