While working on David Bowie’s last record "Blackstar," producer Tony Visconti also had another project on his docket: Holy Holy.
The band, featuring Visconti and longtime Bowie drummer Woody Woodmansey, comes to The Wilbur on Thursday, and will perform the late icon's 1970 album, "The Man Who Sold the World." The lesser-known Bowie full-length, arguably the visionary artist’s first glam rock record, also marked the unofficial beginning of his backing band The Spiders From Mars.
As Visconti is currently touring with Holy Holy, we spoke with him about the group, working with Bowie and "Blackstar" just three days before the rock legend’s untimely death.
What were you and Bowie hoping to accomplish on "The Man Who Sold the World"?
When we sat back after we finished [1969’s "Space Oddity"], we thought it was very lightweight. We were going to set out to make the heaviest, darkest rock ‘n roll record ever made. We really had big, high hopes for that album. Mick [Ronson] introduced us to his friend Woody Woodmansey and that completed the band because we had a drummer but he couldn’t play anything like Woody. Woody was off the charts.
Looking back on the "The Man Who Sold the World," what are some of its highlights for you?
To me, "The Width of the Circle" is one of the best epic rock songs David Bowie ever wrote. It’s over seven minutes long. It’s got three separate sections. In a way, it’s almost similar to the song he’s got now called "Blackstar." It’s got a beginning, a middle and an end. On stage, we open up with that — and it’s just unbelievable to feel all that power.