David Bowie and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy almost recorded a joint album

Murphy details initial plans that led him to appearing on 'Blackstar'

LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy has revealed that he and David Bowie nearly worked on a joint album together.

The pair had worked together a few times prior to Bowie’s death. Murphy recorded Bowie’s backing vocals for Arcade Fire‘s ‘Reflektor’ before Murphy remixed Bowie’s ‘The Next Day’ track ‘Love Is Lost’. Murphy also later played drums on Bowie’s final album ‘Blackstar’, but has revealed that he was initially meant to have a bigger role.

Speaking to Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, Murphy named Lou Reed as the one person he would have been most starstruck by. “I don’t think I could have talked to him,” Murphy explained. “And that’s saying a lot because I knew David Bowie, I talked to David Bowie. I thought I couldn’t talk to him, but he was so gracious and so friendly… I had an email friendship with David Bowie, which one of the weirder, more amazing things.”


Murphy went on to say that he “played a little percussion” on ‘Blackstar’ but “was supposed to do a lot more”. He didn’t, he explains, because he “got overwhelmed” when asked by Bowie and producer Tony Visconti to co-produce the record.

Explaining that he didn’t feel like he “belonged” in that position, Murphy also revealed that there had also been plans to record a collaborative album together. “I reached out to David and said, ‘I’d love to do a record just me and you’,” Murphy explained. “He said, ‘It’s funny you mention that, please look me up when you get back to New York'”. They met up, Murphy says, but Bowie had already started working on what would later become ‘Blackstar’.

Listen to the full interview with James Murphy here. The Bowie talk begins at the 18:30 mark.


Earlier today, LCD Soundsystem member Gavin Russom came out as transgender. She described her bandmates as being “really supportive” about the news, adding: “The general feeling in the group is that will make the band better.”

LCD Soundsystem recently announced details of their comeback album ‘American Dream’, which will be released in September.


See the band’s UK live dates below:

Saturday 16 – MANCHESTER Warehouse Project
Sunday 17  – MANCHESTER Warehouse Project
Tuesday 19 – GLASGOW Barrowland
Wednesday 20 – GLASGOW Barrowland
Friday 22 – LONDON Alexandra Palace
Saturday 23 – LONDON Alexandra Palace