David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf is a classical music album containing David Bowie's narration of Sergei Prokofiev's 1936 composition Peter and the Wolf, as well as Benjamin Britten‘s The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. The music is performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy. The album was released in May 1978 on the RCA Red Seal label.[2] It reached number 136 on the US Pop Albums chart.[3]

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf
DavidBowie Peter&Wolf cover.JPG
Studio album by
Released2 May 1978[1]
RecordedDecember 1977;
RCA Studio B, New York City
LabelRCA Red Seal Records
ProducerJay David Saks
David Bowie with the Philadelphia Orchestra chronology
David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf


Bowie was RCA's third choice to undertake the narration for Peter and the Wolf behind Alec Guinness and Peter Ustinov, who had both turned the album down.[4] Bowie later said that it was a Christmas present for his son, Duncan Jones, then 7 years old.[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [5]
Rolling Stone(favourable)[6]

Stephen Demorest, reviewing the album Rolling Stone at the time of its release, describes Bowie's involvement as "engaging and benevolent". Demorest finishes his review by saying Bowie had "found his most charming guise since Hunky Dory."[6] Joe Viglione for AllMusic finds the album as "charming" and Bowie's performance as "splendid" and describes the Philadelphia Orchestra's involvement as "first rate". He finished by saying it was "A remarkable and well-crafted project."[5]

Track listingEdit

Side oneEdit

  1. Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67 (Sergei Prokofiev) – 27:08

Side twoEdit

  1. Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, opus 34 (Benjamin Britten) – 17:10
Narrated by Hugh Downs, accompanied by the Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by Arthur Fiedler

Release historyEdit

The original 1978 US green pressing of the LP

The original 1978 US version of the LP album was pressed on green vinyl and included liner notes insert (RCA Red Seal ARL1-2743). Later issues were pressing in standard black vinyl. A different album cover was used for 1992 US CD release depicting Bowie with wolf ears.[5]

The album has been reissued a number of times on Compact Disc with varying extra tracks and three album covers. The most recent was released in 2014 by Sony Classical.[7]



  1. ^ David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at Discogs
  2. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2006) [2000]. The Complete David Bowie. London: Reynolds & Hearn. p. 390. ISBN 1-905287-15-1
  3. ^ "Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b Seabrook, Thomas Jermome (2008). Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town. London: Jawbone Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-1-906002-08-4
  5. ^ a b c Miglione, Joe. "Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf > Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  6. ^ a b Demorest, Stephen (29 June 1978). "Various Artists: David Bowie Narrates Peter And The Wolf ". Rolling Stone (268). Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  7. ^ "David Bowie's Peter and the Wolf to be reissued". Classic FM. Retrieved 12 January 2020.