"It happened that in... August of that year, I believe, there was a reunion with the board [of directors], talking about the future stuff that we were doing and etc., but then Peter [Jenner] and my previous manager established a deadline to me to finish the sessions, without my consent. Obviously I was a bit angry with them, I didn't want to do something very rushed, but I played a little game with them, and I just finished exactly on October 31st."
-David Bowie, 2001
The two first songs that were recorded to the album were Space Oddity, and the backing single, Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud. Following both songs, the title track An Occasional Dream and Conversation Piece were subsequently recorded throughout August and September, since some of these pieces were written in-between late 1968 and early 1969. With brief interruptions, such as the Isle of Wight, and meetings within the people of the Blackhill, Bowie managed to safely finish the recording sessions in late October.
The last songs to be recorded were The Prettiest Star, a song that Bowie wrote to his newly-found partner Angela Barnett, featuring his longtime friend Marc Bolan on electric guitar, The Supermen, a song that Bowie wrote inspired by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and H. P. Lovecraft, which was added at the last minute, and Memory of a Free Festival because three versions of the song were recorded, two versions being included on the album as Part 1 and Part 2, and an alternate version which was then released as the backing single of The Prettiest Star.
With great anticipation, Blackhill Records announced David Bowie's second solo album, entitled An Occasional Dream. While in the United States the announcement almost went unnoticed, in Europe and the United Kingdom, the announcement of the album was received with a certain amount of hype towards Bowie's newest record. The Prettiest Star was released as the promotional single, backed by Memory of a Free Festival, becoming a hit and reaching the top 10 mostly due to the Space Oddity effect.
Bring It on Home
"At one point at the studios, when we were organizing and preparing the material to be released, John [Paul Jones] came to me and said something like 'You know that you are, like, a full member, right?', and then I jokingly replied 'Wait, all this time I wasn't a member of the band?'. *laughs*, anyway, we kind of just officialized this on interviews at the time, there wasn't such a big deal behind that, even Peter [Grant] wasn't that surprised when we talked about that."
-John Bonham, 1996
With the growing success of The New Yardbirds, Elektra and the band decided to release the unreleased material that was dumped from the debut album, and some of the material that was about to be dumped from the second album (Renaissance). The tracks were compiled into their first extended play, She's Just a Woman. An edited version of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You was released as the lead single, with the title track as the B-side, becoming a new success of the band.