A new documentary, David Bowie: The First Five Years, reveals how wrong some BBC judges were when he first started out. In 1965, David Bowie's band, the Lower Third, auditioned for the BBC's radio air time. This was when Bowie went by Davey Jones. The band, and especially Bowie, did not impress. Some of the comments by the judges:
“Singer not particularly exciting. Routines dull.”
“I can’t find fault with them musically – but there is no entertainment in anything they do.”
“Strange choice of material. Amateur sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune”.
“I don’t think they’ll get better with more rehearsals.”
These tone deaf judges must've been surprised when Bowie released Space Oddity four years later, in 1969. As an aside, notice how much the guitars in "You've Got a Habit" above (starting at around 00:57) sound so much like Space Oddity.
According to The Guardian:
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The documentary, David Bowie: The First Five Years, will be shown on the BBC in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of Space Oddity. It features a clip of Phil Lancaster reading the audition report for the first time. The film concludes the BBC’s Bowie Five Years trilogy, directed by Francis Whately: The Last Five Years was broadcast in 2017, while Five Years, which focused on five key years in his career, was shown in 2013.