The newly renamed David Bowie's first single for the U.K. Pye label (Warners in the U.S.) was the last to be recorded with his then-band the Lower Third, and was released in January 1966. A reasonably tough R&B song about a young man leaving home having mysteriously "blackened the family name" (a disinterested girlfriend is implicated), "Can't Help Thinking About Me" picked up sufficient media interest to earn Bowie a booking on the seminal TV show Ready Steady Go -- where he was backed by a new band, the Buzz. It also became his first ever song to appear on LP, when it was included on the various artists collection Hitmakers, Vol. 4. Unfortunately, that title was overly optimistic -- "Can't Help Thinking About Me" did not make even the lower reaches of the chart, and it lay forgotten until Bowie's eventual major breakthrough in 1972.
A staple on the reissue circuit since then, "Can't Help Thinking About Me" was further distinguished in August 1999, when Bowie included a gutsy new arrangement of the song in his VH1 Storytellers appearance complete with the humble confession that its lyric featured "two of the worst lines I've ever written": "my girl calls my name, hi Dave...." The song remained in his live set for a BBC session in October, and was also performed regularly throughout his ...Hours tour that fall.