image source, Getty Imagesimage caption, The recording of Toy followed Bowie's triumphant second Glastonbury appearance in 2000
A David Bowie album that was never officially released during his lifetime is to come out the day before what would have been his 75th birthday.
Toy, which was recorded in 2001 and leaked online in 2011, will be released in a three-CD box set on 7 January.
Before that, it will form part of David Bowie 5: Brilliant Adventure, a larger box set to be released in November.
According to the singer's producer Mark Plati, the album captures "the sound of people happy to be playing music".
"Toy is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy," said Bowie's long-time collaborator in a statement.
"I'm happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us."
The record's eye-catching sleeve features Bowie's adult face superimposed over that of a baby.
🎶 Music News 🎶
David Bowie's 'Toy', the 'lost' album recorded in 2001 is set to get an official release with the single "You've Got A Habit of Leaving" available now for your listening ears!
Have you had a chance to listen yet?
📸 @DavidBowieReal pic.twitter.com/uYVge8FlKb
— BBC Radio 6 Music (@BBC6Music) September 29, 2021
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Bowie recorded a combination of new material and revamped versions of earlier songs for Toy.
The singer had hoped to record and release the album quickly, but his then record label Virgin was less enthusiastic.
With Toy shelved, the prolific musician instead focused on what would eventually become his 2002 album Heathen.
An unauthorised version of Toy surfaced online a decade later, giving fans a taste of what Bowie had hoped for the record.
The official version of Toy includes versions of such '60s tracks as I Dig Everything, The London Boys and You've Got A Habit Of Leaving.
A radio edit of the latter song – originally released in 1965 – was posted online on Wednesday on the late performer's YouTube channel.
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Bowie died on 10 January 2016, shortly after his 69th birthday.
He left behind an extensive body of work that Warner Music is currently re-releasing as part of a career-spanning licensing agreement.
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