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David Bowie's album The Man Who Sold The World celebrates its 49th anniversary on November 25.

The title track of the same name has been covered by huge artists across the globe including Lulu and Midge Ure.

Musician Woody Woodmansy recalls recording the album with the legend and other band members in his 2016 autobiography, Spider from Mars: My life with Bowie.

While he never toured the album with Bowie in the seventies, Woody and producer Tony Visconti, who had worked with Bowie on albums such as the famous Berlin Trilogy in the late seventies, decided to perform it as part of The Holy Holy Tour – a concert celebrating Bowie's music.

It was during one of these concerts that both Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansy spoke to Bowie for the last time.

The call was made during their concert at the Highline Ballroom in New York on January 8 2016, the same day as Bowie's 69th birthday, when Woody and Tony decided to give Bowie an unexpected birthday present.

Picking up the phone and calling the star live on stage, the audience sang happy birthday to Bowie, who said thank you to them afterwards.

While on the phone, Woody recalled that Bowie said: "Ask them what they think of Blackstar."

Blackstar, David Bowie's last album, had been released that day and featured songs including Lazurus, eventually charting at number one in the UK on January 21 2016.

In response to the question, the crowd cheered, ultimately giving their seal of approval and Bowie's final words to the band were: "Good luck with the tour."

Bowie had previously given Woodmansy and Visconti his blessing for them to tour the album, after hearing a live album that they had recorded together.

In an interview with NME, Woody recalled that Tony and Bowie had spoken about touring The Man who Sold the World, and had only ever performed a few tracks from the album as part of the Ziggy Stardust tour.

After suggesting to Tony that they should tour the album, Woody told NME: "I wasn’t sure Tony would be into but he immediately said yes and apparently David said ‘Why do you want to do it?’, then Tony replied ‘because we never did it’, and Bowie said ‘I can’t think of a better reason really’."

Three days later during that tour, while the band were in Toronto, Woody recalled that they received the news that David Bowie had died.

He said that although they were all 'stunned', the band decided to play their scheduled show that night, to celebrate David Bowie and his music.

Following his death, Tony Visconti released a statement saying: "His death was no different from his life – a work of Art.

"He made ‘Blackstar’ for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it.

Tony added: "He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry."

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  • David Bowie

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